AS TONYA HARDING and Nancy Kerrigan were preparing to do battle on the ice rink at the Lillehammer Games in Norway yesterday, a saucy picture of an ice skater broke the record price for any postcard artwork, writes Dalya Alberge.
The card, which shows a skater realising that she is revealing too much when a woman in the audience alerts her that she has forgotten her underwear, was sold at Christie's in London with the original artwork for 10 other cards for pounds 3,850. The estimate was pounds 150- pounds 250.
The lot was bought by a private British buyer living in New York, who said that he had been collecting postcards for years, often sending them to his friends. He was particularly keen to buy this one - called 'Hey Sonia]' - be-
cause he had sent it to the late Andy Warhol, the pop artist.
He said: 'In my view, 'Hey Sonia]' is just as important as the Mona Lisa in that it is so widely circulated in workmen's huts and schoolboys' lockers, and seen all over the world.'
It was the most successful postcard produced by James Bamforth, printers and publishers established in Yorkshire in 1870. By 1960, the company was the world's largest publisher of comic postcards teetering on the margins of good taste.
The cards were from the archives of the company E T W Dennis of Scarborough, which bought up Bamforth in the Eighties and produces some 25 million postcards a year, including 2-3 million comic ones. The sale totalled pounds 88,033, against an estimate of pounds 20,000 to pounds 30,000. All 3,200 cards found buyers.