Friday, June 29, 2018

The Wall-O-Withnail

This, my little silage heaps, is the Wall-O-Withnail.  Feast your bloodshot eyes upon its bounty.  Do not get THE FEAR, however, for the following photos will explain not only what everything is, but where in the movie it can be seen.


(as of 2/1/2024) 

Contact me:

When I find new items to add to The Wall, I will merely take a new photo of The Wall and replace the one that's there now.  Then I will add appropriate close-up photos of the new items to the top of this post, along with screen-caps showing where they appear in the film.

Basically, this blog will only ever have three posts.  Okay, I just lied.  Four.  Four posts.  Nope, serial liar... FIVE.  Five posts.

1.  This one, which shows the items on the Wall-O-Withnail.

2.  The Withnailabilia post (click the link to see it), which shows the Withnail-related clothing and collectables in my possession.

3.  The Yet to be Acquired post, which shows items I'm still on the hunt for.

4.  How I built Crow Crag in one hour.  *Almost* sober.

5.  Wall-O-Withnail THROUGH THE YEARS!  (Photos of the W-O-W from first to most recent!)  Thought this might be fun...

ALSO:  The Wall-O-Withnail is now on Twitter!  @WallOWithnail - follow to get updates on the new additions to the wall as they appear!  (As well as humorous holiday-related shenanigans during the days preceding said holidays - by mistake.)

Now sit down and eat some sugar.  Take control.  Find your neutral space.  The fun is about to begin.

In the summer of 2016, Richard E. Grant (Withnail himself!) invited me to his perfume launch party for "Jack Piccadilly '69" in New York City (Greenwich Village, to be exact).  I accepted, and he was AWESOMELY friendly in person!  No surprise there.

Also got to meet the fabulous Sandra Bernhard (2nd from L) and her flame-haired daughter Cicely (1st on L), as well as REG's lovely daughter Olivia (4th from R) - what a night!!!


"Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff...

... as seen held by Marwood in early Crow Crag days...

Those of you who have been fans of the Wall-O-Withnail for a while now might be saying "Hey, you beastly little swine, you already posted this item on the W.o.W. ages ago!"  And you'd be right.

Except for one thing.

This one isn't a random copy of a vintage book found online.


Yes, folks.  The brilliant man himself, Bruce Robinson, sent me his own copy of the book, which was used in the film!

I have been long-distance friends with Bruce for many years now, and this package just suddenly appeared in my mailbox the other day.  You can see his initials and the date "1973" inside the front cover.  Included in the package was a letter from Bruce, confirming that this was the actual book used in the film, and giving me his blessing to "nail it to the wall" (of Withnail) - and so it shall be done!

Needless to say, I am fucking choked up with gratitude and awe, and it has been so long since I've had anything new to add to the Wall, and how awesome is THIS?  Is "mega-chuffed" even a word?  

I can't get over this.


Square brass ashtray with clipped corners...

... as seen in the "late night poker at Crow Crag" scene:

A lovely bird named Lisa from the UK sold me this ashtray on ebay, and I was panic-stricken that she wouldn't ship to the US, because it took me so long to locate the perfect vintage ashtray... but Lisa pulled through and now it's on the Wall!  Thanks, Lisa!  


Portrait of Mrs. Anne Neale Tucker Lauzun... seen in the "even the wankers on the site" scene:

This fucker was hard to find (as if you couldn't tell - this bloody collection started nearly ten years ago)!  Someone in some interview or other said that this was a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft (the bird who wrote "Frankenstein") so I spent a good many hours barking up that wrong tree.  Finally fell across her portrait online.  It hangs in the Tate Britain.  Was painted by Scottish artist Sir Henry Raeburn.  If you're interested in more absolute twaddle, you can find out more about her HERE.  You're welcome.


Blue Bird toffee tin...

... as seen on the windowsill when Uncle Monty is 
cooking breakfast the morning after breaking into the cottage...

Okay, so I know that this is one of those really obscure items in the film that you really have to squint to see... but it's easy enough to see that the lid is blue, and the box is white, and if you really squint you can see the shape of the bluebird.

The fact that I started this collection in 2012 and I'm only just now finding and posting this tin in 2021 tells you two things: One, curating a collection like this takes a hell of a lot of patience and persistence (aka you have to be a stubborn fucker) and two, next year the Wall-O-Withnail will be ten years old!


A flat cap with red lines.... seen on Marwood's head!

The dirgesome murk of the "light" in this film often makes it hard to pick out colors and details, but if you drink enough cider you can tell that there are red lines in the tweed of this cap.  If you can't see them, an expert on caps you are not!



A "Glass Cloth" tea towel...

... as seen around Withnail's neck as a bib just before
the "BEAR RIGHT, BEAR RIGHT" scene...

You're going to have to be able to read backwards, or be really drunk, or take my word for it, (most likely all three) but the towel serving as a bib for Withnail's moveable feast says "GLASS CLOTH" down the side. The letters look darker on his cloth because it's the back side...

Here's yet another case of ale a friend in the UK coming to my rescue.  I tried to find this cloth for sale here in the states, but could only get hold of some stupid fake that said "GLASS TOWEL", which wouldn't do at all... the only "GLASS CLOTH" I could find for sale wouldn't ship to NY, so I had it shipped to my dear friend G.B. in Scotland.  He played middle-man and forwarded it on to me for this collection.  Thanks so much, G.B.!


 Aqua cup and saucer by "Wood & Sons"...

... as seen here in the Penrith Tea Rooms

As time goes by, more and more Withnail fans come out of the woodwork to help me with this project!  Just recently I got a hail-and-well-met from Nat Bocking, who's a real live movie props master (he worked on "Victoria & Abdul", one of my favorite Judi Dench films!).  

Nat informed me that the lovely aqua cups and saucers on every table in the Penrith Tea Rooms are a pattern called "Beryl" made by Wood & Sons Pottery.  (You may recognize this as the same company that made that white coffee pot in Withnail's kitchen - scroll down to see it.)

Thanks, Nat, for the valuable info!  I was able to find this cup and saucer quite handily on ebay, and at a good price, too... the shipping was of course more than the item, but I'm used to it by now.  Almost every item on the W-O-W has been shipped here from the UK.

