Sunday, December 26, 2010

Duff Tweed's Three Golfers Sold on Ebay - Short and Sweet

Happy Holidays to all.  Hope you have enjoyed them. 

Feeling a bit tired and lazy after Christmas, but wanted to share a recent sale of a signed and dated 1964 set of three carved golfers by Duff Tweed.   One of the cleanest sets we have seen!

The seven day auction on Ebay ended December 22, 2010 for a total of $161.50 plus shipping.  There were four bidders who placed a total of 10 bids.  The carving was sold out of San Diego, CA.  Duff Tweed Carvings did not bid on this set as we own several and really wanted to see another collector end up with this set of three golfers. 

Below is a picture of the set copied from the Ebay listing:
This set is done in Duff's classic colors and looks to be extremely well cared for.  It even has both original wood golf clubs which are missing from many sets.

Please come back soon and see our latest and greatest find.  We are waiting to receive two Hobo carvings NEVER SEEN IN THIS BLOG.  One has significant damage to the face while the other has some small damage to his hand, but they're new to us!

We're always excited to share new Duff Tweed carvings as we discover them and would happily welcome your finds and stories! 

See you soon!
All the best!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quest for the Best: Duff Tweed's Double Jigger Jack Grant - Sue the Bastards - The Low Bidder

Welcome back!  Yes, we've been busy at Duff Tweed Carvings and have three new carvings to share. All three carvings are compliments of Alex in Downey, California.  Alex purchased these three pieces directly from Duff Tweed in 1968 and shares the following:

I bought them from Duff in 1968 in Pasadena and they have been in storage ever since.  I remember he had several for sale that day and I asked him which were his favorites and why.  He pointed to these and when I asked why,he answered "because their faces tell it all".  I bought them immediately.  Unfortunately I moved around the country for a while and never had a worthy place to display them.

First we have Double Jigger Jack Grant in a really cool black and red jacket.
Jack loves is hootch and in this carving he is drinking Old Mule.
Look at how clean and pristine this carving is.  Alex took great care of all three carvings.

Here are two other carvings of Double Jigger Jack Grant for comparison purposes:

Next we are proud to share Sue The Bastards.  Good things come to those who wait!  We had watched this item sell about a year ago on Ebay and regretted having not bid on it.  Then like magic, it appeared.

Alex informed us that while there are many golfer sets carved by Duff Tweed, Sue the Bastards was carved in a much lower number of editions.  As with all Duff Tweed carvings, we're not sure how many Duff created in his lifetime, but owners and collectors are getting a pretty good idea over time.
I wouldn't want to mess with this guy!  Below is a close-up.
Last, but certainly not least is The Low Bidder.  We have another low bidder/hobo carving, but it is not titled.  Additionally we watched one sell on Ebay earlier this year.  We'll post pictures of each below.
What a great paint job!  You have to appreciate Duff's attention to detail.  Check out his left foot where his shoe sole is separating.

Pictured below are all three Low Bidders. 

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Alex in Downey for caring so well for these pieces for all these years.  Additionally a big THANK YOU is in order for his willingness to share what he learned about Duff Tweed and for allowing us to add his special carvings to the collection.
THANK YOU ALEX, it was a pleasure meeting you!!!

We'll be back soon with more Duffalicous tales!

All the Best!

Duff Tweed's personally dedicated "Card Players" - Found in Canada

On November 12, 2010 Warren in Canada contacted us at Duff Tweed Carvings. He shared a second set of what we had previously believed to be a one of a kind carving by Duff Tweed.  We paid a lot more than Warren did for the set we own and titled it Duff Tweed's Poker Players (Please see previous blog dated July 14, 2010).  Warren found his set at the Salvation Army a few days before contacting us for guess how much?  We'll tell you at the bottom of this blog, but don't jump ahead as there is too much good Duff stuff in between! 

Since Warren was kind enough to contact us to share his great find, we have named this blog "Card Player's" as he so aptly titled them.  In this manner we may differentiate his piece from ours for description purposes.  It will also make it easier for Warren to share his piece with the world!

What we first appreciated about Warren's set of Duff Tweed's Card Players was how clean it was.  The characters, frame and background look extremely clean.  However, this piece is signed '83 which is three years before Mr. Tweed's passing, and much later than all the other pieces we have shared in this blog.

Warren's piece looks extremely similar to the one in our Duff Tweed collection, but as you look closely you'll notice slight differences in the carves that form expression as well as the obvious differences in the painting.  The table cloth looks to be a different color as well.
Pictured above is Poker Player's and above that is Warren's Card Players for comparison purposes.  Warren's set has the green felt table and the Duff Tweed Carvings set has the teal felt.

