BERNARD HINAULT THE LEGENDARY “LE BLAIREAU”
Bernard Hinault’s early training partners nicknamed the young rider “le Blaireau” or “The Badger” in English to tease the young rider. When the nickname was used in front of a writer from the French newspaper l’Equipe it stuck. Hinault came to embrace the name and commented in 2003, “A badger is a beautiful thing. When it’s hunted it goes into its sett and waits. When it comes out again, it attacks. That’s the reason for my nickname. When I’m annoyed I go home, you don’t see me for a month. When I come out again, I win.”
WHAT YOU GET!
We here at The Horton Collection have made special arrangements to meet with The Badger, Bernard Hinault, at his home in the Brittany region of France for two days where he will be signing our limited edition lithographs.
This is without question the highest quality print series we have ever done. We have always tried our best to outdo the quality of our last project, and this go-round has us wondering how we will ever top the quality of this year’s prints.
Bernard Hinault, 1979 Tour de France – Signed Limited Edition of 150
Also personally signed at lower right by photographer Tonny Strouken
Each print will be individually signed by Bernard Hinault and Tonny Strouken and comes with a formal Certificate of Authenticity that forever guarantees the provenance of the signatures. Brett Horton will personally observe the signing of each and every lithograph. Hinault’s signature will be in either silver metallic or blue Sharpie.
Lithograph Size: 20×24 inches.
The Image: 1979 Tour de France, Hinault in his legendary Renault Team Jersey
The Attack of the Badger, as we are calling it, was taken by famed Dutch photographer Tonny Strouken. This photo captures Bernard Hinault, aka The Badger, in full attack mode at the 1979 Tour de France. The iconic intensity of Hinault is in full view as he marches on his way to what will ultimately be his second of five overall Tour de France victories.
For 30+ years, Tonny was one of the best cycling photographers in the business. His photos have been seen in magazines, books, and newspapers around the world. We are taking it as our mission to make sure cycling fans outside of Europe learn more about Tonny. Tonny’s style harkens back to the 1920s and is updated to reflect the shooting capabilities of contemporary cameras. He was a master at capturing crucial moments in race history. More important, he was one of very few cycling photographers who captured the soul of the rider. We have seen a fair amount of Tonny’s work, and it is breathtaking.
Quality: It’s all about the Press, Paper, and Deboss/Emboss
This year we were able to talk the print masters at AMP in Dublin California to print this otherwise micro-run on their $4,500,000 Heidelberg Speedmaster press. This is an end of the rainbow press and really expensive to operate. The press itself is about 100 feet in length from where the blank paper enters to where it comes out in all its radiant printed glory.
We used 140-pound Mohawk brand paper. This awesome stock has a wonderful toothy feel that reeks of luxury. If the paper were any thicker, we would have to ship the prints flat.
We had excellent paper, stunning images, and a phenomenal press. We wanted more. We felt we were right at the precipice of perfection but needed to go a little further. At this point, we can’t recall exactly whose idea it was, but when the deboss/emboss idea emerged, we knew that was our missing link. An exorbitantly expensive process that includes multi-stage custom handmade dies, hyper-specialized machinery, and an ocean of patience to execute correctly, this alone is the pièce de résistance that elevated this endeavor to art. Take a look at the additional photos on this page. Essentially, the deboss is a large die that slams the paper precisely on the image line and leaves behind a striking beveled edge.
Embossing is the opposite of debossing. The emboss has the die coming from the bottom and pushes the paper up. We created a unique logo design special for our prints.
The debossed and embossed print has a beautiful finished look, it is ready to go straight into a frame. No mats needed.
Another benefit of this process is the ease of knowing the real product from a fake. Between the paper, the press, and especially the deboss/emboss process, the counterfeiters are going to move on to easier marks. What you will own is something that lies somewhere between extremely unique to absolutely never before seen quality in the cycling world. Can you tell we are proud of these?