Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
By garm
Home away from home

Tolkien watercolour? Really?

Aug 3, 2018
2018/8/3 11:02:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

- take a look at the back of the photo -

Seller: nordicpix
(16507)
Ended Aug 3, 2018
Buy-It-Now:
$29.90
Submitted by: garm
Aug 3, 2018
2018/8/3 14:14:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For interested buyers (???): actually the auction is about a photo of a watercolour, if I read correctly :D

Good lord...
Aug 3, 2018
2018/8/3 16:12:32 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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, 2018
2018/8/3 16:41:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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, 2018
2018/8/3 21:34:55 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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, 2018
2018/8/10 12:31:29 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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, 2018
2018/8/11 5:26:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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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