Here are some close-ups of the carved characters Warren so kindly shared with us:
Just below, Warren shares Duff's dedication to Margie who obviously purchased or was gifted the set of three carvings from Duff in 1983:
Above reads as:
Nov 83
Dear Margie  - You and Pat made my day!  - Sincerely  Duff Tweed

Really wish we had met Duff before his passing and had the opportunity to have a personally dedicated piece!  How cool!  Even better, just to sit and talk with the man. 

OK, last comments on this piece.  We thought it was pretty neat that Duff who was Canadian born actually made this piece in Pasadena, California, but it found it's way back to Canada.  Many of us who are collectors wonder just how many pieces did Duff Tweed carve in his lifetime? That answer may always be a mystery to us.

A big shout out and THANK YOU to Warren in Canada for sharing his piece with the world!  Warren purchased his Duff Tweed Card Players for $25 at the Salvation Army.  Sweet Salvation!  Fantastic find Warren! :-)

Keep bringing us your incredible Duffy finds and stories.
Happy Holidays and Happy Duffing!

All the best!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You've Gotta Give a Hand to Nikki - Duff Tweed's GunSlinging Cowboy

It's stories like this that inspired me to create this blog.  I always do and will continue to applaud those willing to share.

Recently, I received an email inquiring from what wood were Duff Tweed carvings made.  The owner of a Duff Tweed carving went on to explain that they were replacing a hand that had fallen off their Duffy cowboy carving.  So I replied pine wood was what Duff used and suggested she might not want to replace the hand as Duff himself would not have carved it.  I really thought nothing of it and just went on with my daily routine.

Then, today all the pieces fell into place.  Nikki, who had first contacted me about replacing the hand sent pictures today and completed the story, so I couldn't help but share her never seen in this blog Duff Tweed Gunslinging Cowboy.  I don't know which is better, the cowboy or the story.

So here's how I learned what had happened.

First email received from Nikki: 

Wondering if you could answer a question for me?

What type of wood did Duff Tweed carve with?
I have a mounted cowboy (the type that were painted) whose hand fell off. Then my dog ate it.
I want to have another hand carved, and was wondering what wood to use.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

At this point I had not seen the carving and assumed it was one of the members of the Slaughterhouse Four.  The part that her dog ate the hand, just made me laugh.  I replied to Nikki and waited for a response.

Today I received a response from Nikki:

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your reply; attached are photos of my Duff Tweed Cowboy.

History: Two Duff Tweed carvings hung in my husband's bedroom as a child when his family lived in Palos Verdes in the early 1970s. This is where they were purchased. His brother currently has the other one.   Bummer about the hand. I'm going to have a new one carved so he's complete. It's nice that the piece does not need to be glued on, it simply slips onto the little post in his arm.
Great blog!

Nikki replied once again after I asked her permission to tell her story. Her dog's name is Rex, and he is an 11 year old black lab.  Gives new meaning to the saying, "Never bite the hand that feeds you".  I wonder how many years Rex sat there watching that hand dangle til it fell off and he ate it?  Sweet victory for Rex; not so much for Duff *laugh*.  Rex is now part lab and part Duff Tweed carving as there is no way all that wood came out and will be auctioned on Ebay starting at $99.99 plus shipping and handling. No, seriously, Rex is fine!
Now for the part I know all you collector's have been waiting for, here's Duff Tweed's Gunslinging Cowboy.  At least that's what we're calling him until we learn otherwise. :-)

He is way cool!  Nikki, thank you for sharing.  It's greatly appreciated.  UPDATE: This evening I was informed by a previous seller of Duff Tweed carvings that this cowboy was originally designed for Gene Autry. This is one of Mr. Tweeds versions of this carving as he hand carved multiples of most of his wonderful characters. 

Hope you enjoyed this newest posting to the Duff Tweed collection and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
All the best!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Will the real Jack Harris step forward? - Comparing Duff Tweed Carvings

Happy October Folks!  Halloween is quickly approaching.  How time does go by. . .

It's been a great year for the Duff Tweed Carvings collection.  This year we introduced you to approximately 26 or so unique Duff Tweed carvings.  While admiring the collection, I always take the time to look at the differences in duplicate carvings done by Duff.  No two are ever exactly the same.  Since the Slaughterhouse Four seems to be such a popular set and theme for Duff Tweed collectors, today you have the opportunity to look at three carvings of the same figure, "Jack Harris" and see the noticable and subtle differences in each carving.
This is the Jack Harris carved in 1950. Besides the cigarette unique to this carving, there are additional ink applications for eye, moustache and sideburns.  This Jack Harris' face even looks wider than the next two that follow.  He is the most different Jack Harris I have seen to date. Look closely and you'll notice many differences in individual carves between this one and the next two.