Oh, and Miss Blennerhassit?  Don't bother calling the police... our car's arrived!


 Massive spelter Sandeman bar display... seen in the Crow & Crown Pub!

Way back in the early days of this collection, I had posted one of those black porcelain Sandeman decanters and identified it as this item.  That was complete and total bollocks.  I should have known better, because the decanter was a) easy to find and b) cheap.

As it turns out, just like most of the items in this collection, the actual item used in the movie was a) not made of porcelain - it's a very heavy metal called "spelter" b) not a decanter - it's a huge statue c) not easy to find, and d) not cheap.

As a matter of fact, in order to get hold of this enormous, heavy display piece (the base is attached - you can see mine even has the identical painted pattern) I had to buy four more of those darned porcelain decanters, as it was sold together on some antiques auction website with them as a set.  I paid nearly $200 for this piece, but as it's so very prominent in the Crow & Crown, I really wanted to get hold of it and tutor it the ways of righteousness.


 Red British call box...

As seen in the "...especially that little pimp" scene

This lovely miniature call box was sent to me by fellow Withnail addict Robin... thank you Robin!  I was losing sleep trying to figure out how to buy and install a full-sized bastard call box on the Wall-O-Withnail, and you totally sorted that problem for me!


 Vintage tin of Heinz baked beans...

As seen on Withnail's desk during the
shoe-fixing scene...

This was also a gift from the fabulous Robin - thanks again, mate!  Of course, being the persnickety tit that I am, I have noticed that the bean tin in the film spells beans with an "s" at the end... and not a "z"...

... so what we'll call this can is a "place holder" until such time as I can rustle up a vintage tin that matches the one in the film exactly.

There is no shame in doing the very best you can (pun!) until you can do better... I did the same thing with the Sandeman display, and I totally fessed up.  If you think you can do better, you go ahead and send me a vintage Heinz baked beans tin with an "s" at the end of beans.  Go ahead, I dare you.


Vintage pocket watch in a leather wrist band...

.... as seen in the "Honestly, officer, I've only had a few ales" scene.  

We can just take it for Richard E. Grant-ed that:

a)  His wrist, hand, and arm is larger than mine, and
b)  My pocket watch is larger than his

That being said, if I ever trip across a petite pocket watch in a vintage leather wrist band, I will buy it and replace this one with it.  Until then...


Colorized photo of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth 
(the early years)...

... as seen on the wall in the Crow & Crown pub

This addition to the W-O-W is a bit like Withnail's bar banter... it's real up to a point, but there's some bullshit thrown in.  Basically, here it is 2018 and I've been looking since 2012 for a colorized portrait of Phil and Liz.  I finally came across the black-and-white photo from which the pub painting was made... so I printed it out, and used colored pencils to make it resemble the one in the film.  Okay, so Philip's hair maybe went a shade brighter than was strictly necessary, but I did the best I could it was the flash on my camera that made it look like that.  I'd like to see you cheroot vendors do any better.  Besides, hair are your aerials.  His signal is coming in loud and clear.


 Smiths Enfield mantel clock...

... as seen in the Crow & Crown Pub

This little gem was fairly hard to find, since Smiths Enfield made loads of very similarly-shaped mantel clocks.  Oddly enough, this is one of the few items on the W.O.W. that wasn't shipped from the UK.  This was a lucky ebay find, and came from a seller in Texas.  Cost just about $116, including shipping.

Shipping really counts with an item like this, because proper packing and handling means you get a lovely, undamaged antique mantel clock that runs well, keeps the time, and has a gorgeous, mellow chime on the hour and half hour.  Hubby and I have fallen in love with the sound of it, so even though it's a part of the collection, I'm keeping it downstairs in the living room where I can get drunk in front of it enjoy it every day.  So far no bleary-eyed bartender has shouted "TIME, GENTS" - so we're having more luck than Withnail and Marwood.  As of yet, no poachers in sight.  Luckily, have mangaged (so far) to stave off cravings for eel stew...


 Portrait of Churchill by artist Arthur Pan...

... as seen in the Crow & Crown Pub

This one was fairly easy to identify, fairly easy to find, and fairly easy on the budget.  Cost me $6.95 plus around $6.00 shipping, and I think I got the frame on sale at a local art store for a discounted rate.  That's the good thing about really well-known art that's been around for a very long time.  You can get cheap prints.  Especially if you're prancing like a tit.


A coopered wooden pitcher, craftily staged with other items as it was in the following scene from the film...

... although if I was really art imitating life, I would've cut off the top of the yeoman's head in the shot.  Ah, well.

This 'ere is another Wall-O-Withnail item given to me by a dear friend and fellow Withnail addict!  Thanks, Larry.  You couldn't be a better friend if your leg was bound in polythene.  Your tractor always has a chicken on't back.  Are you the farmer?


 Crow Crag, Marwood, and Withnail!

As seen in the "I've got one!" scene.

This is yet another one of those wonderful "out of the blue" tales of the generosity, creativity, and general all-around wonderfulness of Withnail & I fans.   

I received an email from Ed, who runs a company called Gin & Apathy in Melbourne, Australia.  He makes bamboo wood cutout kits of famous buildings.  Ed wanted to know if I would like him to send me a Crow Crag kit, gratis.  I said HELL YES!

If you would like to see how I built Crow Crag, click on this link.  Ed is hysterically funny, as well as talented.  Check it out.


 A vintage Schweppes ad... seen on the wall of the "Crow & Crag" pub
when Withnail & Marwood are escaping the poacher:
Just in case squinting at this image is giving you a bastard behind the eyes, I have tried again with another photo, which is a production still and much better quality than my lame-arse screen capture:

Of course, being from New York, I had no idea what a "shandy" was, so after some intense, sherry-fueled research, I now understand that this ad was intended to inspire people to buy Schweppes Ginger Ale and mix it with beer, thus making a shandy.  According to the interwebs, a mix of beer and lemonade also produces a shandy.  Just thinking about that makes me feel like a pig shat in my head.


