Modern British & Irish Art sale includes the rare opportunity to own a “Giles” cartoon

1980s cricket-inspired cartoon by Carl Ronald Giles (“Giles”)

In among many beautiful works of art up for sale through Chiswick Auctions in its upcoming Modern British & Irish Art sale at the end of this month is a cheeky, cricket-inspired cartoon by legendary Daily Express cartoonist Carl Ronald Giles, better known, simply, as Giles.

First published in the Express in the mid 1980s, the pen and ink art – slightly recoloured in watercolour and felt pen by the acclaimed artist – was gifted in 1989.

1980s cricket-inspired cartoon by Carl Ronald Giles (“Giles”). The caption for this cricket and very much a news topic of the day-inspired cartoon reads “ Heaven knows our game could do with a streaker, but I'm not sure Vicar's good lady wife is quite streaker material.”
The caption for this cricket and very much a news topic of the day-inspired cartoon by Giles reads “ Heaven knows our game could do with a streaker, but I’m not sure Vicar’s good lady wife is quite streaker material.”

As we’ve noted previously, Giles should need no introduction to most downthetubes readers: he started his career for Reynold’s News, but he’s probably most famous for his work for the Daily and Sunday Express, a creator who was once voted Britain’s favourite cartoonist of the 20th century and whose work influenced artists such as Leo Baxendale, Steve Bell and many more.

His characters were – and still are – adored by millions, particularly his formidable, spiky-haired Grandma. In all, it’s estimated there were approximately 7500 official Giles cartoons for newspapers – many archived at the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library – but he also drew many more private sketches, charity Christmas cards, and a calendar for Guinness. At one time, he was the highest paid cartoonist in Britain, earning a salary of £8,060 in 1955, the equivalent of £150,000 today.

It’s no surprise to us that bidding is set to start at £1200 for this Giles cartoon and it’s estimated it will sell for between £1500 and £2000 – we expect bidding will be fierce among his many fans.

The Modern British & Irish Art auction also includes fine art by Sandra Blow, Terence Cuneo, Mary Fedden, Peter Grenham, Ken Howard, Jonathan Pike, Simeon Stafford and many more.

We do wonder if Giles himself would have chortled at the thought of being among the offerings by such august fine artists!

• Chiswick Auctions Modern British & Irish Art will take place on 29th March 2023 | Place bids on art via the-saleroom here | Chiswick Auctions, Barley Mow Centre, Chiswick, London W4 4PH Web:


• British Cartoon Archive: Carl Giles

A great introduction to Giles with a detailed biography and links to examples of his work that reflect his personal life

• Carl Giles: Independent Obituary

With thanks to Chris Burhouse and Bruce Sellers

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

Categories: Art and Illustration, Auctions, Comics, downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds

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