Rare Andy Capp Memorabilia Goes Under The Hammer Today

Andy Capp Merchandise
Image: Tennants Auctioneers

A collection of Andy Capp memorabilia, including rare original drawings by Reg Smythe, is going under the hammer at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, today, with live bidding available from The Saleroom.com.

Image: Tennants Auctioneers
Image: Tennants Auctioneers
Andy Capp statue by Michael Meehan. Image: Tennants Auctioneers
Andy Capp statue by Michael Meehan. Image: Tennants Auctioneers
Image: Tennants Auctioneers
Image: Tennants Auctioneers

Included in the auction items are two resin statues of the Daily Mirror strips famous protagonists Andy and long-suffering wife Florrie, created by Miles Meehan; three gilt and silver plated ‘Oscars’ 1962, 1963 and 1965 presented to Reg Smythe as Cartoonist of the Year Award in the form of a jester with cap and bells, awarded by the Cartoonist Club of Britain (there’s also a lot relating to the 1965 presentation, made to Smythe by then Prime Minister Harold Wilson); Andy Capp Memorabilia, including a PVC kitchen apron, shopper bag and tea towels; artwork featuring Andy alongside Donald Duck and two more figures, in plastic and brass; plus lots featuring items from the Andy Capp Musical, here and here; and, a number of lots of original art, including some of the very early one panel cartoons featuring Andy.

The auction also features a huge number of cigarette cards and some lots of Airfix kits from the collection of David Baron, who worked as a Technical Illustrator from 1962 until his retirement in 2009. David went self-employed and acquired the Humbrol/Airfix account to produce their Instruction Sheet artwork for Airfix Kits at their Humbrol Factory in Hull, and continued in that role until their demise in 2006.

While Andy Capp has a chequered career – early strips and cartoons are peppered with domestic violence – he remains one of the world’s most popular cartoon characters, and the auction has prompted a fascinating article by Duncan Leatherdale for BBC News, examining the character’s history and continued appeal.

Although his ability to shirk work remains unaltered, Andy has had to change to suit society, says Nick Hiley, of the British Cartoon Archive, which holds more than 2,800 Andy Capp sketches from his first 10 years in the Daily Mirror – a shocking 140 of which contain examples of domestic violence.

“Some of the early cartoons are really unpalatable nowadays because of the vicious way he treats Flo,” Mr Hiley told the BBC.

But only labelling the character a wife-beater is wrong, says Fergus McKenna, head of syndication at Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily Mirror.

“Andy was very much of his time, even so I knew Reg regretted some of Andy’s actions,” he said.

“He was not celebrating what Andy was doing, it was probably more of a criticism.

“There is always a danger of looking at history through a modern prism and saying ‘well he shouldn’t be doing that’. He isn’t doing it today.”

View or bid on the auction now here on the saleroom.com | You can also view the auction on the Tennants Auctioneers site here

Andy Capp books and more on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Thanks to Jeremy Briggs for the tip

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Auctions, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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3 replies

  1. Thanks, John.
    That was just in time!
    I got the one lot I really wanted.
    I note that all the lots with Reg Smythe original art *far* exceeded their estimates!
    Way outside my price range.

  2. Glad to have helped! I did think the estimates were very low.

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