A few weeks ago, I was at a sale one early morning, when I noticed this little watercolour painting. I was instantly drawn to its nostalgic image of the fisherman's cottage, so beautifully painted. The owner gave me her price and I gave it some thought...
I couldn't help but notice the large watermark on the corner of the old mount and felt that it would benefit from being re-mounted. So I talked myself out of buying it; telling myself that I didn't need yet another project to add to my long list of things-to-do....
Yes, I walked away! Can you believe it?
Well I gave myself a good telling-off during the week that followed...I had loved that little painting, but had been put off by something so trivial! I 'do' faded, worn, chipped and generally old...what had I been thinking that morning? I obviously hadn't had my Ready Brek that day! :(
Anyway, the following week I went along to the sale again, not expecting to ever see the painting again - Some far wiser person would have snapped it up long ago...
But wait a minute...I'm sure that was the same dealer from the previous week...yes, it was...and there, stood up on the cold floor, was the little painting!
I pounced on it and the seller gave me the price, obviously not recognising me from the week before, as it was half what she quoted to me previously. I handed over my £5, (yes, £5), and walked away feeling very pleased with myself.
When I got it home I decided that the glass needed a good clean, so I carefully removed the painting from the frame. On the back of the watercolour board was this little label:
It reads 'Fisherman's cottage and garden, Cadgwith, Cornwall'. And is signed HH Bingley.
I 'Googled' him, like you do, and found a whole website devoted to his work. I've been in touch with the owners of the site and they have now included my little painting in their virtual gallery, which can be found here.
Henry Harding Bingley was a prolific artist, who painted coastal scenes and various areas of the west country, particularly during the late 20's to early 30's.
And the watermark that originally put me off buying the painting? (Again, what was I thinking?!)
Well, its still there, but I've hidden it behind the little china jug that now stands in front of it. So I didn't even spend the time re-mounting it in the end!
Have you ever walked away from a vintage piece and later regretted it? This wasn't the first time I'd done just that, but I am glad that this time it had a far happier ending.