A LARGE painting by Bernard Venables, author and artist of the famous newspaper cartoon strip on river fishing – ‘Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing’ – is up for sale in Bonhams Fishing Sale in Honiton on May 14.

The sale includes a wide variety of collectable and modern usable fishing tackle, to include rods, reels and accessories by famous and contemporary makers such as Hardys, Farlows, Malloch, Fosters, Barder, Bruce and Walker, Sage, Bogden and others, cased fish, paintings and a fascinating collection of objects that will make the heart of every fisherman beat faster. Interest in Bonhams’ Fishing Sale now includes some of the 25 million fishermen and women in the USA and a growing number of those in Japan who bid eagerly by phone for the items on sale in Honiton twice a year.

Bernard Venables, (1907 -2001) the contemporary angling author and president of the Angling Writers’ Association, managed to combine his life’s work with his childhood interests of painting, drawing and writing with his passion for nature.

After studying art he became a painter, illustrator and poster designer and drifted into Fleet Street as an artist. Here he spent many years with the tabloid papers joining the Daily Mirror in 1946, and writing and illustrating the immensely popular Mr. Crabtree Goes Fishing in 1948, the same year as his first, of many, angling books ‘Fish and Fishing’. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the New England Art Club amongst others.

The painting, Lot 155, is a fine and large (40x60inch) mixed media work on canvas depicting an angler seated in a tranquil river setting netting his catch signed by the famous author/artist. Bonhams estimate that it will fetch between £2000-£4000 at the sale.

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