My father is 82 years old and has been painting with watercolours since he was ten. He is largely a self-taught artist. From the age of ten he has used Winsor and Newton brushes and watercolour paints. About twenty-five years ago he was able to obtain a Winsor and Newton Series 7, No. 14 Kolinsky sable brush after a wait of about a year. Even back then these brushes were extremely rare. He has painted with his beloved No. 14 nearly every day since he acquired it and it was his favourite brush. He looked after it extremely well and although the tip was slightly worn it was otherwise in perfect condition.Two weeks before Father's Day this year he went to get his No. 14 brush and could not find it. He searched and searched to no avail. Then my mother, Evelyn, said with trepidation, "I hope it didn't mistakenly end up in the wastebasket (right underneath his painting table) and then in the incinerator with the contents when you burned last week!" I think the blood nearly froze in his veins at this point because this was possible. He went out to look and shortly afterward a very quiet and heartbroken man returned with the charred remains of his No. 14. He was literally speechless with remorse and sadness at the loss of such a beautiful and rare brush. Sure enough, during a painting session, he had laid the brush down on his work table and it had quietly rolled off the table and into the wastebasket without my father realizing it. It then got buried under paper and wads of paper towel..... I began to search on the Internet for a replacement and soon discovered that the Series 7, No. 14 brush is no longer made and has not been made for some time. The last few produced formed a Millenium Edition. I still don't quite know why I contacted Swinton's. I suppose I had a gut feeling or something. Well, Swinton's were extremely helpful and to my astonishment and great joy had a No. 14 Millenium Edition brush in their display case which the owner was kindly willing to sell. It was packaged up post haste and sent to me, arriving 2:00 pm the following day! In perfect condition.
My husband and I had both my parents round for a Father's Day supper and we presented the brush to him then. Well my father was overjoyed.
I can't thank you all enough at Swinton's. Your customer care was exceptional - friendly, helpful, efficient.
Dad was a little nervous about using the brush at first but soon got over it. He has moved the wastebasket to a safe location and is now very careful about where he places the brush during painting sessions!
I have attached a photo of my father holding the charred remains and the new brush, with a very happy smile on his face. The painting behind him was done over twenty years ago and his style has changed dramatically. I wanted to get something off to you quickly but we will forward some images of recent work by separate email.
Note: My father is most happy for you to put this story on your website.