Thursday, May 13, 2010

Duff Tweed carvings found in Northern California

Time for a new post. . .

Welcome back or just welcome to those of you first visiting. People are obviously finding the blog and enjoying it. I received several emails from Duff Tweed carving owners since my last posting.  I’ll share a couple below.  Something new. . . I am including the frames in these pictures.

First, I heard from a nice gentleman named Stuart from the Northern California area. He and his mother have enjoyed a set of three Duff Tweed Golfers or what he called a Duff Tweed Triptych. I found this simple definition of a triptych: art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together). We discussed my purchasing his piece, but with the prices most of these pieces are commanding today, I believe they have decided to hold onto the piece. I offered more than I had been paying for the sets of three because his set had something different. Stuart was kind enough to send me a picture and then by coincidence I found the same set online. (below)

The above picture displays the first Duff Tweed golf carvings I have seen where the golfers are holding woods instead of irons. The paints used are rich with greens and yellows for primary colors. Stuart shared with me that each carving actually looks like a golfer they personally know and they gave each one the appropriate nick name. Nice idea! Stuart like so many other Duff Tweed carving collectors/owners had believed his piece was worth much more than it actually is today. An item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I don’t think Duff was ever represented by an agent. It’s my goal to bring together a collection of Duff’s works to share with the world by allowing museums to show the collection once I have something of meaningful size. I am hopeful Stuart and I will come to an agreement in the future, and if not, the carvings are in a home where they are greatly appreciated! Isn’t that the purpose of art? We do not own art, we just rent it.
Yesterday, I was contacted by a nice couple also located in Northern California; Doug and Kay. They have the Slaughterhouse Four carvings all together in a single wormwood frame. In speaking with Doug I learned he purchased the piece from a woman about 15 years ago as a gift for his wife. The original owner explained to Doug and Kay that Duff Tweed was very close friends with her husband and that he gave the Slaughterhouse Four to him as a gift. I do not see any signature on it and Doug and Kay didn’t see a dedication on the back of the piece. The four individual ones I own do not have Duff’s signature either, but mine does have a signed dedication from Duff on the back of one piece. The woman who sold them the carvings said it was only one of two sets Duff ever made. Since I have been researching Mr. Tweed’s carvings, I informed them that it is probably only one of two ever made on one frame, but I am aware of two other Slaughterhouse Four carvings owned by other persons in addition to the set I own.

We discussed my purchasing the set, but they were led to believe the piece was worth thousands of dollars, which (once again) is not true. There are posts online of people having discussions about the values of Duff Tweed carvings. They’re actually old posts. While I wish they were worth thousands of dollars each, they do not command such prices today. I am hopeful, like many of you that exposure to the public will increase the appreciation and value of these wonderful carvings. After all, Duff was one of the pioneers in Disney and that association alone adds value to his work.
In the end, I suggested that Doug and Kay hold onto the Slaughterhouse Four because the money received would not change their lives that much, but the absence of the carvings would.
Today, Doug replied to me:

My wife likes them. She says they make her happy and you know when the wife is happy, then the husband is happy!
Happy Duffing!

Guess that’s why these two have been married for 58 years now!

I give my sincerest thanks to Stuart, Doug and Kay for your willingness to share. Your sharing has enriched the blog and helps educate all of us Duff Tweed fans! I look forward to staying in touch.

All the best!