Carl Giles cartoon original artwork which took £4400 at Gorringe’s.

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This in turn is leading to strong auction interest and prices for these modern-day equivalents of Rowlandson and Gillray.

One such artist is Carl Giles (1916-95), the stalwart of the Daily Express.

You can pick up a job lot of Giles cartoon books very cheaply these days but for the right original artwork recent prices have been very impressive.

Strike action


Carl Giles BOAC cartoon sold at Stroud Auctions for £1800.

In January Stroud Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) sold a pen, ink, colour and gouache airport scene signed and dated ’69 for £1800 (estimate £400-600).

It showed passengers about to board a BOAC aeroplane with a tired pilot and co-pilot walking past, the skies being filled by other aircraft including ones pulling banners for Air France and Pan Am. BOAC was hit by strikes that year.

Titled to the mount Let’s get one of these bloody planes in the air and catch up on some sleep, it measured 14 x 21in (35 x 53cm) and was dedicated to (Sir) Keith Granville (1910-90) who was chairman of BOAC.

'What about United?'

On June 26 at Lewes saleroom Gorringe’s (25% buyer’s premium) another original Giles artwork came up guided at £70-100. It went on to take a whopping £4400 from a private Essex-based collector.

The ink and blue watercolour, 12 x 21in (30 x 53cm), signed and titled If your ‘Ailsham ‘Ogg’s so concerned about the North, what’s he doing about United?, appeared as a Daily Express cartoon in 1963. Despite winning the FA Cup in 1962-63 United finished 19th in the league.

Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, was minister for science and technology from 1959-63.

The cartoon had a label for dealer Chris Beetles to the verso. It was consigned by a collector who had bought numerous works from Beetles. Some lots will be offered in London rooms but Gorringe’s sold others in the June 27 fine sale in East Sussex by cartoonists such as Thelwell, Emmett and McGill.

Clifford Lansberry of Gorringe’s said he felt the Manchester United connection might have helped the result along with the scarcity of Giles originals.

Famous theme

Giles worked for the Daily Express from 1943-89. He is particularly well known for the ‘Family’ characters he constantly used in his cartoons.

Beetles says: “The regular appearance of these characters and their anarchic affairs in the Express established the cartoonist as a household name and had a great effect on British culture. His use of beautifully detailed panoramic settings also influenced his younger contemporaries, Jak and Mac.”