Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ramsgate Man Finds Van Gogh's Ear

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Arts Correspondent Mary Hinge

A Ramsgate man is hoping for a 'Happy New Ear!' following a find that could turn out to be 'Cash in the Attic'!

Local celebrity Richard Eastcliff was clearing out the loft of his Victorian cliff top mansion over the holidays when he came across a chest full of old documents. One of them was a letter addressed to 'Miss Betty Swallochs, The Hague, Netherlands', but the 29 year old former TV star could never have guessed what he was about to find inside!

Scary Fright

'I opened it and out dropped what looked like a mummified ear,' Mr Eastcliff told the Gazunder. 'I'd never seen anything like it. Once I got over the shock, I saw there was also a note inside.' The note read: 'All my lobe, Vincent'.

Eary Feeling

Van Gogh, whose paintings sell for up to $85m, is documented as having stayed in Ramsgate while he was teaching there in 1876. The Dutch artist even sketched the view from his bedroom window on Spencer Square. Although he is known to have cut off part of his left ear following a row with fellow artist Gauguin in 1888, no mention has ever been made of what happened to his right ear.


Mr Eastcliff has now put the ear up for sale on internet auction site eBay, with a £1m minimum bid. 'I think it could well be of interest to galleries, collectors or trusts,' he said. 'It may even attract scientists who want to perform DNA testing on it. If Van Gogh's paintings can go for millions, just think how much a piece of the artist himself might be worth!'

He said he hoped the ear might form the centrepiece of an international Van Gogh Museum based in Ramsgate which 'would knock Margate's planned Turner Centre into a cocked hat'. But he admitted: 'At the end of the day I need the money, following an ill-advised investment in my former accountant Cyril's Virgin Island-based hedge fund last year.'

Click here to see Van Gogh's ear listed on eBay
Click here to see Van Gogh's sketch of Ramsgate

Internet listing: Mr Eastcliff hopes to turn artist's ear into a silk purse


Anonymous said...


Looks like you will make more money on this pigs ear than the pigs ear that TDC have with the ass-et sale.

On the question of ass-et sales i wonder if one would get a bid/rise on the sale of TDC's self respect on E-Bay.

Answers on the back of a fag packet alongside TDC's corporate plan.


Anonymous said...

Its a pork scratching.

Anonymous said...

Actually the history, of Van Gogh's ear removal, is far more interesting.

Gogh fell out with an hereditary Colonel of the Royal Galloglas Guard who challenged Vincent to a bagpipe duel.

This was before the mandatory govt aural health warnings on bagpipe kits.

It had all started at a War and Peace dinner at which the Colonel had merely asked the artist

does my bum look big in this

Anonymous said...

I think I will report this to EBAY as a possible fraud, I dont want somebody from KCC bidding for it!

tony flaig bignews said...

Spooky assuming this be the same ear, I mentioned not two weeks ago.

Subject of Ramsgate pub legend that Mr Gogh chopped off his ear in Ramsgate?

Anonymous said...

Oh no, its being purchased by KCC to be displayed at the turnip centre.

Eastcliff Richard said...

I'm pleased to report I've already had some interest from a collector who, only last year, bought Hitler's bollocks.

Just the sort of bidder I'm looking for!

Anonymous said...

Bidder must be really stupid, everyone knows Hitler only had one!!!!
'MR X'

Tony Beachcomber said...

I always thought Van Gough wore glasses, oh well shit happens I suppose.

Ken Gregory said...

I have heard that some folk say they have the 'Ear' of the chair of planning!! Please tell me that Van Gogh was not a previous incumbant of that role!!

Anonymous said...

Thought CGP had both yours, Ken? At least you can't auction them to the highest bidder or ....

Anonymous said...

to 6.20 I think that was the joke ,that we all know the Hitler rumour so he or she is just showing their stupidity . Duh

Anonymous said...

I think you should look at :

He only got 4 years 8 months inside!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Er, I don't think I've forged or counterfeited anything here, 5:47.

You might also want to take a look at this. The remarkable story of Hugh Troy, who managed to get a piece of corned beef exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1935, claiming it was Van Gogh's ear. Apparently it attracted more crowds than anything else they exhibited that year.

So really, if you haven't worked out yet that this is my little experiment in 'Emperor's New Clothes', then I look forward to meeting you at the Turnip Centre in 2011!

Anonymous said...

Headline outside King St newsagents today is about "local prankster" selling Van Gogh's ear - could they possibly be referring to you I wonder - and if so they must be pretty desperate for any REAL news this week