Monday, October 13, 2014

Duff Tweed's Fisherman and Man's Best Friend

Welcome back to Duff Tweed Carvings!  It’s always a pleasure to share new finds.

As promised in our last post, we do have something very special to share with you today. You took the bait; hook, line and sinker!  You will not be disappointed or want to throw this one back. OK, sorry…making too many “fishy” references.  I’ll hold off on the doggie comments too! Hehehe.

Recently, we were contacted by Ken Curtiss of Fountain Valley who acquired this amazing Duff Tweed duo carving from his father’s estate.  Curt Curtiss, Ken’s Dad, used to write for the California Crusader, a local Southern California publication.  The paper’s credo is: “Reporting the news about diverse communities in a balanced manner with a focus on positive events. The term “CRUSADER” connotes the “zeal and enthusiasm” applied in keeping the community informed, while “making a difference” in the media.”  Ken promised to get us some additional information on his Dad and The California Crusader which we will happily add to this post.

How refreshing for a publication to actually report and exist on positive, uplifting news.  That is exactly what we attempt to do with this blog.  

When I met Ken today, you could feel the positive attitude the man exuded which no doubt was a family trait passed down to him by his father.  So often we meet the children who have received these wonderful carvings from their parents or grandparents.  Their senior relatives lived in a time when life was very different.  In today’s world we rush from point “a” to point “b”, not remembering how we arrived at our final destination or taking the time to smell the flowers on our journey. Personal connections are created and maintained from thousands of miles away.  Duff’s carvings take us back to a simpler time, a time when one could just sit and think, or relax while doing something as simple as fishing.  I have come to realize that my personal appreciation for Mr. Tweed’s work is not only in the characters he creates, but the joy they express in doing the simple things in life.  Simplifying one’s life is the key to increased happiness and joy.  That is what Duffield Tweed’s work does for me.  Hope it does the same for you.

We are so happy and proud to present to you the latest addition to the Duff Tweed Carvings collection.   We have affectionately named this carving Duffy and Man’s Best Friend.  Unfortunately, we have no idea what Duff actually named these two, but until we receive information telling us otherwise, we’ll name the Fisherman, Duffy. Want to include Duff whenever possible!

The picture below displays the entire carving in frame.  I am sure you noticed that the background is not Duff’s typical white linen/burlap fabric, but a dark brown linen fabric.  Very clean looking!
Duffy the Fisherman with Man's Best Friend - Duff Tweed Carvings

Then you see a dog, “man’s best friend”, seated next to our Duffy fisherman. He does not look too happy. Looks like our fisherman is having all the his pipe!  This is the first time we have seen a Duffy dog carving.

Man's Best Friend - Duff Tweed Carvings

Next, you may have noticed that Duff signed his name and dated the piece “64” for the year 1964 in white, not black like all his other pieces.
Unique signature in white on unique dark brown linen background - Duff Tweed Carvings
It truly was a pleasure and honor to be able to share this wonderful carving with you.  We keep having never before seen carvings “popping out of the woodwork”.  Each time we believe we have uncovered every character Duff Tweed carved, we are pleasantly surprised to find another unique gem carved by the man, the myth, the legend!
In this picture you can more clearly see the fishing line (wire) Duff added to this character - Duff Tweed Carvings

Wishing you each a wonderful fall and hoping we’ll have another surprise before years end.

All the best!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Happy Golfer is actually The Weekend Warrior - Duff Tweed Goes Golfing

Welcome back.  You’re next up on the tee…Weekend Warrior!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love golf?  If I haven’t, I should have mentioned it over 40 posts ago; typically shoot in the low eighties and hoping to get down to the seventies consistently in the near future. I forget about the world and just golf! It's wonderful, and it was my obsession for collecting golf memorabilia that had me stumble onto Duff Tweed’s work.  My first carving ever acquired was a trio of golfers all affixed to one single frame.  Each carving had been rubbed lightly with wax which gave them a shine and helped maintain their true original colors for decades to come. I obtained the set from a gentleman representing the estate of world renowned golfer, Ben Crenshaw.  I have been collecting Mr. Tweeds work ever since.  In any event, I just learned that a particular carving I have been calling “The Happy Golfer” is in fact more appropriately named the “Weekend Warrior”.  This makes perfect sense as Duff also carved a similar looking golfer who is hands down the real Happy Golfer. 
This is the real "Happy Golfer" - Part of a trio of golfers carved in 1964 by Duff Tweed.

