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Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960

Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
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  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
  • Vintage Large Watercolour by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin Circa 1960 | Ref. no. R0017
Price: £650.00
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A large lovely vintage watercolour  by John Berry of Rumpelstiltskin, circa 1960 in date.

The watercolour features Rumpelstiltskin sitting on a swing in a forest surrounded by children and forest animals.

Provenance: Malvern Wells Gallery, Worcestershire.

This watercolour is housed in an elegantly simple gold frame.


In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 76 x Width 66 x Depth 2 - Frame

Height 56 x Width 49 - Painting

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 6 inches x Width 2 feet, 2 inches x Depth 1 inch - Frame

Height 1 foot, 10 inches x Width 1 foot, 7 inches - Painting

John Berry
John Berry was one of the stable of artists who illustrated the Ladybird books, which have entertained generations of children at the same time as teaching them to read. Between 1961 and 1978 Berry illustrated some 35 books for Ladybird. These included the "People at Work" series, featuring jobs such as policeman, fireman, postman, potter, nurse, coal miner, farmer and engine driver. The series forms an almost complete record of British industry as it was at the time.
He also illustrated all six books in the "Hannibal the hamster" series between 1976 and 1978, and publications such as Come to France, Come to Denmark, Come to Holland and Learning to Ride.
John Leslie Berry was born in Hammersmith, south-west London, on June 9 1920. He was educated locally before, in 1934, being accepted by Hammersmith College of Art. From there he won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy but was unable to take it up owing to the outbreak of war – a disappointment that he never got over.
Berry served as an official war artist attached to the Eighth Army in the Western Desert – some of his pictures were exhibited during wartime at the National Gallery in London, and are now in the Imperial War Museum.
On the return of peace, he worked on various advertising campaigns, including, in 1951, the famous image for Esso of the "Tiger in your tank". He also became a prolific portrait painter, his subjects including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (for the Royal Artillery Regiment) and Lady Astor. Berry also provided a service for customers at Harrods, who would drop off photographs which he would then work up into oil paintings.

He started his work for Ladybird in the late 1950s, working alongside the illustrators Frank Hampson, Charles Tunnicliffe and Harry Wingfield. He always maintained that this was his bread-and-butter money, as he had a family of five to support and the firm always paid promptly.
The Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme introduced the children Peter and Jane, and their dog Pat, who inhabited a prosperous, ordered world which had not yet encountered political correctness or multiculturalism. Jane helped Mum make the tea, while father and son did manly things with cars and toolkits.
A preface for parents and teachers declared: "The full-colour illustrations have been designed to create a desirable attitude towards learning – by making every child eager to read each title. Thus, this attractive reading scheme embraces not only the latest findings in word frequency but also the natural interests and activities of happy children." Berry contributed to some of these books, among them Where We Go and Things We Like.
He also illustrated many books and book covers for Corgi, Four Square, Panther, Penguin and Readers Digest.
At the same time, Berry continued to produce portraits, almost all of which were worked up from photographs. A painting of the Princess of Wales was auctioned to raise money for Help the Aged in 1986, and two years later he painted her for the headquarters of the Royal Hussars at Tidworth, in Hampshire.

Original Ladybird illustrations are now the target of collectors, with prices as high as £1,500 per picture. In 2004 there was an exhibition of Berry's and Martin Aitchison's work for Ladybird at the Simon Finch gallery in London. The following year there was a show of Berry's work at the NEC in Birmingham.

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).


is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: R0017

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