Wednesday, 15 June 2011

John Hall Thorpe - Landscapes

We all know the work of John Hall Thorpe, we have all seen the multitude of floral woodblock prints he published. However, his landscapes and views are often over looked by the collector. Here I have tried to collate all the views I could find on the internet, which was not as many as I thought.
Bluebell Wood

There seems to be a love hate reaction to the work of Hall Thorpe. Some people love his work and are prepared to pay want it takes to own them others just can't understand what all the fuss is about and why they are so highly valued.

I have a foot in both camps on this one. They are technically excellent examples of the art of woodcut printmaking, very precise, complex compositions and beautifully printed. Rare to see a slip in the register.

 The Caravan and Haymaker

 As to value I don't think anyone really knows what they are worth - for example - an ordinary common small flowers in vase say Primroses will sell on eBay every time almost without fail for between £140 - £175, sometimes more but rarely less. The condition doesn't seem to matter, framed or unframed, clean or dirty. I will price the same picture, cleaned if neccessary, new mount and frame for £250-260. I then usually sell it on to another trader, who will replace the frame for "his" style and price it £395.00 and then sell it to a collector ? which price is correct. I don't know. I have never managed to sell one to a collector. Is it all speculation?


Old Thatch

Opengate and Summer

Sky Parlour and  Piccadily


 The Lane.

Having seen lots of these prints over the years, I more regularly do not try to buy them than try to buy, as generally their condition is poor. I have no worries about browned paper or those horrid foxing spots as these can be cleaned out (at an additional cost and not without risks). What does surprise me is the prices paid for faded examples. Like the examples of The Lane above or The Haymaker below. This fading also effects the flowers, but is less obvious to see because of the heavy black background which doesn't fade. Some of his colours are quite stable, like black and reds, others including blues and green seem to fade badly.

All his work is excellent, although sometimes a little too precise and as a result lacking a bit of life, good beautiful pictures in excellent condition should be worth a lot and probably if buyers look more closely the poor examples relatively less than they often are bought for.

This was not meant to be some sort of rant or outcry against Hall Thorpe but more of a warning to fellow enthusiasts, another factor to consider when deciding whether to buy or not to buy and your assessment of relative values.

Internet references
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