Art by the late, great TV artist Tony Hart, including art that inspired the original Blue Peter TV show logo, will be offered by Surrey-based auction house Ewbank’s in January, items from the collection of Roc Renals, Tony’s friend and agent for over 30 years.
Norman Antony Hart, better known as Tony Hart, who died in 2009 aged 83, was a legend of British TV and Children’s programming, and an inspiration to millions. An artist and presenter, he’s best known to this day for his work in educating children in art through his role as a children’s television presenter.
Hart initially worked as an officer in a Gurkha regiment until the start of Indian independence, whereupon he became involved in children’s television from the 1950s, working on Blue Peter, amongst other shows, for a few years before fronting a series of children’s art programmes, including Vision On alongside Pat Keysell and others, including future Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy. Later, he also fronted his own art shows, Take Hart and Hartbeat.
The scope of Take Hart enabled Tony to include far more items than Vision On, and introduced Morph and Chas to the world, the creation of future Aardman founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton.
“Tony inspired several generations of children to be creative, many of them going on to become artists in their own right,” his official web site notes. “They in turn have gone on to encourage their own children to be creative because Tony Hart showed them how.
“His legacy is enormous and enduring, and the heartfelt words posted in the remembrance book demonstrate how much Tony was loved – by people of all ages.”
He received two BAFTA awards fir his work; the first, for Best Children’s Educational Programme, came in 1984 for Take Hart, and he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Tony lived in Shamley Green in Surrey from 1967 until he passed away in 2009.
Items in the Ewbank’s auction taking place in January 2021 include his drawings that would prove the inspiration for what would later become TV series Blue Peter’s original logo and badge, designed by Tony Hart.
Also included in the auction are caricatures, some artwork featured on Tony’s own TV show Take Hart, landscapes and more, alongside many mementos of Britain’s entertainment industry amassed by Roc Renals over his long show business career.
Roc Renals (1922-2014). Roc was Tony’s friend and agent for over 30 years. Roc originally met Tony Hart in 1974, after inviting him to open an exhibition of Japanese children’s art. All items were gifted to Roc by Tony at various points during their friendship over the years.
Ewbank’s is the Premier International Antiques and Fine Art Valuers and Auctioneers in Surrey, South London, Hampshire and the South East region, holding quarterly Fine Auctions; and regular specialist sales of Jewellery, Silver, Clocks, Watches and Instruments, Fine Art, Ceramics, Antique Furniture and Works of Art
• The Tony Hart Auction. The Collection of Roc Renals 12 noon 29th January 2021 | Ewbank’s, Burnt Common Auction Rooms, London Road, Woking, Surrey GU23 7LN – see web site to view lots and check current COVID-19 protocols
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.