This version of Jack is the darkest of the three.  He came with a set of the Slaughterhouse Four with three characters on one frame and the final carved character on his own frame.  This one and the Jack Harris below look most similar to one another.  As you look closely though, you'll see differences in chins, eyes, suspender strap, scarf knots and more.

This version of Duff Tweed's Jack Harris carving came from a set of the Slaughterhouse Four which were all individually famed on worm wood frames.  They are smoother than the other ones I have seen.  Note the differences from the previous two carvings shown.  They look similar, but are not identical.
Take a look below and please compare for yourself:
I could continue to point out every difference from carving to carving, but I think some of the fun in looking at Duff Tweed carvings is finding those differences on your own.

Happy Fall 2010!  Wishing you all the best!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ebay Auction: Duff Tweed's Jack Harris – World Champion Bronco Buster and member of the Slaughterhouse Four

You don’t know Jack?

 This Duff Tweed carving of Jack Harris sold on Ebay in auction on October 2, 2010 for $190.50 plus shipping. We captured the pictures below from the sellers listing while it was still active on Ebay. There were a total of 7 bidders who made a total of 14 bids! $190 is normally a very good price for a piece that was damaged and covered in white paint specks. However, this piece is actually pretty unique.

Looking below you can see good ‘ol Jack Harris is sporting a moustache, sideburns and even has a cigarette in his mouth. If you go back and look at all the other carvings of Jack Harris in the Slaughterhouse Four, he does not have a cigarette or any markings.

At first, I suspected someone had played around with this carving, but the cigarette looks authentic and I think Duff was having a good time working on this carving.

The seller noted previous damage as follows: “He has some paint specks on his face, he is dusty, he is missing a small amount of his scarf which stuck out past his shoulder also his right arm has been repaired quite well at one time (re-glued).”

Now, normally one of these would sell for $100 according to recent sales, but this one holds some other unique qualities. The back of this one is signed “Duff Tweed 1950”, making this one of his very early Slaughterhouse Four carvings. I almost wonder if it’s the first.

In addition to the dated “1950” signature, this carving shows wood grain I haven’t seen in any other Duff Tweed carving.  Take a close look below at the grain of the wood in the left leg of Jack Harris.  It’s difficult to tell if it’s the grain of the wood or if it’s the paintbrush strokes from a shellac or preservative.
What I actually noticed first, but am mentioning last was Jack’s suspenders, chaffs, and boots were all done in a darker color/stain, once again unique to this particular Duff Tweed carving of Jack Harris, World Champion Bronco Buster and member of the Slaughterhouse Four from Mesa, Arizona.
Hope you enjoyed seeing one of Duff’s earlier carvings in what now seems to be a very popular area of interest for collectors, Cowboys and Bull Riders of the West.

All the best!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Duff Tweed takes the Bull by the Horns - New Addition - Cowboys and Bull Carving

Howdy Partners!

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this Western style set of three carvings by Duff Tweed.   Without an official name for this piece from good 'ol Sheriff Duff, we're calling it "Taking The Bull by the Horns".  If and when we officially get a name for this piece, we'll correct it.  Please read all the way to the end of this post as it contains a retyped letter I received from the family who sold this piece and added it to our collection.  It tells the story of how their family acquired the carvings.

There is so much to share about this piece, where does one start?  OK, first and foremost, we have never seen this piece before so until we hear otherwise we'll assume it was made in a very limited edition or is a one-of-a-kind.  Next, it is signed "DUFF TWEED 63" which is now the second piece in the collection with "'63" noted on the piece.  Even better, he signed it in green which we have never seen until today. See below:

The action conveyed in this set is just fantastic.  The bull is literally crushing the foot of the cowboy holding his horns and the other cowboy has just taken a kick to the head.  Below are three close-ups so you can see and appreciate their expressions (and pain).

Now for the letter from Mike and LeAnn in "Western" hehe, New York:

Dear Joe,

Thanks for your purchase of the Duff Tweed "picture" carving of the two cowboys and kicking cow.

Here is the best understanding of the way we arrived at owning the piece.

Sylvia Jones' father-in-law, Alan Jones was the owner of the artwork.  He went to Texas in his younger days and rode with the Texas Rangers.  Then, later he traveled to California.  He got married to June in 1953.  He either bought the Tweed at that time, or may have received it for a gift.

