5 October 2016
Bowie lipograph up for auction tonight
“Lipstick traces on his name”
If you’re at RANSOM ART Gallery for the Bowie By O'Neill book launch and signing party tonight (Wednesday), which we mentioned a couple of days ago, you might want to pop along to see your bank manager first.
Up for auction at the event is one of the more exciting pieces of Bowie memorabilia, long-desired by Bowie collectors the world over.
If you don’t know about the Bowie lipograph, keep reading...
RANSOM ART Presents…The photograph of David Bowie performing is actually an Andy Kent shot from rehearsals for the ISOLAR world tour in Vancouver, 1976. Swipe/scroll (or click on little dots) to see the framed image.
A charity auction and the unique opportunity to own an extraordinary piece of Bowie memorabilia!
To coincide with Bowie by O’Neill book launch, on Wednesday 5th October RANSOM ART will be auctioning an incredible piece of history for a great cause. The auction will give bidders the unique opportunity to own a signed ‘lipograph’ by David Bowie. The framed piece includes a photograph of David Bowie performing and a piece of card with Bowie’s lip print, signed and dated 1979. The inscription reads: “The lips part like silence set for alarm – Bo. ’79.”
This eccentric and fascinating piece of Bowie memorabilia was contributed to a celebrity auction at Sotheby’s London in June 1979 for ‘Save the Children’, who were celebrating their Diamond Jubilee year. Other celebrities who donated similar lipographs included Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Peter Ustinov and Mick Jagger. Sotheby’s sold the entire collection with Mick Jagger’s fetching the highest price.
The ingenious idea was later extended to a book format. With Love From… (1980), published by A&W Publishers included reproductions of many of the lipographs which were available at the 1979 auction, as well as others which were specially acquired. In the forward for the book, it is stated that David Bowie himself was the inspiration behind the charity auction. While in London, Bowie received a box of a makeup as a gift from the American cosmetic and perfumery brand Charles of the Ritz. He returned a card baring his lip prints with a thank you note to the company. It did not take long for word to get out and soon everyone wanted to purchase the lipograph, and the idea for a charity auction was born.
In the spirit of the original auction, RANSOM ART will make a contribution to the Foundation for Liver Research. The foundation was established in 1974 to develop and extend research into diseases of the human liver and to enhance medical research generally. For over 30 years the Foundation has supported ground-breaking research programmes into liver disease under the direction of Professor Roger Williams, CBE. This work is carried out within the purpose-built Institute of Hepatology located in central London. The Institute provides laboratory space for up to 40 scientists and is affiliated to Birkbeck College, University of London.
Tonight’s event takes place between 18:00 and 21:00 when Terry O'Neill himself will be on hand to sign stuff. Perhaps you might need to borrow his pen to sign a cheque for the winning bid?
RANSOM ART Gallery
105 Pimlico Road
London, SW1W 8PH