We’re starting to amass a fairly substantial collection of vintage prints in the house now. As well as this collection of ladies, we’ve got a few of the miniature Soulet prints, which no doubt will be making an appearance on here in the future!
About two years ago, we went to a car boot sale in Poynton where I spotted a ‘Miss Wong’ print by Tretchikoff. At the time, I’d not really seen them before but I thought it looked retro and the stall holder was glad to get rid of it for the costly sum of 50p. I even had to persuade A to purchase it at that price! Instead of keeping it, we put it on Ebay and I think we got about £50 for it. Nowadays, we would dream of finding one for 50p at a car boot sale, but unfortunately, too many people know what they are. That’s how it goes in collecting vintage stuff – one day it’s junk that only you want, the next it’s a valuable item that even the little old ladies selling it know is worth more than 50p.
The similarities between ‘Tina’ and ‘Nina’ are obvious to anybody with eyes! J.H. Lynch and Van der Syde are not as famous as Tretchikoff, in my opinion, and I can’t quite figure out who came first. According to research on the J.H. Lynch forum, Van der Syde would appear to have painted his first. I’ve personally seen far more versions of ‘Tina’ around than I have ‘Nina’ but this obviously doesn’t mean anything.
This was the first print we bought by Tretchikoff and comes with a bit of a story… We were camping on the Isle of Man, firstly near to Laxey and then later on near to Douglas. One day, we took a bus ride to Peel, a beautiful coastal town (which I highly recommend). It turned out to be the antiques capital of the Isle of Man. In a particularly dark and dingy antiques shop, we found ‘Balinese Girl’ with a price tag of £75. We knew it was a popular print by Tretchikoff, but £75 seemed steep. We managed to knock the owner down to £60 but still felt it was too much. So, we decided to go for a walk around the castle to discuss the purchase.
On arrival at Peel Castle, it turned out that it cost £8 each to get in. Well, this seemed foolish when we were debating whether to buy the picture or not. It was nearing the end of the day, so we thought we’d give it one last try to get the print for £50. If not, we’d go for the trip around the castle.
Well, we got the print. We then had to carry it round the rest of the day, including a free walk around the outside of Peel Castle. ‘Balinese Girl’ then had to live with us in the tent for another two nights. She was a little bit wider than the space allocated for bags…
The next Tretchikoff bought isn’t the style A and I usually like. However, I spotted it on a car boot sale, picked it up to look at because I like deer, noticed the signature, turned it over, saw the original sticker on the back, thought, “Brilliant!” and purchased it for a grand sum of 75p. I think A thought I was mad when I first showed it to him, until I pointed out the signature. Interestingly, I can’t find it on the official website. So perhaps, it might turn out to be the rarest one in our collection!
Our Tretchikoff purchases seem to have a symmetry to them; we finish as we started with ‘Miss Wong’. The latest print, bought over the summer, was advertised in our local paper’s free ads. A Nice old gentleman from Hyde was selling this as his wife didn’t think it fitted in with their newly done up home. £25 and a white-knuckle ride in the car (I was driving) and ‘Miss Wong’ took up residence in the spare bedroom with her peers. And doesn’t she look good?