Saturday 20 July 2013

Frank Bellamy and Doctor Who: Sea Devils original art

Timeview p.23 - pink colour as published
Original Art 1

Original Art 2

Original Art 3

UPDATE: Winning bid with 15 bids: £466.56 (July 2012)

I have had it pointed out to me that a piece on eBay of Bellamy's art is for sale. The seller is tinkswesterman (with 100% good feedback) and lives in Kirkby on Merseyside and appears to sell quite a few Doctor Who rare items.

When I looked at it, I was a bit puzzled and decided to scan the version that appears in Time View: Complete "Doctor Who" Illustrations of Frank Bellamy written by Bellamy's only child, David.

The original reproduction in the Radio Times is not worth reproducing - for those who don't know - the Radio Times in 1972 when this appeared was published mostly on pulp paper and therefore linework didn't come out too clearly. However here is a scan of the listing for Doctor Who for the relevant day:

Radio Times (18/03/1972 - 24/03/1972), p.20
Why do I feel puzzled? The 'RADIO TIMES' and signature look a bit wobbly. Below is a photo I saved from ebay when the last original piece of these Doctor Who cameos came up for sale by a renowned Doctor Who collector based in Luton. I'm sorry the detail is not very clear, but one can see the 'Radio Times' lettering added by Bellamy and it appears somewhat at odds with the one above.

Also draw a vertical line from the bottom left and in the 'original' art you do not bisect the 'ear' - it appears whole; in the Radio Times version you bisect an incomplete 'ear'. There are other tiny differences I would query when I look very closely.

I don't want to claim this is a fake, but it appears puzzling, particularly as the seller has lots of unusual BBC Doctor Who materials and has had no complaints but he bought it in good faith. The piece below sold before I started this blog!

I'll add any comments I get and update the selling price as and when

Sold in June 2001


Tim Keable said...

Hi Norman,

Looking at the lettering I'm inclined to agree it does look rather wobbly.

As far as the ratio is concerned it looks like Radio Times cropped the left hand edge for publication. This, in my mind is an argument for it's authenticity: If I was going to try to fake something like this I wouldn't make the fundamental error of getting the ratio wrong!

Don't forget that according to the text, the only illustration in Timeview reproduced from the original was the colour "Nessie" piece. Everything else came from the magazines themselves.

I've often speculated about whether some of those smaller illustrations weren't slightly retouched for that book.

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks for the comment Tim. Someone else has said by email
"I love your blog, as I love Bellamy's art. The things that drew my attention to a possible fake, were the squares that make up the net vest, the two in the top row, far left bleed together, which in the Timeview reproduction they don't. Also, the lines making up the eye look very wobbly to me in comparison to the Timeview pic. I'm wary these could be printing artefacts as RT didn't use best quality paper, but they set alarm bells ringing.
Glad you found this interesting"

But for me it's the left hand 'fin' and its alignment with the 'ear'
Ah well I'm glad someone else has looked at it and commented besides me!
Thanks for writing Tim, great to hear from you

Tim Keable said...

It's all very interesting!

Incidentally, if you look at the Draconian piece you can see that RT seem to have cropped that one on the right hand side! Look at his ear......