Duff Tweed Carvings already owns the “Weekend Warrior”, but thought we would share with you the fact that it is on Ebay right now with a starting bid of $49.99/ Buy It Now price of $99.99, plus delivery with the items location in Northbrook, Illinois.

The piece is fully in tact and even the golf club appears to be unbroken.  Most often the face of the golf iron has been broken off from the shaft of the club.  This one is completely in tact.  We cannot tell if it is the original or a replaced golf club head. 

We also appreciated that this piece is part of Duff’s limited edition run, which he appears to have done for many of his pieces.  The difference from his regular carvings is the limited edition version have a boxier more protective looking frame and are marked by the limited edition brass plate affixed to each limited edition carving.

Below is a picture of the Weekend Warrior.  We have pictured him several times before, so no additional commentary today; just correcting an error in name.

We’ll come back and show the bidding and final sale price upon closing of the Ebay auction.  UPDATE 10-17-14: The carving did not sell on Ebay and the seller has not relisted it.  This was actually an exciting post to write because we uncovered another correct name for yet another one of Duff’s whimsical characters.

I’m hoping to have something really special to share with you next week.

All the best!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Will the Real Duff Tweed Step Forward? - Damn I'm Good Tennis Player

Dear Duffy collectors and followers:

We recently had the honor of hearing from Melinda, owner of this wonderful Tennis Player carved by Duff Tweed.  It is titled "Damn, I'm Good" and is limited edition number seven of one hundred.  Melinda contacted us inquiring about it's authenticity.  It's definitely Duff's work!  We enjoyed her note as she thought we were Duff Tweed.  Several people have contacted us with the same thought, but unfortunately Mr. Tweed passed away in the late 1980's.

Her original contact note is below: 

My name is Melinda and I am the fortunate owner of one of your wonderful carvings, "Damn I'm Good! 
My mother purchased it when we attended one of the Disney for Cal Arts Institute fundraisers at Walt Disney's daughter's home in Hancock Park many years ago.  She gave it to me shortly before she passed away a few years ago (at 92!) and I have been enjoying it ever since. 
The piece has a small brass plaque at the bottom of the wooden frame that says, "Damn, I'm Good" and another line that says, A Duff Tweed Limited Edition - 7 of 100.  There is also a typewritten bio on Duff taped to the back of the frame.
I went online to read about your other pieces and noticed that they all seem to be signed by you - Duff Tweed     Pasadena. Mine is not signed and I am concerned that it's authenticity might be questioned in the future.
I know it is a legitimate piece because of where she purchased it.  If you were in attendance, she probably met you at the event since many of the artists also attended to represent their art.
If you have a few moments, could you please email me back and let me know what you think I should do. I live nearby in ???????? if you would consider meeting with me to look at the piece.
Many thanks,

What really got us excited about Melinda's communication is the history that she shared below as to how her family obtained the carving.  It clearly displays yet again, Duff Tweed as an important animator at Disney Studios.

Duff Tweed Carving of Tennis Player - “Damn I’m Good”
                      A Duff Tweed Limited Edition – 7 of 100

My family acquired this playful wood carving when we attended an art auction at the home of Sharon Disney Lund in Hancock Park, Los Angeles, CA.