 Photo of a trumpet player leaning over Billie Holiday leaning over a piano man... seen on Withnail's kitchen wall:

I'm not going to lie here and tell you that I didn't actually almost give up on finding this photo.  I started this search in 2012, and found it halfway through 2017.  I begin to understand the price of obsession.  Happily, the price of this photo plus shipping was under $20, which is something I cannot say for most of the items on this wall.  The hard part wasn't paying for it, it was locating it in the first place.  It was absolutely nowhere on the Internet.  Ebay, and my unwillingness to give up, finally came through for me in the end.  As Billie Holiday is one of my all-time favorites, adding this piece to the wall brings me extra warm fuzzies.


 Antique wicker-wrapped bottle

As seen in the kitchen at Crow Crag:

I know, I know... I didn't photograph my antique wicker-covered bottle with the handle facing the camera, but it's there.  You wankers will just have to trust me on that.

This addition to the Wall-O-Withnail is a direct result of the kind assistance of fellow Withnail fan Gaynor.  She emailed me a link to the ebay listing for this lovely bottle, and I scooped it.  Thanks, Gaynor, for the heads-up!


 The famous "Camberwell Carrot"!

As seen in the eponymous chapter of the film:

Here is another one of those wonderful, magical things that happened to me while curating the Wall-O-Withnail.  I've been searching for items seen in the film for five years now.  Some items are really, really hard to find.  I will never give up, but sometimes finding a new item for the W-O-W can be a bit daunting.

There's an old rule of life that says when you've come to the end of the road with something, go back to the source.  So that's what I did.

After re-researching the names of everyone involved in the film, I contacted a man named Steve Payne.  He was listed as a props man for the film.

Now, before we get to my story, I just want to say that Mr. Payne is not sitting around on his laurels from the Withnail days, signing on at the labour exchange or swigging Uncle Monty's wine collection.  Oh, no indeed.  Mr. Payne is still working his props magic, just as he did on "View to a Kill", "Legend", "Hellraiser", "First Knight", "Gladiator", "Game of FECKING Thrones (!!!!)", "Doctor Strange", and a whole list of other big films.  So let's just say he's a busy, busy man.

That being said, he not only answered my letter with a lovely email, he told me that he was the guy that actually created the Camberwell Carrot prop for the movie - and ASKED IF I WOULD LIKE HIM TO MAKE ME ONE FOR THE WALL!  I mean, does a poacher shoot somebody else's pheasants in the woods?  HELL YES!!

So he made me a Camberwell Carrot, put it on a beautiful stand, and added a personalized plaque with the name of this site - and his name too!  Then he shipped it off to me without so much as letting me pay for the postage.  I'm telling you, people, this man is a prince.

The Wall-O-Withnail and Withnail fans everywhere give a huge shout out to the awesome talent and generosity of Steve Payne!



Danny's aqua/white double heishi necklace...

... seen here in the "aside from personal use, I concur with you" scene.

Being a child of the 1960's, I thought this was a puka shell necklace all along, although I couldn't understand why Danny would be wearing two identical ones...  so I was searching endlessly and pointlessly for two aqua puka shell necklaces with white shell center pieces.  Silly me.

Of course, being an item seen in "Withnail & I", it had to be something special and obscure.  Enter the "heishi necklace".  It's a vintage Native American piece, and much pricier (of course) than a sodding puka shell necklace.

Happily, most other people don't want to fork over nearly three hundred quid for a heishi necklace, so I was able to offer just over $100 USD to a seller on ebay to score this lovely double heishi necklace just like the one Danny wears when he's sitting there like fucking Batman, critiquing the British legal system on Withnail's couch.


This is Bruce Robinson's Aston Martin DB4.  No, I was not able to add it to the Wall-O-Withnail, because:

 a) I couldn't afford to buy one of the turn signal lenses, nevermind the entire car.  
b) He's already sold the car to some other lucky wanker, and 
c) It wouldn't fit on The Wall, and I don't have a garage.


I was able to get hold of a model Aston Martin, and here it is:

Two things.  I realize the DB2/4 is slightly different from the DB4, but all the bloody DB4 models I could locate were going for prices  nearing $200 USD.  BALLS TO THAT!  

I also realize that this car is silver, rather than the flat grey of Bruce's car.  All I can tell you is once you've had enough Sherry. Sherry. Sherry? Sherry. Sherry. - you won't give a toss about that.  Here's where Bruce's Aston shows up in the film:


Number plate (as seen on the clapped-out Jag):

Here springs another tale of the wonder and generosity of Withnail fans!  A fellow Withnail addict and all-around fabulous gent named Kirk from the UK messaged me that he was able to order a British number plate with the same number as Marwood's Jag, and would I like to have it for the collection?  There was only one answer to that:

Thanks, Kirk! 


At  last!  The very hard-to-find "hands down" version of the Beefeater Gin bar display! 

What do I mean, you say?  Well, 99.9% of all Beefeater Gin bar displays show the Beefeater in this position:

One hand up (sometimes holding a staff), the other hand down.  Of course, being that every item in the background of "Withnail & I" is the rarest and hardest to find, their Beefeater had both hands tucked down at his sides:

As you can see, in the film you only get the barest glimpse of his skirt and hands as the camera pans across the dingy pub... but you can most definitely see that both white gloves are tucked down at his sides.

Sadly, the trip from the UK was not a good one for Mr. Beefeater, and he arrived with both his feet punched through the box he stands on.  I had to make a special trip to the DIY store for epoxy, and hand-saw a piece of wood to fit up inside the display box to support him, since the entire piece is hollow and there wasn't much left around the edges to hold him up.  After a night spent soaking his feet in epoxy, he is now welded forever to his plinth and taking his rightful place on the Wall.  Every once in a while I could swear I hear him whisper "Oxford.... ohhhhhhh, Oxford."

My dear mother was kind enough to give me her antique Columbia Viva-Tonal phonograph, and I was fortunate enough to find the following 78rpm records of music from the film.  Enjoy these home recordings.

"Hang Out the Stars in Indiana" - sung by Al Bowlly
This song is featured in the "boots in the oven" scene.

Charlie Kunz playing "Piano Medley #121"
This song is featured in the "I wanna get to bed" scene.


