Tolkien Collector's Guide
Tolkien watercolour? Really?
By garm

Tolkien watercolour? Really?

Aug 3

Seller: nordicpix (16507)
Ended Aug 3, 2018
Buy-It-Now:
$29.90
- take a look at the back of the photo -

eBay Item #352397288834
Aug 3
For interested buyers (???): actually the auction is about a photo of a watercolour, if I read correctly :D

Good lord...
Aug 3
This looks to be a photograph taken by the auction house (Bonham's) to promote what they thought was a good item to advertise. The back says this was for the June 21, 1993 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction and the estimate was £4000-5000.

I cannot find any archive online (press or auction results etc.). I will check my Tolkien Collector back issues to see if it was mentioned at the time.

Should be pretty obvious, this wasn't a painting by J. R. R. Tolkien. I suppose it could be by some random other person with the last name "Tolkien" from 1924.

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Aug 3
Small update - Tolkien Collector #5 (November 1993) mentions the Bonham's auction of the watercolour but does not express a strong opinion on authenticity.

Bonhams, London, offered at auction on 21 June 1993 a large (approx. 10 3/4" x 19 3/4") watercolour painting attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien. The painting is a landscape, a woman and a small child in a field of grain by a cliff overlooking the sea, predominantly brown and blue wash, signed in the corner "R. Tolkien | 1924". The house estimate was £4000-5000. A former curator of an Oxford museum believed the painting to be by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the auction house accepted his view as authentication.
Aug 3
A former curator of an Oxford museum believed the painting to be by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the auction house accepted his view as authentication.


The former curator must have been smoking something illegal.
Aug 10
I have dug out some old catalogues relating to this painting.
It was offered at Bonhams in 1993 and Christie's in 1995, and was withdrawn from the latter auction.

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Aug 11
I bought the photo (very low price). Even if it is shamelessly false, I want to put it in my collection, section: clamorous fakes.
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