The event was held to raise funds for Walt Disney’s dream of creating a private university in Valencia, outside of Los Angeles, for students of the visual and performing arts.  It became a reality in 1961 with the merger of Chouinard Art Institute and L.A. Conservancy of Music, both existing institutions and both experiencing financial difficulties.  Thus, The California Institute for the Arts, “Cal Arts” was formed.  Many of the Disney artists had been students or instructors at the Chouinard Art Institute and that gave the family an idea of how to raise funds to support the school.

In the early 1970’s they commissioned Disney artists (many quite famous by then for their private works) to create and donate a piece of their art, (paintings, sculptures, etc) to be displayed at a private invitation only evening at the home and grounds of Sharon Disney Lund, Walt’s daughter.   

Since my parents had purchased an oil seascape by Peter Ellenshaw, a renowned Disney artist, from a private art gallery in Beverly Hills, they were invited to attend.  The cost per person was $25.00!  That included fabulous catered food and access to most of the home and grounds.  The interior walls of the home where covered by linen temporary walls which held the paintings, as well as the backyard gardens, where temporary linen walls were erected to display the art.  Sculptures and other unique art (one by Mary Blair who created the characters for It’s a Small World at Disneyland), were displayed all around the pool and tennis court area.

These were memorable evenings and one of the nicest things was that the artists were also in attendance to discuss their art. Each year, two artists were selected to create a painting for sale and Disney had limited edition replicas made for each attendee.  So, even if you did not act fast enough to buy the original, you were always assured of two limited edition prints to take home.

My mother was not a tennis player, however, she just fell in love with the “Damn, I’m Good” tennis player wooden carving and bought it. She said it put a smile on her face.

I am not familiar with other works that Duff Tweed did for Disney; however, if he was invited to create a piece for this event, I am sure he was involved in quite a few other Disney projects on film. These artists were the cream of the crop who created the magic of the Disney films, since computer generated backdrops and scenery were not common then.

Duff Tweed's Damn I'm Good Limited Edition framed and numbered carving #7/100

Melinda's carving is so clean and the limited edition frame really adds depth and character to the piece!  

We're making a huge shout out to Melinda in Southern California for sharing not only her wonderful tennis player carving, but also her Disney tale which clearly includes Mr. Duffield Tweed.  

"Melinda, you have an authentic Duff Tweed carving!
May it make you smile for years to come."


All the best!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Duff Tweed Carvings Collection - Something Old and Something New

Welcome back Duffers!

I shouldn't actually call you duffers as that is a term used for golfers who can't seem to make good contact with the ball. OH, by the way... Duff Tweed was actually a duffer! Maybe that's why he carved so many golfers.

Welcome back lovers of Duff's work!

We had a wonderful opportunity to pick up five carvings all masterfully carved by Duff Tweed.  It's been a couple of months since we were given this opportunity and have decided to share those carvings with you today.  We would like to thank Shawn in Fontana, California for making these available to us.  Shawn is a super kind lady and it was our pleasure to meet and spend some time with her. The Duff Tweed carvings below were purchased and kept by Shawn's father until his passing.  It was then Shawn's mother who decided to sell the carvings and we worked out a fair deal with Shawn.

Two of the carvings are ones we have shared with you in this blog, but were new additions to the Duff Tweed Carvings collection.  The last three were already part of the collection, but we picked them up as some were in better condition than the ones we already had.  We have not been in the business of buying duplicate carvings which are already a part of the collection.  In this manner we allow new collectors to build their Duffy collections.  We're all in this love of Duff's work together.  The more collectors, the more Mr. Tweed's carvings will increase in demand and value.  As we have always said, we collect because we love.

Let's start with the first two newly added to the collection:
Nothing Serious...The Boss and I just had a little chat - Duff Tweed Carvings
Sorry this one is blurry, I'll have to replace it with a clean picture.  Love this carving!  "Nothing Serious...The Boss and I just had a short chat."  I've had short and long chat's with past employers and it never felt like this!  Well, maybe once or twice.  LOL  There was a little scraping of the paint just to the left of the "bite mark", but other than that he is in excellent condition.  Even the backs still have the original paper completely in tact.  Sorry, no illustrations back there.  Let this be a reminder to you when you are having a bad day, it could always be worse.  Keep on smiling!!!