Antique British copper kettle...

...perfect for punching uncooked chickens into... seen in the Crow Crag kitchen...


Vintage dartboard...

... as seen in Withnail's apartment:

This was one of those scary acquisitions... I had been looking for it for ages, and when I finally found it (on ebay from a UK seller), they were asking way more for it than I was willing to pay, considering shipping from UK to NY is a bastard.  I was able to sweet-talk the seller a bit, and they agreed to lower the price and charge me reasonable shipping... which was lucky, since I haven't been able to find a single other one with the red and green center, and also in crappy enough shape to be believable as having existed in Withnail's apartment.  A brand new one would have been awful.

 A vintage postcard featuring the scene from "Safety Last"...

... as seen on Withnail's bathroom wall...

As the Wall-O-Withnail grows, I have less and less room to display things that must be wall-mounted, like posters.  So when I'm able to get hold of a postcard that depicts the same image, I'm going for it.  As someone famous once lied, "Size doesn't matter."


 Vintage pineapple ice bucket!

Seen here, in the Mother Black Cap Pub:

I always give credit where credit is due, and I must admit I did not spot this vintage item in the film during my 200+ viewings.  A fellow Withnail addict named MacFuck Chris was kind enough to email me and point it out.

Thrilled to have another vintage item to seek out, I immediately hit the 'Net in search of the pineapple.  It's like a bloody rugby ball now!  It will die, it will DIE!  Sorry.  Anyway, found a bunch of pineapple ice buckets, but there are a lot of knockoff / wrong color / wrong material / wrong price items out there.  Waited, watched, and snagged this one, which was just right all the way around.  Thanks for the heads up, Chris!


Marwood's wine glass!

This is the Whitefriars glass that Marwood drinks out of in the scene at Crow Crag where Withnail is sleeping in front of the fire, and Marwood is reading "Journey's End" and waiting for The Farmer to come 'round with the firewood and the chicken.  (It's on't back!)

I've been looking for this piece of stemware ever since I started this project... and nearly didn't get it!  Someone in the UK had it up for auction on ebay, and I got outbid at the last second.  Gearing up my groveling skills, I messaged the seller and told them I had been searching for this glass for yearrrrrs... and why I needed it so desperately.  They told me they actually had another (SCORE!) and sold it to me.

Because I'm a lunatic, and because it's not easy to tell it's the same glass without seeing it in the same setting as it was in the movie, I spent about half an hour re-enacting the shot with my own leather jacket, glass of wine, and bowl on wooden table.


My hand.

Marwood's hand.


 Red box-style roadworks lantern

As Danny the drug dealer is asking Marwood "Have you been away, man?", we see this local type hanging about near the ceiling...

...but by the end of the film, it has migrated to the coat rack.  I got very lucky with this find, because I scored it on ebay the very first time I searched for it.

I had to go and re-label my photos and correct this entry, thanks to fellow Withnail addict Robin, who pointed out that I had erroneously called this a "railroad lantern" when it is, in fact, a roadworks lantern.  (Followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.Ta, Robin!  


Vintage seltzer bottle

Visible close-up during the "no man's put me down yet" scene...

... and more fully, from farther away, during the "help us out with these, Raymond" scene.  My bottle has an obvious crack or two in it, because the beastly little parasite I bought it from thought it was a good idea to send it across the ocean in a paper-thin cardboard shoebox... with liquid still in the bottle.  Needless to say, I ended up with a soaking wet, shredded package, and a cracked bottle.  That ungrateful little swine has obviously had more drugs than I've had hot dinners.

Egads, people - get ready for this most amazing find!
So excited!!!

 AN ACTUAL (sadly, already empty) BOTTLE OF

Of course, I still adore and display my artist's rendition thereof, which I acquired years ago, but it's taken me nearly daily searches since the year 2012 to find this puppy.  WOOOOOOOOOT!


 The oh-so-elusive Booth's Gin lion!

Not that this was particularly hard to find, really.  The hardest part was messing with the screencap of the scene in the Crow & Crown pub long enough to actually SEE what the hell was on the dang mantel!

It's one of the murkiest scenes in the movie, and the camera pans so fast while following the boys over to meet Jake the Poacher that I was hard-pressed to find that split second where the camera lands on the mantel.  After ages, I finally could see the lion.  Had to drink a couple of quadruple whiskeys and a couple of pints in order to make out "Booth's Gin", though. 


Six-sided silver betel nut box

Seen here as Marwood leads the way up the stairs of Crow Crag after NOT having a slash, as planned.  At this moment in the film, Withnail is suggesting they sleep together.  Safety in numbers, all that.  Marwood is having none of it.

This betel nut box was yet another compilation of luck and hard work.  Originally (for the first two years or so) I was searching for "silver box six sides" and variations thereof.  While doing that fruitless search, I happened across a few betel nut boxes.  They had a similar patina, similar handles, and similar catch locks.  That was my "aha" moment - I was supposed to be looking for a betel nut box.  Adjusted my search patterns accordingly, and it only took a year or so more of searching diligently, daily, to finally scoop the right one.


Stuffed water lizard

Seen in the Crow and Crown pub:

While watching the special features vignettes on my new personalized re-released box set of "Withnail & I", I heard Bruce Robinson mention this was his very favorite prop in the whole film - so I just had to get one!  I got a letter from Bruce last week, and he called it a "water lizard" which is how I shall refer to all gators and crocs henceforth.

This one's a sweet little guy, named him Raymond after the bartender at the Crow and Crown.  He scared the shit out of me when he arrived, because I'd forgotten I bought him.  Stuck my hand down into a box full of bubble wrap, and touched warmish skin.  Freaked me right the fuck out until I realized what it was.


Vintage white puka shell necklace with turquoise center

Worn by Danny the drug dealer:

This took me a long while to find, and what's more, Danny wears TWO of them in the film!  Will keep on searching until I find a twin.  Hopefully Danny's too high to notice I've only got the one.


