Auction of the Week: Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art, December 8, 2018
This week's featured auction is the Swann Auction Galleries sale of Illustration Art in New York on December 8, with a catalogue containing treasures from classic children's books, cartoon strips, magazine covers, iconic advertising and political propaganda. Here are 10 of our favourite lots.
The Marx Brothers by Al Hirschfeld
Estimate $5,000 - $7,500
A caricature of the Marx Brothers, created for the cover of the 1971 book 'Why a Duck?' by the celebrated celebrity cartoonist Al Hirschfeld.
The El Train by Arthur Getz
Estimate $2,500 - 3,500
An original proposed cover illustration for The New Yorker magazine, created in the 1950s by renowned American artist Arthur Getz.
Getz created 213 covers for The New Yorker during his 50-year career, from 1938 and 1988, and was the magazine's most prolific artist of the 20th century.
Las Vegas -- Fly TWA by David Klein
Estimate $2,500 - 3,500
The original artwork for a Trans World Airlines poster advertising flights to Las Vegas, circa early 1960s. Designed by commercial artist David Klein, the poster combines a traditional playing card Queen with a more psychedelic style of the era.
Circus Tricks by Peter Arno
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000
An original cover illustration for The New Yorker by celebrated cartoonist Peter Arno, published in April 4, 1964.
Arno worked for The New Yorker from its first issue in 1925 until his death in 1968, contributing thousands of cartoons and 99 covers, and was described as "the magazine's first genius".
Eminent Women by Stanley Meltzoff
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
An original oil painting by commercial artist Stanley Meltzoff, who produced artwork and covers for magazines such as Life, National Geographic, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Atlantic.
The painting, published in McCall's magazine in May 1959, depicts important women throughout history (including the artist's mother, who was added after the work had been published).
'To All Fascists' Broadside by Rockwell Kent and Donald Ogden Stewart
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000
An anti-fascist broadside for The League of American Writers, written by Donald Ogden Stewart and illustrated by Rockwell Kent, circa 1937-38.
It was printed in reaction to the events of the Spanish Civil War, and the brutality of General Franco's fascist government.
The organization was formed by writers and artists under membership of the Communist Party USA, and other notable signers include Elmer Adler, Marc Blitzstein, Lawrence Gelb, Prince Hubertus and Princess Helga Maria Loewenstein, Henry Seidel Canby and Lester Cohen.
The original broadside is considered highly rare, with no versions located in the collections of the New York Public Library, the Archives of American Art or the Bancroft Library at the University of California.
The Years are Going By Fast by Charles M. Schulz
Estimate $8,000 - 12,000
An original four-panel 'Peanuts' comic strip featuring Lucy and Schroeder, signed and inscribed by Charles Schulz "with every best wish - charles m. schulz (sparky)."
The syndicated strip was published in newspapers across the U.S on April 10, 1979.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Estimate $8,000 - 12,000
An Eric Carle hand-painted collage of his most famous creation, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, presented as a personal gift by the artist in October 1990.
Do you want to get across? by H.A. Rey
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
An original illustration from H.A Rey's 1939 story 'Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys', the first book to introduce the famous character of Curious George.
A year later Rey began work on the first separate Curious George book, but was forced to flee Paris with his wife in June 1940, just hours ahead of the Nazi invasion.
The couple smuggled the manuscript out of France, and eventually made their way to safety in New York in 1941, where together they published numerous books in the Curious George series to huge success.
The Pharmacist by Norman Rockwell
Estimate $70,000 - 100,000
An original study by Norman Rockwell for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, which was published on March 18, 1939.
The illustration features James K. Van Brunt, one of Rockwell's favourite models who he first met in 1924. Rockwell eventually depicted Brunt's likeness so often that his editor forbade him from using him again.
However, Rockwell continued to sneak Brunt into his covers, and used his likeness as the elderly pharmacist in 1939 after he had passed away, working from an old photo in one last tribute to his late friend.
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