Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Red Knight of Vienna

What follows is a short story of how I became the very proud owner of this original painting, The Red Knight of Vienna. But first a short history lesson. Back in the 1950's the American plastic kit manufacturer Aurora launched a range of 1/8th scale plastic kits, the first of which were a group of knights. I think The Red Night was the second. Later the same company launched the very successful Horror Range with Dracula, The Mummy and Frankenstien.

The illustration above shows the second box art design for The Red Night - the original of which is one of my most prized possessions.

Some years ago while working in near Dis in Norwich I visited a small local pub where this painting was on display behind the main bar. I commented to the owner that I recognised the painting and I was able to correctly identify it as The Red Knight. The conversation soon got around to his wife who had painted the original while an art student in America.

There was more to come the artist was the daughter of the American figure manufacturer Risley, who you can still find advertising in American modelling magazine to this day. I was shown some original pen sketches and finished art work, but as I was working I had to leave.

Some months later I had a phone call from the pub owner and his wife who were leaving the pub and the painting was up for sale. I commented that I would ask around if anyone would like to purchase it, but was not sure I would be able to find anyone. After speaking to my wife she said that if I wanted to place a bid for the painting I could and within a couple of days the painting was mine.

As well as the original painting I was given a partially completed kit and another original pen and ink drawing by her father - Sherlock Homes and the Baker Street Boys.

The original frame was very badly damaged and the first thing I did was to have it cleaned and re-framed as you see it in the top photo.

The picture is displayed above the stairwell of my home and is commonly referred to as The Red Knight! The frame size is about 40 inches by 18 inches.


2 comments: said...

Hi, Tony

Actually, the kits were issued in 1/8 scale, not 1/12. My first Aurora was The Silver Knight. THEN, I caught sight of Frankenstein and it was "KAtie, bar the door!" 36 years later, I haven't kicked the habit!


Tony said...

Thank you for the update. I will change the post.