 Brass rope-and-tassel sconce

Seen in Crow Crag's dining room:

Did quite a bit of internet research on this one before purchase, because there are many different variations on the "rope-and-tassel" style sconce.  Since I muffed the chamber candlestick the first time around, I learned my lesson and paid close attention to the details before purchasing, because these things are pricey!  And heavy.  I bought a matched set, but only have room for one on the Wall.  As it turns out, I'm a sponge - not a stone.


 Vintage metal twin-engine airplane ashtray

Seen in Marwood's bedroom during the packing scene:

Like everything else in the film, this is a collector's item, fairly rare, can get pricey.  I was very picky with my ebay sellers on this one, asked lots of them to take more photos, because this particular angle was all I had to work with.  Luckily I'm not a cheroot vendor, and thus did not consider more photos beyond the limit of anyone's capability.


Baccarat crystal hurricane shade and base

Seen during the poker game at Crow Crag:

I am VERY proud of this acquisition, as it has all of the prerequisite coolness factors:

* Hard to find!  Had to buy the shade from one person, the base from another.

* Often faked!  Was almost hoodwinked into buying a cheap copy of the shade, but at the last moment noticed the fakeness and sought out a real, bone fide shade that was not from London.

* Expensive!  Baccarat crystal is made in France, and the French think their stuff is hot shit, so it costs and arm and a leg.

* Drama!  I bought only one shade (thank the gods - it cost over $200!) but I had to buy a pair of swirly bases, as I couldn't find just one for sale anywhere.  As fate would have it, one of the swirly bases broke in transit.  The seller refunded half the money I spent on the bases, so it was like buying just one base, which is what I really needed anyway.

Investment!  This is one of those vintage items that will be worth more as time goes by.  So long as Withnail doesn't drop it on the floor, and Marwood doesn't throw a shotgun through it, all should be well.


28 OCTOBER 2014

Some very exciting new additions to the Wall-O-Withnail have arrived, and I'm excited to show them off!  Because of their size, I've had to expand the Wall right round the bend, so to speak, onto the back of my computer room door.  That's fine with me, because the back of the door was getting jealous, what with the wall getting all that attention.  And so... I proudly present:


After watching "Withnail & I" for the two-hundredth time (a fairly accurate estimation, because who's counting?) I noticed the newspapers that appear in the greasy fried egg scene.  Then I wondered if those newspapers were a) real papers, or just made up for the movie, and b) still available anywhere.

Internet research is a beautiful thing.  I located a website called "Historic Newspapers" in the UK, and sent them an email inquiring as to whether they might be able to help me find the newspapers seen in the film.

A splendid fellow named John McMillan answered my inquiry, and requested any information I could give him on the papers I was looking for.  I sent him the screen shots from the film, in which the newspapers are blurry because the camera is focused on the faces of the people reading them.  One of the papers is folded up on the table in front of Marwood, so we never even get a proper view of that rag.


The kind and efficient Mr. McMillan rocketed off on his tandem, did his magic, and in ONE DAY (can you believe it?) he not only told me exactly what date each paper was from, but said they had copies of all of them available!  I nearly spilled my quadruple scotch in my rush to find my credit card and order them.

The papers sailed across the pond with incredible speed, and as they are indeed historic, I have decided to store the actual newspapers in archival blackout boxes, with acid-free paper between the pages, and display instead life-sized photos of the papers, which I took yesterday and had printed out and laminated for easy display on The Wall - after which I went back to the Historic Newspaper site and wrote a customer review telling the boss that he better give John McMillan a pay rise or I'll come up after him with a live one.

Here we see Marwood, sitting and looking at The People:

And here we see me, doing the same:

Here's a full frontal of my copy:

Here's the article Marwood is reading:

...seen here, in the film:

On the table next to Marwood's elbow, we can see a Sunday Mirror:

... as seen in the film:

Across the tea shop, we see a codger reading a copy of News of the World:

... as seen in the film:

I am so thrilled to have these papers as part of my collection of vintage Withnail items, I've got a cramp in the mouth from grinning!

Mr. Tom Walker, of Historic Newspapers UK, wrote an article (sadly, no longer available online) about my Withnail quest and the process they employ when hunting down historic newspapers, and posted it on their website.  He posted the picture above, as well as my photos of the Withnail Papers I bought from them.  Thanks, Tom!


Vintage syrup dispenser with aqua lid

Seen here on the shelf while Withnail glues the sole flapping off his shoe:


1910 print of "Charlie" (Colin Blythe), cricket player, by artist 
Jehu Junior.  Originally appeared in Vanity Fair magazine.

Seen on the wall behind Withnail as he glues his shoe:

Here was another case of simple internet sleuthery.  Googled cricket player art prints until I came up with old Charlie here.  Happily, he's in such a specific pose that even though he's rather fuzzy in the film, it was easy to identify him once I'd located the right print.


Brass chamber candlestick

Seen as Withnail alerts Marwood to the prowler outside:

I originally bought the wrong candlestick, but I said balls to that, and now I've found the right one, created the appropriate wax drips off the edge, and photographed my hand holding it in an approximation of Withail's grip.  This is hard enough to do under normal circumstances, but doubly so while using one's left hand to hold the camera and push the button, which is on the right side of the camera.  Yes, I'm amazing.  Acknowledge, and move on.


Royal Doulton - "The Bather" HN687
by artist Leslie Harradine

Seen in the living room during the opening scene:

I nearly didn't find her... because as you can see, she appears in the film perched on a metal lamp base - so I spent two years looking in vain for an antique lamp that featured a nude with a blue robe.  

When I finally found out that she's actually a stand-alone figurine by Royal Doulton, finding her was somewhat easier... but affording her was not.  This lovely lass is valued at somewhere around two thousand dollars (Two thousand quid?  You can stuff it up your arse for nothing and fuck off while you're doing it!) - because the artist only worked for Royal Doulton for a short while, and the figurine is no longer in production.  They've made some more recent copies, but the HN number is not the same (and the figurine is not as pretty).  After much searching and some earnest bargaining, I obtained the real deal for much less than the list price.

And yes, of course now I'm on the hunt for a black metal lamp base like the one in the film - when I find it she'll be put on the pedestal and I'll take a new photo.