He Wants it When! - Duff Tweed Carvings
This second carving is obviously well matched with the first above, both depicting the stresses of work in a humorous manner.  This carving reminds me of the old saying, "When the boss asks you to jump, you respond "HOW HIGH" while already jumping."  Love the action in Duff's "He Wants it When!" carving.  Even in a rush, our worker is happy and ready to rise to the occasion.  This piece is in excellent condition and makes a great statement, especially in our times of working harder, longer and faster to meet modern deadlines.  If this carving was made today, it would most likely be of a person sitting in front of a computer, wildly pressing the keys on a keyboard.  Some things change, others never do.  Do what makes you happy and you'll smile morning to night.  Hope you are laboring in a love that brings you satisfaction and fulfillment. 

The next three carvings by Duff have all been previously posted in this blog.  You may wish to peruse past articles to see some of the other carvings not pictured here for a year or two.  Might give you an idea of what you would like to own.  They pop up for sale now and then on Ebay or Craig's List, but most people seem to find them at garage/estate sales and then sell them to me for five to ten times what they paid for them.  That's fine with us...keep em coming, and thank you.

Hobo on a Post - Duff Tweed Carvings

The Happy Golfer - Duff Tweed Carvings

The Low Bidder - Duff Tweed Carvings

We share because we care.  Hope you enjoyed this quick update and we look forward to hearing stories and acquisitions of your Duff Tweed carvings. 

One quick SHOUT OUT to Shawn in Fontana for making these wonderful carvings available to us! Thank you Shawn, we love them!!!

Wishing you all the best!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Duff Tweed's Fishing Couple - Never Before Seen

Welcome back…figured you took the bait from our previous post.  Or maybe you just came back for the hal-i-but?  Casting bad jokes…should have stopped before we started.

Quite some time has passed since we discovered a new piece carved by Duff Tweed.  It’s amazing, but every time we see a fresh piece, it brings back that feeling of being a new collector.  The excitement, the opportunity to grow the collection and the chance to share it with all of you, just makes the entire effort worthwhile.  Honestly, we did go out of our way to acquire this piece.  When we first discussed the price with the seller Greg in San Diego, we incorrectly assumed it was the typical 16-18 inch carving and we offered too low a price for the piece.  We were turned down rather quickly and this got us thinking.

We knew something smelled fishy here, so after examining the pictures of Duff Tweed’s Fishing Couple carving we realized it simply had to be larger.  Greg had informed us if he did not sell it locally in San Diego, California; he would list it on Ebay.  So we inquired about the frame size and the discussions continued.  It’s large!  The frame is 40 inches by 25 inches. We agreed on a price and drove down to San Diego from Los Angeles to meet Greg at 7:30 a.m. to pick up the piece and had joined it with the Duff Tweed Carving family by 10:30 a.m. that morning.  Only once before did we make such a crazy, whirlwind trip.  That was when we acquired our first set of the Slaughterhouse Four. 

The seller, Greg is a very nice and interesting guy.  He finds estate pieces in his spare time and sells them locally or on Ebay.  He is also quite the handy man and I met him at a restaurant where he was doing some construction.  Greg purchased this Duff Tweed Fishing Couple carving for $45.  We paid him multiple times more for it and did so happily.  Greg does well!  LOL  We were fortunate to be able to acquire the piece as many collectors won’t part with their one of a kinds.

You’re going to fall in love with this piece, hook, line and sinker. 

