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!