 Vintage Grand Marnier bottle

Seen in Withnail's living room next to The Bather:


Samovar with ram's head handles

Seen in Withnail's living room on the sideboard:

I've doctored the photo of my samovar a bit, because while it's the exact same piece structurally, mine is copper rather than silver... something that I intend to remedy shortly with a bucket, a battery, some electrodes, and some silver solution.  Until then, you'll just have to run at it, shouting.  It won't gore you.


Uncle Monty's lapel radish

Seen (surprise, surprise) on Uncle Monty's lapel:

You wouldn't think an artificial radish is hard to find, would you?  Well, I can tell you it is.  There are a few companies who make artificial foods and sell them online for store and restaurant advertising, etc. - but they're all about apples and cherries and plastic martinis in real glasses.  Finding a single red radish that looked like Uncle Monty's was like trying to find a piece of dry firewood at Crow Crag.


Wood & Sons coffee pot

Seen in Withnail's kitchen:

At first, I had no idea who made this coffee pot.  I searched "white coffee pot with black circle" (and every other combination of descriptions) and looked at thousands of photos of coffee pots online until I saw one that looked like this one.  My eyes turned bloodshot and I moaned "where's the aspirins?" many times.  Eventually, I found out it was made by Wood & Sons, and was able to buy one from a nice lady in England who has an antique store online.  I paid almost as much for shipping as I did for the coffee pot, but it arrived in perfect condition and I'm very happy to have it.


Cock and camel horse brass

Seen in the Crow & Crown Pub:

 Finding horse brass is not a difficult thing to do.  Trying to see which horse brass in particular is hanging on the mantel of the Crow and Crown Pub is a bastard, because there are no still shots, and because we live in a land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that "set in".  All the shots with the horse brass have Withnail and Marwood standing up or walking about, so it's very difficult to freeze a frame where you can make out the shapes.  Thus you see here a mantel chock full of horse brass, and I was only able to identify two for certain. 


Black & White Scotch Whisky dogs

Seen in the Crow & Crown Pub:

In this scene, you can clearly see that it's a statue of a black and a white terrier.  But you can't read the writing on the base.  So I searched "black and white terrier" until I fell across the "Black & White Scotch" label.  From there, it was a hard search through beastly mud and oomska for the correct advertising statue - because there are a lot of fakes out there.  Ones where the dogs are not in exactly the right position, or it's the wrong size, etc.  In order to collect based on specific genuine vintage items, I have had to make a study of each item and find out what to look for to prove it's the real deal.  Because let me tell you - every item in this movie is the real deal - and most of it is rare and hard to find.  (And some of it is bloody expensive!)


  An artist's rendering of a bottle of 1953 Chateau Margaux.

A real bottle of 1953 Margaux, in Withnail's hand:

Since we can hear Withnail say this clearly in the movie, even though we never get a close-up view of the label, I confidently looked up "1953 Margaux", which led me to "Chateau Margeaux", which led me to nearly swallowing my tongue as I read the price for one bottle... over $1,000!  I was really overjoyed when my search turned up an artist's print that actually represented not only the right wine, but the right vintage!  Before he shipped it to me, the seller sent me an anxious note asking if I realized I was buying a poster, and not a real bottle of wine.  Apparently, he'd had lip from some shag sacks who thought they were paying fifteen dollars for an actual bottle of '53 Margaux! 


 Portrait of Queen Elizabeth

Seen on the wall of the Crow & Crown Pub:

Like the "poacher" toby mug, the provenance of this painting has scene-related interest.  The artist was Pietro Annigoni, and the portrait was painted for the "Fishmonger's Company".  Funny, since this scene features Withnail and Marwood being threatened with a dead fish!


 Vintage brown leather ice skates

Seen in Withnail's living room while he fixes his flapping sole:

All the actors have old ice skates hanging in their living rooms... even Redgrave!


 Atomic green curtain fabric

Seen in Withnail's kitchen:

How did I find this piece of fabric?  That's easy to answer.  I'm the stubbornest person alive.  I looked through thousands upon thousands of fabrics, curtains, quilt squares, you name it - day after day after day for months on end, on every website imaginable, until I finally came across the right pattern and color.  I nearly wept, because while I like fabric, I don't like it that much.

 Vintage "Gone With the Wind" poster

Seen in Withnail's kitchen:

This was a blessedly simple ebay find.  Searched it, found it, bought it - end of story!  No weeping in butchers' shops necessary.


1. Jesse Tait "Spanish Garden" pattern plate, seen in Withnail's dish drainer.

2. Cornishware blue striped mug, seen on Withnail's dining table.

3. Ridgway "Homemaker" pattern plate, seen in Withnail's dish drainer.

Let me just point out here that this blurry, far-off view of a mere edge of these plates is all I had to go on.  I had no idea who made them, so it was another every-day-for-months search, mixing up different adjectives, trying alternative combinations of words, staring at plates until I thought I would go mad.

Eventually, I found both plate patterns and who made them.  The Jesse Tait "Spanish Garden" pattern is fairly common and still very easy to get hold of. The Ridgway "Homemaker" is more difficult to find, and more expensive once you do.  Both plates I bought came from the UK.

Oddly, the blue and white Cornishware mug was very easy to identify, but very hard to get hold of because T.G. Green, who manufactures them, is constantly out of them.  There are a lot of copycats out there, too - the fakes have too many stripes, the handle is shaped differently, etc. - also, their shapes offend my palate.  I had to fight tooth and (With)nail to win mine against other bidders on the UK ebay, and convince the seller to ship it to me in the US.  Another case of spending as much for shipping as for the item itself... but at least I got my hands on it!


Model Jaguar that I altered to look like Withnail's Jaguar.

This is what the model Jag looked like when I bought it.  The Jaguar in the film is a 1961 Mark II, but the only '61 model I could find was about an inch long and had no windscreen wipers.  This model is a 1958 Mark II, but it's a foot long, the doors open and shut, and the steering wheel really turns the front wheels.  It also has windscreen wipers, which was important because one had to be broken off.

I took pliers, steel wool, screwdrivers, and a hammer to the shiny green model, broke off the right windscreen wiper and busted out the left headlight, then painted it inside and out to match Marwood's Jag, and here's the result:

Real above, model below.

Real above, model below.