Now presenting…Duff Tweed’s Fishing Couple:

Duff Tweed's Fishing Couple
The first thing that catches your eye is this wonderfully active fisherman standing in the center of the boat. Love the sea going colors Duff used to paint the man.  He actually stands in a very similar position to many of the golfer carvings Duff did over time.  Next we noticed and loved the expression on what we believe to be the fisherman’s wife’s face.  Who else would go fishing with this guy?  Take a look at the fish stuck on her hat while she is completely tangled in fishing line.  She is not loving it, but she is there to support her man.  That’s really why he is so happy!!!  We love the boat in red, white and blue.  It is also neat to have another female carved character as the only other one we have seen is of a female golfer.   Yes, we fell in love with the piece and are grateful to have seen it, let alone add it to the Duff Tweed Carvings collection.

Hope you enjoyed this share and we look forward to bringing you many more over time.

All the best,


A Couple of Summer Sales on Ebay

 Hello Duff Tweed Enthusiasts!  Welcome back...we missed you!

We’ve had a rather busy summer here at Duff Tweed Carvings, and wanted to report two individual sales that occurred on Ebay in July and August.  We have had fellow collectors contacting us and sharing their carvings, but all of them have been previously pictured in this blog.

First up we have our favorite three golfers, probably Duff’s most commonly carved set.  As a result, the set does not bring in as much as some of the less common carvings.

This particular set of three, dated 1964, is in well maintained condition with exception of the broken golf club which the seller still had and included in the sale.   The seller kglassgirl had it listed as a “1969” carving, but it sure looks like 1964 to us.  You be the judge.

Bidder              Bid Amount              Bid Time
r***y (7649)      US $102.50              Aug-5-14  19:28 PDT
u***s (1664)     US $100.00              Jul-30-14   13:25 PDT
Starting Price   US $99.00               Jul-29-14   19:52 PDT

As you can see the Duffy golf set sold FORE! $102.50 plus shipping and handling which we estimate to be at least $30 additional.  Hoping a new collector picked it up.  Now we're leaving the Country Club to go to the Yacht club.

Let's now go to the Tweeduff Yacht Club *wink * to visit with one of our oldest and dearest friends which we refer to as the Boatman with a Life Preserver.  How original, eh?  We should really come up with proper names for these characters, but I don’t have the heart to change or distort Duff’s vision for his characters.  (For example, we know the drunkard Duff carved was affectionately named Double Jigger Jack Grant.) This boat guy screams out “Mortie” to me, but for all we know, his name is Gonzo or Willie…so with out further pomp and circumstance, we bring you the Boatman in Blue! 

The piece had some nails missing from the back and a few other issues, but the carving looked to be in OK condition with several nicks in the character.  Remember, these are soft pine wood carvings done over 50 years ago in most cases.  It is amazing how well they hold up over time.  The seller, chazaz2 had this to say about the piece: 

"Got this DUFF TWEED, PASADENA framed carved figure over all measurements are 15-3/4" x 21-3/4" & about 5" thick. What I understand, Duff worked for Disney in the 1960s & 70s. I do not know what this picture was called Boatman?? I found this at an estate sale in their garage & frame has scratches around it & the burlap back ground has stains on it & his hat has some chips on rim of it all as shown & as I found it. The figure is loose & will leave it that way just needs couple screws, holes are there. I understand his work is hard to come by so if you have a collection on him & don't have this one BID."

Bidder                Bid Amount                   Bid Time
u***s (1664)      US $49.40           Aug-08-14   12:32:55 PDT
t***e (458)         US $48.40           Aug-06-14   20:20:41 PDT
Starting Price    US $38.00           Aug-06-14   17:47:00 PDT

Duff Tweed' Boatman with Life Preserver in Blue shirt!

As you can see, he is dressed in a neatly painted blue shirt and anchor logo.  All the previously seen Boatmen with Life Preservers have white painted shirts making this guy a bit more collectible.  Duff Tweed Carvings actually placed the original bid of $48.40 in this auction, but were outbid by a friendly fellow collector and decided to share the wealth and not counter bid.  

You can’t collect ‘em all, and we really want you to go out and be a part of the collecting fun! These carvings are fun to collect, to share and to display.  They seem to get more attention in my home than some of our more contemporary higher priced art.  That’s because there is always some sort of action portrayed in Duff’s works.

