Syd Barrett – Owned and Signed Art Book / From 2006 Estate Auction, with 3 COAs

A copy of the book English Art and Modernism 1990-1939, owned, and signed and dated on the title page “R.Barrett.2005.” by Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett (1946-2006).

This was sold by Barrett’s family after his death at the UK auction house Cheffins, in the sale ‘The Estate of the Late Syd Barrett.’

Roger Keith ‘Syd’ Barrett was one of the most creative musicians to emerge from the 1960s British music scene.  His work with Pink Floyd and two solo albums are still revered by fans the world over. More than 50 years after retreating from the music business, he is still an object of fascination; in 2023 the documentary film Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd told his story, via interviews with the other members of Pink Floyd, his friends and family.

After leaving music, Art–and art history books like this–became a focus for the former art student. Barrett’s sister Rosemary Breen told writer Tim Willis ‘as for a television or radio, he didn’t feel the need to own one because he didn’t want to waste any energy concentrating on it.  It’s not that he couldn’t apply his mind.  He read very deeply about the history of art and actually wrote an unpublished book about it, which I’m too sad to read at the moment.  But he found his own mind so absorbing that he didn’t want to be distracted.

Roger worked in a variety of styles—though he admired no one after the the Impressionists—and you could say he came up with his own type of conceptual art.  He would photograph a particular flower and paint a large canvas from the photograph.  Then he would make a photographic record of the picture before destroying the canvas.  In a way, that was very typical of his approach to life.  Once something was over, it was over.  He felt no need to revisit it.  That’s why he avoided contact with journalists and fans.  He simply couldn’t understand the interest in something that had happened so long ago and he wasn’t willing to interrupt his own musings for their sake.’

After Barrett’s 2006 death, his family sold his books and personal effects at auction, the seventy seven lots fetching approximately 121,000 British pounds, much of which was donated  to ‘educational development within the art world’.

This book part of Lot 725, a collection of his art reference books, a number of which were either initialed (RKB or RB) or signed.  This is a particularly nice example, with, what for Barrett, constituted a full signature.

The spine of this book can be seen in the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity from Cheffins.  Additionally, the signature has been authenticated by Roger Epperson, a foremost authenticator of music autographs; his Certificate of Authenticity is also included, as is Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.

In overall excellent used condition. With a red adhesive sticker on the spine.

A superb Syd Barrett collectible with exceptional provenance.

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