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Top Cartoonist Barry Fantoni to Sell Times Archive at Bonhams
Fantoni produced cartoons for the paper every weekday from 1983 – 1990. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- Barry Fantoni is selling his archive of 3,500 original Times cartoons at Bonhams Modern Picture sale in Knightsbridge on 19 July.

Fantoni produced cartoons for the paper every weekday from 1983 – 1990, summing up the burning issues of the time with a few strokes of his pen. Some of the drawings are very much of their era - a cartoon about the Polish Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, for example, depends on having been around at the time - but others show how, nearly 30 years later, we’re still worrying about the same issues - the future of Trident, for instance, or concerns over lenient sentences for rapists.

Fantoni got the job by chance. The Times resident pocket cartoonist, Marc Boxer, had resigned suddenly and Fantoni, who was already contributing general features to the newspaper, was invited to take over. He was contracted to produce a cartoon every day for six days.

After scouring the early morning news, he sketched out six rough ideas and phoned them through to the editorial team who chose one to be worked up for publication. A courier then collected the finished art work at noon. Under the terms of his contract, however, Fantoni had to be available in case changing news required a different angle so he was never really off duty.

The archive, which consists of the cartoons themselves, Fantoni’s related day books of ideas, and cuttings from the Times of the published work, is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

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