He found Duff Tweed to be an engaging artist, and liked the comical, cartoon nature of this piece.  He liked it well enough to display it in his family room for many years.  It is certainly a unique work.

We have owned the piece (Mike and LeAnn - the sellers) since Alan passed on many years ago.  We liked the work as well and hung it in our son's room where the whole room had a cowboy/western theme.

Our young son is now grown up, and turning 24.  He no longer wants the Duff Tweed in his room, and we have been forced to down size.  This piece is now yours.  Please enjoy it, display it, and share the comical joy it has brought us these many years.

Blessings on you and keep looking up!


Michael and LeAnn

Thank you Michael and LeAnn (and your son) for allowing us to share this piece with the world.  Additionally, thank you for your kind words!  I feel this carving is one of the most exceptional Duff Tweed carvings I have seen and will greatly appreciate it's presence for decades to come.  I have already shown it to several friends and family members who just fell in love with it!

After receiving, photographing and hanging the carving, I got into a cowboy kinda mood, so here's a quick joke to close out todays post.

A guy decides to try bull riding, even though he has had no lessons or prior experience. He mounts the bull unassisted & the bull immediately springs into motion. It runs along at a jerky pace, but the guy begins to slip from the saddle. In terror, he grabs for the bull's horns, but cannot seem to get a firm grip. He tries to throw his arms around the bull's neck, but he slides down the side of the bull anyway. The bull runs along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up his frail grip, he leaps away from the bull to try & throw himself to safety. Unfortunately, his foot has become entangled in the stirrup & he is now at the mercy of the bull's pounding hooves as his head is struck against the ground again & again. As his head is battered against the ground, he is mere moments away from unconsciousness when........

the puzzled Wal-Mart manager runs out to shut the bull off.

Hope you enjoyed this post of what is truly one of Duff Tweeds best carvings.  I guess I'm partial to all of them, but this one speaks volumes without saying a word, as all Duff's works do.

All the best!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Duff Tweed - Three Golfers with Wood Golf Clubs - Latest Addition to the collection

Hello again and welcome to new readers. 

I had no idea I would be writing so soon after just posting "Damn I'm Good",  Duff Tweed's Tennis Player carving, to share the latest addition to the Duff Tweed carvings collection.  September 2010 has been our busiest month ever!   We have no idea how it will end, but it has certainly started with a bang and shows no signs of slowing down.

Two days ago was my first contact with Dan in Los Alamitos, California.  Dan acquired this Duff Tweed set of three golfers about one year ago.  While working with a friend to clear out an apartment he was asked to get rid of a bunch of items and believe it or not, one of those items was this set of three Duffalicious carvings.  Dan immediately took a liking to it and recognized the skill that went into creating these wonderful golfers.  We talked today and he was kind enough to allow me to purchase and include it in the collecton.  Thanks Dan . . . really appreciate having this one in the collection and here's why.

First, check out these guys and the great vintage paint job on them (below).  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I appreciate all the different paint jobs performed on each carving and definitely appreciate finding them with multiple color schemes for sets of three.   After cleaning these up with a damp rag, the paint showed its original luster.
What got me even more excited (and I payed extra for) was the fact that this is the first set of golfers in our collection that are actually holding woods.  All our other Duff Tweed carved sets of golfers have them holding irons. 

Next, while Duff did sign many of his pieces, he did not date them all.  This is the first piece in our collection to show "63" representing the year 1963.  It's actually pretty faint in the picture above (between the two golfers on the right), but I captured and enlarged it below.
I find the further you sit away from your computer screen, the better your eyes focus on this signature.

Now here's a few close-ups of Duff Tweed's three golfers from this set.

Hope you enjoyed your visit today and that we'll be seeing you again soon.

If you get a chace, come back tomorrow or Saturday and I'll have a brand new, never seen before (at least not here) Duff Tweed western style carving.  Don't want to ruin the surprise, so you'll just have to come back.

All the best!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tennis Anyone? - Duff Tweed's "Damn I'm Good" - Limited Edition 2 of 100

September has certainly shaped up to be Duff Tweed month at Duff Tweed Carvings!

Our previous post mentioned we expected to receive several carvings new to the collection. 

Today we received a Duff Tweed carved tennis player affectionately titled "Damn I'm Good" which is a carving of the happiest tennis player on earth.   Take a look below and let me know what you think:

Besides being a really cool carving, he is number 2 of 100 which is also a plus!  Below is the plate from this frame:

Here's the funny or interesting part of this story.  I received this carving from Kristopher in Florida.  This is the first carving I have seen come out of Florida, but as you know if you have been reading this blog, they come from all over the United States.  Here's the funny part, Kris paid $2.75 plus tax for this carving, framed in this wonderful condition.  Kris has spent many years in the antiques business and spotted the carving at a thrift store and snatched it up.  He then did his research, found me and made 50 times his money.  I'm thrilled to have this piece and so happy Kris realized what may be the largest percentage gain he has ever made on a sale.  So get out to those thrift stores and see if you can find any of Duff's work.  As you can see, I do not care what you paid for it and am happy to pay the going rate! 

