Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second Chance Bingley

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.
Niki x


  1. Isn't it just sheer agony, when you have walked away from something, and then kicked yourself the next day, because you realise how stupid you have been? I am still getting horrid stomach cramps when I think about my disaster, walking away from those tins full of colour sorted buttons at the vide greniers in France this summer. I wasn't as lucky as you. I never saw that seller again, sigh.

  2. I'm so glad you re-found your watercolor painting! And it was certainly a deal at £5. It's just lovely.

  3. That picture is absolutely lovely

  4. What a marvelous story! A happy ending to 'The One that Got Away'! I've got a number of tales like that, but prefer not to think about them...

    Thanks for sharing your happy version of the story.

  5. Beautiful picture...I'm glad it was still there waiting for you!

  6. Sue S3:42 pm

    A fabulous find Niki and a bargain! So glad you went back to the sale...I have walked away and sooo regreted it later. strike while the iron is hot!! Sue S X

  7. Hi Niki...

    I'm telling you.....my heart goes pitty-pat every time I open your glorious blog...I don't know how I've missed adding it to my favorite girlies, but I have....that's been rectified now.

    I'm so glad you've come up with a clever solution for saving this beauty!


  8. Such an adorable painting!! Yes, I too have walked away from something and regretted it. Thank goodness you were close enough to go back and get it! When it happens to me we are usually on vacation and hubby will say I told you you should have bought it!

  9. Quite by chance the post I've just scheduled for tomorrow has a "regret" story in it. My legs are blue from kicking myself!

  10. Hi, I enjoyed the story about this painting... oh, it has happen so many times to me too. So good you´ve got to a happy ending cause it´s a lovely painting.
    (I have to learn more english, my gosh!!)
    María Cecilia

  11. i love your painting, its so pretty you can almost hear the waves! and it looks perfect on the shelve with the jug in front!
    i posted last week about walking away, i got all the way home opened the front door thought i am mad and ran all the way back to the cs and brought my bunny just before this collector she even wanted to buy it off me, if i hasd been 1 minute later it would have gone!!

  12. Oh Im so pleased you found it again Niki, it's absolutely charming. Your intuition was probably working in your favour. Many years ago we found at a car boot a painting by Edward Wolfe and we hummed and haaahed about it not having very much money and it was only £10. We got home had a cup of tea and ran back again to buy it and of course it had gone... strike while the iron's hot I thinkx

  13. What a wonderful little find and it wouldnt have mattered if it had not been from a known artist-its very lovely.Oh regrets- I have a few to quote a song! But you know what upsets me more than anything? Seeing old photographs thrown away and put on council rubbish dumps,it means there was no-one to love them or their owner Best wishes Elizabeth

  14. I am sure that delightful painting gave a big cheer when you came back. How interesting. I do love Cornwall and so I will have to look up more on this artist. You find the best things Niki! xx

  15. HI Niki. Gorgeous little watercolour. It's an awful feeling when you go back and its gone or worse, when you miss it by a few seconds and see the gem pass into someone elses hands! Oh the agony!! Lucyxx

  16. The painting is lovely and it was so meant to be yours, Niki!! : )

    ~ Wendy

  17. I love that pictures, I have a similar one in the dining room, I must check the artist. I have to say I have two lovely embroidered pictures which I bought at a car boot and they have water marks on the cloth...but this was due to it being a damp day and when I look and love them I always wish the stall owner had treated them with more love and not left them on wet grass...

  18. It's a lovely picture, so glad you went back for it. I hate thinking about some of the things I have walked away from over the years. I think you just have to go with your initial gut instinct because you are usually right.
    Ann x

  19. Niki - please fell free to delete my previous comment - I'm having trouble publishing the post I referred to. Many apologies. Wend

  20. Oh yes I've done it & kicked myself afterwards! It's a charming little picture - great find!


  21. Hi Niki, love the picture! yes i have walked away many a time, in fact I did today over a coffee table. But you know what? there is always another treasure waiting around the corner, or the very same one waiting for you to come back!!

  22. that is a lovely little gem.. just home from france, looking forward to tomorrow at Shepton.. come & see me.. I have a few goodies you might like!
    Lizzie xxxx

  23. What a lovely picture & I just love the story behind it...isn't that what makes it even more special? And, only 5 pounds...can't pass that up!!

  24. I've not heard of the artist but I know Cadgwith very well. I have also had a look at your picture on the website, it's charming. When we were first married (1978) I fell in love with a bust of a girl crying over a broken spoon. It fetched £105 at the auction where we were and we couldn't afford that sort of money then but I so wish I could have bought it.

  25. My oh my...I was in my back garden this morning watering at 5am and I heard all the fairies talking about your post and this wonderful TRUE story...it has everyone in Gnomeland buzzing this morning. Good fortune, Good find, Good magical moment, one of those God moments for sure.
    Blessings from a September morning in Washington...my corner of the big big world.

  26. You were obviously meant to have that painting.It's lovely.I've walked away from things in the past...for whatever reason...and regretted it,so now I don't hesitate.Have holidayed in Cadgwith,it's a special place.


  27. Hi Niki,
    I really enjoyed reading your post!
    I walked away from a Royal Doulton figurine called Dance at Dawn - and I have been searching for her ever since. That was over 20 years ago.
    Sometimes I have walked away from a treasure unsure if I should buy it - and returned a week or two later to find it still sitting there waiting for me. I think it makes them more special - because you have had time to want it.
    Loved your happy ending :-)
    Best wishes Cath ox

  28. Such a lovely picture Niki and I'm glad it got to come home with you in the end. There was a reason why you didn't get it first time round as you paid half the price when you did, so a good result. I very rarely kick myself as I truely believe that 'what is meant for you will not pass by you'. If I hesitate and lose then that's the way it is to be :-)

    Hope you got some lovely bits at Shepton. I was unable to go in the end but then I need more stock like a hole in the head! Once I have had my open house and sold some bits I can reward myself with another buy. Luckily Honiton is straight after, hehehe ;-)

  29. Anonymous1:04 pm

    Glad to hear you managed to rediscover it and pounce!

    I walked away from a welsh blanket at a car boot sale the other day and I'm kicking myself.

    The owner was very well to do and a bit sniffy with me, insisting it was just a rag for her old clothing to go on.

    I knew that if I offered her something for it I could persuade her but her sniffy attitude irritated me and I left it.

    Stupid me. It was nice.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx