Monday 30 May 2016

New Frank Bellamy pieces discovered!

You know by now that I love the chase and discovery of material to do with Frank Bellamy and his artwork. Well, this time I bring you two new pieces!!

Garth "All the best Nancy" Frank Bellamy

The auctioneer Arthur Johnson and Sons Limited (in Nottingham) who sold this earlier this year kindly shared this image. The original auction was labelled:
Frank Bellamy (1917-1976), a pen and ink drawing, titled Garth, a comic strip drawing, Frank Bellamy was the illustrator for the Daily Mirror and Garth was one of the comic strips, width 29cm

I asked about the piece and got the reply:
I booked the item in personally, the vendor's mother knew that it was a dedication to Frank's wife Nancy, which was also the name of her own mother, that is why she bought it originally. From where I do not know.
I actually wonder whether Frank Bellamy would have drawn a piece in this vein for his wife especially as it states "Garth in Nottingxxx" which looks to me to be Nottingham and ties in with the Auctioneer's location. Maybe the seller's mother was the mysterious woman who is addressed and she told her daughter this story! Having my Mum pass away two years ago, I am only too aware of how family stories differ from what we think they are. We may never know

And just like London Buses, another popped-up - this time from Martin Baines who saw the following image which looks like a riff on the above.

Garth at the Fisherman's Cot
I found an explanation about this piece and the interesting reference to the "Fisherman's Cot" - the only one I know of is in Tiverton, Devon.

My family owned the Fisherman's Cot Hotel at Bickleigh Near Tiverton in Devon between 1963 and 1979 when it was sold to Sir Fred Pontin. During our time there we had many celebrities visit including Art Garfunkel, David Jacobs, George Harrison and others.

 Jim Edgar and his wife Jessie spent their holidays with us in the mid-seventies. Jim wrote the scripts for “Garth” which was featured in the Daily Mirror for many years. One day I asked him if he and cartoonist Frank Bellamy could do something featuring the “Fisherman`s Cot” and he very kindly obliged!
I contacted Kevin via the website to ask for details on how to obtain copies and he kindly told me about his website now offering prints of the above in A4 and A3. As I said to him, this piece has wonderful provenance and is very unique and what a pleasure to discover two more Bellamy's!

SUMMARY ("All the best")

WHERE?: Arthur Johnson & Sons Auctioneers
SELLER: Unknown
ESTIMATE: £40-60
END DATE: 16 January 2016
No of bids: 2
No of bidders: 2

Saturday 21 May 2016

Happy Birthday Frank Bellamy....

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939, p4
Frank Bellamy was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire 99 years ago today.  As a special treat I'm sharing some of his earliest known work published in the local newspaper and also an article about him. Unfortunately the latter has a few errors.

The first is from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday Feb 15 1939 and shows some rough sketches Lance-Corporal Bellamy submitted with a report on his 'actions'. Bellamy did lots of cartoon work whilst in the Blamire Studio in Kettering, so these sketches reflect this humorous turn.  Obviously this helps us see that Bellamy started his National Service some time around the beginning of 1939. Unfortunately I would have to be a member of the family to request his Army record to confirm exactly when, but this is closer than I previously had.

Interestingly he is not credited as Lance Bombardier, (the Royal Artillery equivalent of Lance Corporal, the lowest Non-Commissioned Officer grade i.e. one above a Gunner (Private)). I'm not that au fait with Army ranks so need help here. Am I missing something? He went on to become Corporal and by the time he left the Army, after the Second World War, he was a Sergeant.

Click to enlarge

Bellamy writes and draws in 1939
The second clip comes from when Bellamy had established himself and comes from the local paper Kettering Leader and Guardian 11 November 1955 and is titled "R.A. praises local artist". This refers top the much quoted fact that Sir William Russell Flint, the brilliant watercolourist was very impressed with Bellamy's illustration in Everybodys Weekly (published 1 October 1955 - click here for more details). 

Kettering Leader and Guardian 1955 Nov 11 p.3
The article is spot on except, to my knowledge, when it mentions he illustrated Girl comic, the sister paper to Eagle and Swift - which he did strips in. I'm hoping someone out there proves me wrong as I'm always looking for more Bellamy!

Anyway, have fun reading these - and remember you can see Russell Flint's version of the dancers he mentions at the above link - thanks to the wonderful Jim Vadeboncoeur.

Happy Birthday Frank, you are missed!