Make sure to come back and visit again in about a week or so.  I am receiving what I consider to be one of the coolest Duff Tweed carving I have ever seen.  All I'll say now is that it is in a western style.

Have a great week!
All the best!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Duff Tweed Carvings - "Damn I'm Good" (tennis player) - Yachtsman with Flags - Wall Street Journal Hobo

This is double posting day!

Greetings once again.  After completing the earlier post today on the second set of the Slaughterhouse Four, I stepped out my front door to see three brand new carvings had just arrived.  I was supposed to go out golfing, but I am too excited and had to share these with you immediately!

These came from Ed in Napa, California.  Ed has to be the quickest deal maker and shipper out there.  My first contact came from him three days ago and the carvings are already here.  Kudos to Ed for selling them to me and for being a true stand up guy! Ed, you're the man!!!

Ed is also the man because each carving is a brand new one added to the collection.  That is, I did not own any of these until today!  I am so thankful.

First we have one I thought I owned, but had not seen a picture of it from Ed.  He described it as a Hobo with the Wall Street Journal.  Since I do not know Duff Tweed's name for this carving, we're calling it Wall Street Journal Hobo. (how original, eh?)  This carving is the cool of cool, now one of my favorites!
Similar to "The Cheater" Duff inserted paper behind the carving instead of linen.  In this case he pieced together cuttings from the Wall Street Journal dated April 10th and 11th, 1973.

Next I am proud to share what we're calling the "Yachtsman with Flags".  Yeah, I know, how original once again, but when I learn the true names for these, I'll update them properly in this blog.  This carving was most likely part of a series which included another carving of a man holding a life preserver ring previously posted in this blog.  Boy, does he look happy!!!

Last, but certainly not least is "Damn I'm Good" which is a Duff Tweed carving of a tennis player.  I have another one of these on its way which I actually have a great story to share from the seller, Kris.  I'll share that story in a future post when the other carving arrives.

Thanks for taking the time to view these.  Really hope you enjoyed them.  As always, your Tweed stories and Duffy pictures are most welcomed and appreciated.

All the best!

Duff Tweed's Slaughterhouse Four are back! Plus another "The Cheater" and introducing "The High Roller"

I finally got around to photographing a second set of the Slaughterhouse Four which was recently added to the collection.  These interestingly enough come in a three and one combination.  That is, three of the carvings sit on one frame and the fourth (fiddler w/original bow) sits on his own frame.  They are darker in color than the four I already have in wormwood frames and all four including frames appear to be carved in pine wood. 
These made the trip across the United States compliments of Noah in Brooklyn, NY.  My father was kind enough to drive into the city, pick them up and ship them to me as well.  Big shout out to DAD:
"Thanks Poppy, couldn't have done it without you!". 
As I have continued to collect and meet other Duff Tweed collectors, it's obvious Duff carved most of his adult life.  Many of his carvings come with plaques stating they are limited editions of 100 carvings.  However, I strongly suspect that Duff never actualy completed 100 of each carving.  This happens in many aspects of art, for example where a sculptor will state they have made #1 of 20, but in the end only 6 or so exist.  The reason I believe this to be true is the fact that most of the limited editions I see are numbers 1 through 15 of 100.  I haven't found any higher numbers of the editions, but will be looking more carefully in the future.  If you're reading this and know of higher numbered editions, please write to me and I will thankfully include your information in this blog. 

OK, now for some more fun.  I have seven new Duff Tweed carvings on their way here.  Hopefully they'll be safe in the mail and I can share them with you soon.  Four of them have never been seen in this blog and one previously shown here will now be added to this collection.

Additionally, I received two photos of carvings from Kristi in Texas which I offered to purchase, but suspect the family has decided to keep them.   

"The Cheater" (golfer) which is already posted to this blog is pictured again below. 

The other is of a carving called "The High Roller" which is of a naked man in a barrel.  Guess he lost it all!  You can see it in his face!
I do not own The High Roller, so I was very excited to get this picture of it to include in the blog.  Hopefully the family will allow me to add it to the collection.

Well, I do declare I have said a mouthful here today.  So look forward to coming back and sharing some of those new Duffalicious carvings with you as they come in.

All the best!