Monday 19 August 2013


John Cleese is selling part of his art collection at Chris Beetles gallery: there's a John Bratby portrait, a couple of Henry Moores, a nice collection of Albert Goodwins, some great cartoons by Rowland Emett, Ronald Searle and Gerald Scarfe as well as a smattering of movie and TV memorabilia – you can view the lots here.

Prices range from £4000-£14000+ but there are one or two cheaper buys, notably a black-and-white publicity photo from the 1970 Walt Disney animated film Artistocats, which, unsigned, is going for a mere £250!

Now the things is, these glossy 8"x10" publicity shots were produced by the zillion, circulated to every movie reviewer and every newspaper and magazine that carried a feature on the film. Gremlin Fire Arts are selling similar items for a mere $75 a still ($109 framed) and at the film mart or boot fare you're talking of prices in single figures.

Now, I've come up with a great wheeze, if Messrs Cleese and Beetles will only go along with it... The thing is I've got boxes of these publicity still and colour front-of-house sets (of the kind we used to look longingly at outside the Odeon and Roxy) several thousand in fact and many of them going back to a time when Walt Disney was still alive including his first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

So, I was thinking, if I 'sold' them to John Cleese then he – acting as a 'fence', as it were – boosted the price by virtue of his fame and association and sold them on, through Beetles Gallery, to his many admirers eager for a slice of Cleese, we could divi up the proceeds and all do very nicely, thank you!

Come to that, in the case of Aristocats, I've actually got a couple of original cel paintings from the film that Mr Cleese (for a consideration) might be willing like to help me shift...

1 comment:

Boll Weavil said...

I think I'd rather know they came from you.
At least you'd know what you were selling !