In our next post, we’re going fishing for Duff Tweeds.  You won’t want to miss this one!  We’ll be sharing with you a never before seen carving by the Captain of the blog, Duffield Tweed.  Talk about action, this one is full of it.  You’re going to love it. 

Be back real soon!

All the best!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Demand for Duff Tweed Carvings Increases - Ebay Sale June 3, 2014

Hello fellow Duffy collectors! 

After a bit of a dry spell this year we just witnessed an Ebay sale of three golfer carvings on one single frame by our favorite carver, Duff Tweed.

We are very excited about this purchase for a number of reasons.

First off, there were SIX individual Ebay bidders for the set:

Bidder/Rating          Bid Amount
u***2 (137)                 $128.50
r***9 (391)                  $126.00
t***e (452)                    $78.00
h***d (1092)                 $59.59
u***s (1651)                 $55.00
k***o (492)                   $09.99

We’re additionally excited about this sale because the final sale price was $128.50 plus $24 shipping and handling for a total of $152.50.  That equates to over $50 per carving for golfer carvings available in abundance as these golfers were Duff’s most common carvings.  We own multiple sets of the same golfers.

What may have driven up the interest on this particular set was the Donald Duck illustration drawn by Mr. Tweed on the back of the frame. 
The carvings, frame, back paper and illustration are all in excellent condition adding to the demand and final sale price.

We’re hoping to have more Duffy carvings to share with you as this year progresses.

Wishing you a wonderful summer wherever you are, enjoying life to the fullest.

All the best!

P.S. We have had several readers email us inquiring about the colors we use in our posts.  We most often use the same colors that Duff utilized in painting his carvings... a little tidbit of info. for you curious readers. Thank you for writing and noticing. :-)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Starting off the New Year right!

Happy New Year and welcome back!

We titled this post “Starting off the New Year right!” because we just received a set of pictures from a collector who contacted us in late 2012 who also purchased this piece in late 2012.  He decided to start off the new year right and follow up with pictures of his duffy find.  

Thank you Mr. Anonymous! :-)

Honoring his request to remain anonymous, we will share only his story and pictures below:

Hey Joe,

I emailed you about a year ago about a Duff Tweed wood carving I found at a yard sale. I've always been meaning to email you but I've been very busy lately so I apologize for that.  I just wanted to share some of the pictures of the "Wall Street Hobo leaning on a post" carving that I have.
The carving is inside a 3D box type frame. The wood carving is in excellent condition. The only damage that I see is a tear on the  paper to the lower left and a small water stain on the paper above the head on the right. The newspaper has the year 1973 so I'm guessing that's the year it was made. I looked at the back but I didn't see anything. If you would like to see more pictures let me know! 

As I said in my previous email, I bought this wood carving at a yard sale a friend of mine was having. I was helping them clean up when I came across this piece. Being a finance major and a small currency/stock trader, it immediately caught my attention. I asked her about it and she said it belonged to her father. He said he got it a while back from a client when he did some work on their house. I asked how much they were selling it and they said "$8." So I bought it :D

If you put this up on the blog can you put me as anonymous. I live in West Covina, CA.  I'd just rather keep my name out of it. Thank you!

Well, Thank you once again Mr. Anonymous! . . . we thank you for taking your time to share your story and such neat pictures of your Duff Tweed carving.  Love the paint job on him, especially those patches; just spectacular. Even though it is not original, really like the frame work too.  Great find, and for $8 it may be the best deal you ever come across, but we doubt that considering your line of work. (Stock Market growth over 30% in 2013.) 

So glad to know we have another collector of Duff's work out there.  It is by popularizing Duff Tweed's carvings that we increase awareness and yes, values of his work.  

Wishing you and our visitors all the best and a truly happy and healthy 2014.

We’ll be back as soon as we have something Duffalicious to share! 

All the best!