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!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Duff Tweed Figures just sold September 4, 2010 - Slaughterhouse Four & Double Jigger Jack Grant

Happy September 2010!  Hope you had a great summer!

Well, I thought I'd have more to share over the past month, but people have been so busy this summer.  Let's hope the economy follows suit.  On a hunch, I tried searching Duff Tweed carvings on the internet and saw I was three days late for an auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. They auctioned not one, but two Duff Tweed framed carvings.  I was fortunate enough to capture the pictures of the actual carvings sold and was subsequently quoted the sale prices for each.  I will share the pictures and prices paid below.

First we have the ever familiar and popular Slaughterhouse Four.  This particular set of four are all on one single frame.  Through my research I have been led to believe that there were only two Slaughterhouse Four sets of carvings affixed to one frame, but that there are many more Slaughterhouse Four carvings in existence.  I now believe there are more than two sets of the four carvings hung on one single frame.  I can verify the existence of at least 6 individual sets of the Slaughterhouse Four carvings, two of which I own.  I'll share the second set I just purchased in the next blog post.

Here's a picture of the Slaughterhouse Four that just sold on September 4, 2010:
The person who purchased these, got the deal of the decade.  The auction house reported that this set of the Slaughterhouse Four sold for $375.   Although I thought the price was low, it is right in line with my quotes of $75-$125 per carving. 

Next we have Double Jigger Jack Grant.  I really would have liked to have picked this one up as he is once again painted in significantly different colors from the one I own.  However, it is important that multiple collectors exist to create market awareness and demand for these pieces. So, kudos to the lucky winner! 

Below on the left is the carving that sold three days ago at auction for $100.  On the right is the one I own (for comparison purposes).

If you look closely, you can really see the differences between the two similar carvings.  I was recently asked by a friend if Duff actually carved each individual carving or are they duplicates.  That question pushed me to closely examine each carving I own.  In some cases I own four of the same carved character (Golfers, of course).  No two are the same.  They look extremely similar at first glance, but as you compare shoes, pants, leg angles, arm angles, facial expressions, hands and clothes, there are unique carves in each.  The same holds true for the two sets of the Slaughterhouse Four I have.  They are all one of a kinds!

New news: I have been in contact with a potential seller who seems like they will end up keeping their two Duff Tweed carvings, but I would like to share them with you in a future post.  So be on the look out for "The Cheater" and "The High Roller".

All the best!
P.S. UPDATE 9-4-10 : After posting this information I was contacted by James, the grand nephew of Duff Tweed who's family owns many of Duff's works.  He confirmed that he owns yet another set of four carvings on one single frame; and yes that set of four is the Slaughterhouse Four.  James' set is of course wrapped and protected in bubble plastic.  I am hopeful that the Tweed family will share some of their hidden Duffy treasures when they feel it is appropriate.  Thank you James for sharing with all of us in Duffyland!