For 41 years he inked a cartoon that built up an international audience like none before him. Reg Symthe’s tales of Andy Capp were enjoyed by the readers of more than 1,700 newspapers worldwide, from Adelaide to Yokahama.
Now, 18 years after the Hartlepool cartoonist’s death, a stockpile of some of his finest works and curios are being presented for auction at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn.
Three gilt and silver plated awards given to Symthe in the 1960s as cartoonist of the year and many of his Andy Capp books will feature as part of 14 lots at the sale on March 23.
Jeremy Pattison, Tennants’ managing director, said: “The intrinsic value of the items is not particularly high but as it is a unique collection, which includes one-off original cartoons, and with a strong family provenance, we would hope to see a lot of interest.”
Smythe’s creation was born in 1957 when he was commissioned to create a cartoon for the Daily Mirror’s Manchester edition.
Despite early controversy about a cartoon with overtones of domestic violence, Capp, won the hearts of many in his depiction as a working class figure from Hartlepool who spends his time in the pub, playing darts or snooker, pigeon racing, and fishing.
The artist personally wrote, drew, inked and lettered every gag and picture for the 18,000 Andy Capp cartoons he produced before his death in 1998. Since then, the Daily Mirror has continued to publish the cartoon which is now produced by a team of three artists.