Real above, model below.

Real above, model below.

I hand made this tissue box for the
rear window of the model Jag.
That is a real penny.


 "The Poacher" Toby mug

Seen on the shelf above the bar at the Crow & Crown Pub:

Before starting this collection, I had never even heard of a "toby mug".  I'd seen them in antique stores before, but didn't know what they were called.  And may I also point out that all I had to go on was HALF a toby mug, as it's sitting way up there on a shelf and the camera never pans all the way up.  I just looked at that and thought "Hmmm, that looks like a guy with a fish in his ear."  And went from there.

The real beauty of finally finding this toby mug was discovering that the name of this model is "The Poacher".  Because the above scene in the movie is where Withnail and Marwood get threatened with a dead eel by none other than Jake, who is (all together now) THE POACHER!  It's like whoever set the props for this film put that up there as a little easter egg, for the truly dedicated fans to figure out.  And yes, I'm patting myself on the back right now.

 Austin J4 Police Van - Golden Era collector's card

Austin Morris J4 snags Withnail "making time":

The Golden Era collector's card says on the back:

"British Vans of the 1960s

Austin J4

The new BMC 10/12 cwt vans were announced in September 1960.  Available in Austin or Morris versions, differing only in the style of radiator grille, the J4 featured a 160-cu-ft body and car-type independent suspension.  Power came from the BMC B-series engine of 1,489-litres, developing 42bhp at 4,000rpm"

I'd considered trying to find a model van, but this 3"x2" collector's card takes up a lot less space, and it really is just the ticket!   I found the make of this van on the IMCDB website, which is a really cool site for finding out what cars were used in the movies.

Pink dish gloves

Seen in Withnail's kitchen during the putrid sink scene: 

Okay, no - I didn't buy vintage pink dish gloves, because eww.  Brand new dish gloves are skanky enough, why would I ever touch dish gloves covered with matter from years gone by?  I think we should go outside.  I feel unusual.


Miniature of Marwood's shaving in the tub scene

The one from the movie:

You should have heard the shriek that emanated from my lips the moment I realized that someone actually made a dollhouse-sized saveloy and chips lunch.  I mean, I didn't even know what a freakin' saveloy was until I saw "Withnail & I".  I must have backed that part of the DVD up fifteen times trying to figure out what Marwood was on about.  I thought he was saying "samurai".  We don't have saveloys here in the US, so I searched for "British sausage".  After several photos of Beckham in his skivvies, which looked delicious but not quite the sausage I was looking for, I finally found the saveloy.  And then I found the miniature saveloy and chips lunch for my Marwood shaving scene.  Chip chip HOORAY!


 Vintage metal tin of Ronsonol lighter fluid

My tin of Ronsonol was given to me by my dear friend John in the UK (location, see?) who acknowledges and embraces my lunacy.


 Bust of Beethoven

Seen in a bookcase behind Marwood in the opening scene:

Beethoven and Uncle Monty are the only two people in this film who don't look like a pair of farmhands.


 Ben Truman ashtray

Seen in the fried egg sandwich scene, on Marwood's table:

The flash on my camera makes mine look a lot lighter in color than it really is - it's actually exactly like the one in the film.


 Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield"
 "Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff
 "Against Nature" (or "A Rebours") by J.K. Huysmans

Seen in Marwood's suitcase and in his hand:

Happily, I finally got my paws on a copy of the 1966 version of "Journey's End"  - just like the one in the movie!  Here it is:


Vintage (and very rare, with the tail unbroken) Guinness lamp base

Seen on the mantel of the Crow & Crown Pub:

This is one of the rarest, hardest to find genuine items I've found so far.  I'm very proud to have gotten one that has the tail unbroken.  If you squint very hard at the shadow on the wall behind the one in the film, you'll see that the tail on that one is actually broken.  And it's not just a figurine, it's a lamp base with the hardware removed.  This is another oft-faked piece, and one has to be very careful to look at the paint, the colors used, and the markings on the base to make sure it's the real thing. 


 Vintage Brown Beauty tobacco tin

Seen in the kitchen of Uncle Monty's cottage, Crow Crag:

 Talk about hard to find!  For one entire year, the only one I could find for sale was on a website that I was loathe to use my credit card on due to the location of the site.  The problems tend to take the edge off the pleasure.  That, and they were asking a boatload of money for it.  Finally, one turned up on ebay that was in much nicer shape than the other one and for a nicer price, too.  Still expensive, but it will only increase in value as time goes by.

Vintage Oxydol, Sunlight, and Lifebuoy soap boxes

Seen in the Crow Crag kitchen:

The vintage soap boxes were fairly easy to find, and they came with the original soap still inside, with perfumes not of nature sighing on their skin.


Pernod Fils bottle

Seen behind Monty during the "Garlic, Rosemary, and Salt" scene:

Also seen next to Marwood's elbow during the poker game:

Apparently, Pernod Fils is an important addition to a delightful weekend in the country.


Box of Swan Vestas matches

Seen every time someone lights a cigarette in the film
(ie: a million times!)

These were another gift from my friend John in the UK, who also gave me the Ronsonol tin.  As an American, I'm not familiar with the Swan Vestas brand, but he recognized the box immediately in the film, and helped me out.

Fellow Withnail addict Robin from the UK sent me this Swan Vestas box, made in the same era as the film - thus the difference in cover design, which matches (pun alert!) the one in the film.  Thanks, Robin!


 Mazawattee Pantry Canister

Seen in the kitchen at Crow Crag:

It took me a very long time before I could actually read what was written on this canister.  I slowed the scene to frame-by-frame, backed it up, did it again, took screen captures and blew them up to huge size, shrank them down again, messed with the brightness and color.  Finally came up with "Mazawat" and tried that online.  That search turned up "Mazawattee", a tea company that has a fascinating history of its own.  Nearly two years of searching every day online before I came across this tin.  A really rare score!  I have a cramp in the mouth from grinning!


