Quentin Crisp spent many years as an artists model. He said “posing was the first job I did in which I understood what I was doing.” This oil study of his distinguished profile on millboard was painted in the 1970s and is approximately 61cm/51cm.
A number of very early 20th Century painted wood and neon theatre letters. The build up of many painted layers and weathered finish gives them an exceptional texture and each one an individual character. Large scale at approximately 64cm x 40cm each. The neon glows a dramatic red.
Painted in Paris by T.Evans around 1891, it is a portrait of Charles Terront , the first French cycling celebrity, who won 54 races during his 15 year career. Due to the rather ambiguous nature of competition rules at the time, he achieved the unique honour of being both the French and British champion on two occasions. In 1879 Terront cycled the 3000km between St. Petersburg in Russia and the new Vélodrome Buffalo in Paris, which took him 14 days and 7 hours.
In 1891, he won the inaugural Paris-Brest et retour on his British-built Humber; a bike fitted with the brand new Michelin pneumatic tyres that had been patented that very year. This painting is believed to be marking the occasion of this now legendary win. He was met by a crowd of more than 10,000 fans in Paris, many of whom had stayed up all night to make sure they caught a glimpse of their hero.
The style is reminiscent of earlier equine paintings; commissioned portraits of the 18th Century, recording derby winners, huntsmen and their horses. Likewise the cyclist astride his bicycle, wearing his winner’s sash, is posed in-motion within a stadium. It is a rare thing to find a painting of this subject matter from this period. Within its original Victorian frame, the overall size is 45cm x 36cm.
A Deco theatre sign originating from London’s West End. Metal with original weathered red paint. Authentic decorative drama.The sign is mounted on its purpose made metal support. The dimensions are 235cm x 31cm and 4cm deep.
Very early 20th Century egg characters. Made in the Netherlands for the American market. Moulded, hand-painted plaster. 15cm and 13cm in height and around 12cm wide. An anamorphic oddity, reminiscent of Lewis Carroll and Victorian surrealism.
European papier mache parade masks from the late 1930s. Large-sized grinning clown and a boss-eyed bumpkin; both hand painted and still in very good condition.
The black and white photograph from the period shows the bumpkin in the centre, surrounded by his carnival cohorts.
Two trays within their original box of wax Christmas decorations made in Germany, dating from around 1870.
Characters include cherubs, donkeys, lion, horses and children in their nightgowns bizarrely seated on potties. The highly detailed wax casts upon inspection are outstanding. There are also a number of religious icons which are printed lithographs mounted in wax frames. Floral and multi-coloured wax hoops and bird cages housing miniature birds make this collection of 120 pieces a rarity, of museum quality.
Simon Oldfield presents an off-site project in collaboration with M.Goldstein.
Until 14th October 2012.
Opening times - Thursday to Sunday 12 - 6pm.
Late opening until 9pm, Saturday 13th October.
Reginald Alan Westaway
Image: Kay Harwood, You, 2012
Late 19th Century optical novelty mirror. Petite -21cm in diameter -mounted in a mahogany frame.
On the back are the remnants of the original gum label.
There are twelve convex circles and a convex central X distortion, making the reflection very complex.
The mercury coating on the glass has oxidised creating an attractive sparkle, along with slight foxing here and there.