Friday, September 19, 2008


There was a shriek of anguish last week from the Rotto Bloggo compound when we missed out on an eBay sale of Isle of Girls.

The wonderful Eleanor Smith tome was up for grabs with a starting price of less than $10. We put in a parsimonious bid: just before the auction ended there was a higher bid; we bid again but were pipped at the post by a measly cent. It sold for a meagre $11 - surely we could've bid a dollar or two more.

Such is life. We’re aiming for better luck with an intriguing new item on the online auction giant: a Cedric Emanuel sketch of a heartwarming Rottnest scene.
Cedric was once “Australia's best known pen and pencil sketcher”. He’s in the Art Gallery of NSW and was prolific. The item up for grabs is pencil on paper from the 1970s:

“…serene Little Parakeet Bay, located on Rottnest Island, which is off the West Australian coast near Fremantle. This is a magnificent example of Emanuel's work, and is testament to his unrivalled prowess with the pencil: note the delicate shading of the clouds in the sky (the photos below do not do it justice); the subtle reflections of light across the gentle incoming waves; the detailed stony outcrops that frame the central scene of the tranquil beach.”

When Rotto Bloggo espied it the bidding was at one cent. We went wild and have whacked in a bid of five bucks. The seller cautions us: “An image of this calibre, if offered in a commercial gallery, is likely to attract an asking price of around $1,000-1,200. This represents an excellent opportunity to enter the Australian investment art market at a more affordable level.”

There’s another Cedric on eBay, too, which has 10 bids so far, highest $103: “Emanuel has depicted two charming historic buildings on Rottnest Island, located off the coast of Western Australia near Fremantle. At the upper left portion of the sketch, we see the Rottnest Island Chapel, built in 1858; lower right, the artist has illustrated another quaint stone building. Evident in this artwork is Emanuel's unrivalled skill in illustrating light and shadows cast across buildings.”

Unrivalled even by Caravaggio? That’s a big call. Mind you Caravaggio didn’t do anything on Rotto.

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