HAMILTON FINLAY (IAN) An important archive belonging to embroiderer Pamela Campion, comprising 105 a
Lot 52
HAMILTON FINLAY (IAN) An important archive belonging to the embroiderer Pamela Campion, comprising 105 autograph and typed letters signed (comprising nearly 140 pages), 11 postcards, 15 Christmas cards, several preliminary sketches, working maquettes and other ephemera including a "discarded" embroidered version of "Zulu Chieftan", 16 books, prints and "pocket sculpture" published by The Wild Hawthorn Press, exhibition catalogues and invitations, some inscribed
Sold for £7,200 (US$ 12,187) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
HAMILTON FINLAY (IAN)
An important archive belonging to the embroiderer Pamela Campion, comprising 105 autograph and typed letters signed (comprising nearly 140 pages), 11 postcards, 15 Christmas cards, several preliminary sketches, working maquettes and other ephemera including a "discarded" embroidered version of "Zulu Chieftan", 16 books, prints and "pocket sculpture" published by The Wild Hawthorn Press, exhibition catalogues and invitations, some inscribed, the autograph material mostly on Stonypath/Little Sparta headed papers, various sizes, [1972-2000]

Footnotes

  • AN IMPORTANT ARCHIVE, comprising the collection of Pamela Campion, an embroiderer who collaborated with Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) over a twenty-five year period, the letters and related sketches providing a fascinating insight into the artist's working process.

    The earliest letter, dated 6 April 1972, begins "I would very much like to try a collaboration with you, and the difficulty as always to begin, because I do not know your work nor you mine", enclosing several postcards including "A Waterlily Pool", "a version of a carved stone in my garden, which stands by a little round pool with real lilies in it. L'arbour is of course a pun idea... I like to interpret a basic idea in different mediums & in different ways...". By May he writes "I am delighted with it... I would like to go on with more embroidery works with you... I would pleased to begin upon a version of "I Saw Three Ships". I think this is was the one where you suggested working on a rather large size, with larger stitches... perhaps in this case we should use a mount...". He also sent a screen print version of "Homage to Kandinsky" [exhibited at "Inscape" Scottish Arts Council exhibition, 1976], and the following year worked on "Iron Ship" and "Zulu Chieftan" which "is intended to be, a sort of 'period piece' in the art nouveau-manor". The embroidered version of this is present in the collection, returned with extensive discussion as to why he rejected it. The working method follows an established pattern with Hamilton Finlay putting forward an idea or request, often with a stiff deadline, as in 1884 for "a set of 4 wall hangings (2 pairs plus 2 pairs), flags (2-sided, 3 identical versions), swags and rosette... the suggestion is perhaps outrageous, but if they could be managed in 3 or 4 weeks that would be wonderful...". He would give a lengthy description of his requirements, sometimes enhanced with a quick diagram or paper maquette (for example for "Cherry Blossom", 1974; Flags for Nevers, 1985; rosette for "A David Marat", 1986) or facsimile diagrams [more "finished" drawings were returned to the artist], but allowed Campion freedom to interpret. In 1974, he writes of "Boat", "... the hull is improvised from rough materials and I will be perfectly happy if the sails are a little improvised too", and 1975 about "Sea Pink/"Wave Ave" [with colour sketches], "Please try as many stitches as you would like, and we can choose the most promising", with notes on materials (felts, etc.), suggested colours, and sizes. His enthusiasm is palpable "... the delight of embroideries lies in using the very traditional and (as it were) farmhouse form while using also a non-farmhouse sort of text... the bright red lettering worked very well... could you try some sketches for the borders". In addition to numerous works (including "Reef-Points", "Stitched-on Names", "Corinthian Columns", "Nox") Hamilton Finlay refers to his health ("... been in what might be called a 'Pyjama Situation'"), his garden ("Awful winter. The garden is just wild life sanctuary. Rabbits have eaten all the young trees..."), and his battles, especially the fall-out over his cancelled Versailles project. In 1988 he writes "The French are whacky & very unpleasant with it... I will never understand how Robespierre resisted cutting of a lot more French heads than he did...". The two artists never met but Hamilton Finlay notes that over the years "your house, and family, and garden, and livestock [have become] part of my Vision of England", and that [in 1991] "you are so clever. And not just clever but with a real feeling for beauty... [and commenting on a recent venture] I'm sure it is too beautiful for the world as it is; anyway we give the world its chance to be amazed by it".

    The publications of the Wild Hawthorn Press are limited to editions of between 250 and 500 copies. They include: "Homage to Malevich" and "Sailing Barge" (both prints numbered and signed), the pocket sculpture "Net Markers of the Discples" (with "SP" marker in box), 1999; "Two Horizons" (with cotton reels in box), 1998.
Activities
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for VAT, no VAT will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.

Similar items