Vintage yellow and black bowl

Seen on the edge of the tub where Marwood shaves:

Finding this bowl, like finding the kitchen curtain fabric, was absolutely and in all ways a feat of stubbornness.  Searching endlessly and repeatedly and tirelessly and with every description I could think of (was it an ashtray?  was it a bowl?  was it a dish?).  I started wishing I was in a punt with a chap called Norman.  When I finally found it, I realized how nearly impossible it really was that I did - because it's not made by a big famous company.  The base of this bowl just says "Dec. Brazil  FOREIGN".  That's it, that's all.  But I found it!


 Vintage Oxo Cubes tin

Seen in the kitchen at Crow Crag:


Vintage Fairy Soap Bars

Seen on Withnail's kitchen counter:

The Fairy Soap and Oxo boxes were actually fairly easy to find, and the Fairy Soap box came with the original bars of soap still inside!  I was dead chuffed about that.  Apparently the original owners were no more inclined to actually use the stuff than Withnail!

Charlie Chaplin "Modern Times" movie postcard

Full sized poster seen in Withnail's kitchen:

I could have gotten the poster, but it was too large for the space I have available.
Photo of actress Louise Brooks
Seen on Withnail's kitchen wall:


Vintage W.C. Fields poster

Seen in Withnail's kitchen:

I actually don't have enough room on the wall to display the entire poster, and as it's an actual vintage item I'm not about to cut or fold it... so I was totally sneaky instead.  The only portion of the poster that's visible in the movie is the bottom of it, so I left the top part of the poster rolled up under the edge of the shelf above it.  That way you can see the part that's in the movie, and the upper part remains intact and undamaged - just hidden!


Vintage Fairy Liquid bottle

Seen as a get-out-of-jail device invented by Danny the drug dealer:

Danny's a genius!  I'm going to have a doze.


 Royal Albert "Heirloom" pattern cup and saucer

Seen in the opening ramble across Withnail's living room,
near the base of the globe:

This one almost had me fooled - almost all the other china pieces in the film are Royal Doulton... and I was nearly fooled into buying a Royal Doulton cup with a similar pattern, but luckily I was able to tweak the screen cap enough to see that diamond shape with the wee flower in it, and discovered that this one was actually made by Royal Albert.


Vintage Watney's Red Barrel

Seen on Withnail's mantel:

This one took me a couple of years to find.  I'd initially found a papier mache one made by the Pytram, Ltd. company, but it just wasn't this one.  At long last, I scored it on ebay from a seller in the UK.  Thrilled with it - how delicious!


An unopened 1960s bottle of 
Haig's Gold Label Scotch

Back view:

Seen in Marwood's Jag on the road trip:

... and also at Uncle Monty's:

This was one of the more expensive scores for the Wall-O-Withnail, because it's not only vintage, it's a full, unopened bottle!  Got it from a dealer in Scotland, and paid dearly for the scotch and for the shipping... but well worth it, since it's such a prominent part of the movie and one of Withnail's favorite drinks.  In the screenplay, Withnail flatly refuses to go on the road trip to the countryside without a bottle of Haig's.


Uncle Monty's baby photo... seen at Crow Crag, on the mantelpiece over the cast iron range where the chicken met his highly ungraceful end:

Yes, okay, I realize it's not the exact same photo - the one in the film has a dark blanket under his elbows and head, and a lighter one under the rest of him... but damn, my baby's a cute baby too, and he's in exactly the same pose!  The price I paid for my fat little cherub was worth the vintage frame alone...  so here he is, folks - enjoy!


This, my little shag sacks, is a photo of ACTUAL WALLPAPER SALVAGED FROM THE DINING ROOM OF CROW CRAG!!  Fellow Withnail addict David W. from the UK contacted me through this website and furnished me with several photos of himself and his mates camping out at Crow Crag (known in the mundane world as "Sleddale Hall") and the actual place in the dining room where my piece was salvaged from:

He sent me the piece of wallpaper all the way from the UK, and when I received it, I turned it over in my hands wonderingly, reverently, and saw that he had written some words on the back:

This actually made me cry.  Someone I've never met sent me this wonderful piece of Withnailery from across the globe out of the kindness of their heart, and inscribed it with a beautiful saying of Uncle Monty's... so I bought two frames that resembled the gold gilt frames that filled the Crow Crag dining room in the film, and framed a bit of the wallpaper as it looked in the movie.   Then I cut out the bit with the quote on the back and framed it as well - so the front and the back and the lovely thought are all displayed together.

This bit of the Wall-O-Withnail was a gift - and as such, is as precious to me as the most expensive piece in my collection.  More, really, as it came from Crow Crag itself!


 Postcard of oil painting titled "Captain of the Eleven"

Seen just before Uncle Monty threatens Marwood with burglary:

... and again just after

This find was the result of an extremely fortunate and fateful pausing of the movie to go get either more popcorn or more sherry.  Probably sherry.  I staggered back returned to the couch to hit play, and my eye was caught by the framed photo on the wall behind Uncle Monty (first photo).  Squinting, I said to myself "Bugger me if that doesn't look like a cricket player."  How I would know this, as I live in New York and have never seen a game of cricket in my life, is beyond me... I can only vaguely guess it's all that BBC I watch.

I Googled "oil painting boy playing cricket" and immediately hit upon this painting by Philip Hermogenes Calderon.  I was ecstatic - but my jaw nearly hit the floor when I read this description of the painting:  "Handsome portrait of a young boy in front of a wicket with his bat straight to the ground in a defensive pose."

I mean - look at Marwood in the second photo.  If he's not a young man with his bat pointing straight to the ground, and if that isn't a defensive pose, I don't know what is!

This portrait is only visible in the film for about a second and a half each time... so the fact that I paused the DVD at exactly that moment, identified and found a copy of the portrait, and the fact that it was apparently chosen to perfectly fit this scene is bloody flippin' AMAZING.


A friend and I had a "Withnail Feast/Fest".  Along with all the prerequisite beverages, we had pork pie, lamb with garlic, rosemary, and salt, and various other snacks.  We watched "Withnail & I" (several times, I think).  We had a great time - what I can remember of it!

Well, that's all for now - but tune back in every few weeks, because my search goes on, and you never know when I might happen across another fabulous find!

Don't forget to check out the Withnailabilia post, and the Yet to be Acquired post, because if you don't, I'll come up after you with a live one.