While shooting products for Specialized in the early years, photographer Jack Christansen was intrigued with the old wheel paraphernalia at our shop in Palo Alto. The result was an un-commissioned still life with great preparation. Jack spent days pushing pieces around, adding, subtracting, calculating.
Finally, he was content with the shot. Part of this lush image served as banner for our website. The full image was printed as a portfolio/promotional poster in the 1970‘s for a small number of Bay Area graphic specialists. The image captured by Jack (Light Design) in Santa Clara, and a team of color separators, printers, embossers, art directors, etc. combined to make a limited run on lush archival paper. This sort of project makes possible a level of quality that would be unsupportable in the the general poster market. Now, a small number of these jewels has been discovered and are available.
The poster depicts a still life of vintage bicycle objects, particularly related to wheel building. The scene is populated by items from the former Wheelsmith bike shop in Palo Alto. We still own many of the items you see in the image. Several wood rims are present. The one with a tire is a Lobdell-Emery from Michigan, the others are by Ghisallo from Italy. You may notice one near the top is extremely small (see the curve). This special rim is owned by George Mount (of 1976 Olympic fame), made for an early Dahon folding bike. Quite a one of a kind. The hubs are Specialized, as designed by myself and brother Jon. The spokes are early Wheelsmith brand. The brass tire gauge, a gift from Gary Fisher. The headline “End-To-End Record Broken” is in an 1890 newspaper referring to the Lands End to John O’Groats (tip to tip of Great Britain) cycling record. The wood background is salvaged redwood.
The image is in glossy full color and surrounded by a gold embossed border. Outside the border is a band of flat black. The poster’s bottom holds a list of participants in red. The paper is 100lb archival. Dimensions are 26″ x 20″. We ship these lined with tissue in a heavy weight tube. The posters were perfectly stored for the past 30 years. There is no sign of mold, moisture, light damage, age yellowing, or handling. However, as with all limited edition prints, there are extremely minor anomalies if you spend the time to inspect closely with a magnifying glass. We’re not promising perfection, but the condition is excellent.
Suffice to say, it makes a stunning presence framed in black, a warm, timeless image sure to enrich any setting. Handle it only with clean hands or gloves to prevent fingerprinting the flat black border prior to framing.