Original Charlotte's Web cover art brings $155,350, Elvgren remains strong, in $3.75 million Auctio Part 1 of the Garth Williams Archive brings $780,000+; Elvgren pin-ups continue to dominate; Leyendecker, Willcox-Smith lead Golden age offerings on Oct. 15
price for the artist as the price soared to $89,625 amidst spirited bidding.
Golden Age greats continued to impress, with the ever-popular Jessie Willcox-Smith showing her enduring draw as her lovely mixed media The Daisy Wreath realized $68,713, while Howard Pyle’s "'And who's going to support 'em?' demanded Mrs. Barkley" illustration from Old Chester Tales, by Margaret Deland, 1898 – a painting with a provenance in Norman Rockwell’s own collection – impressed to the tune of $65,725. Rockwell himself, always an important part of an Illustration Art auction at Heritage, made his contribution to the festivities with his famous oil painting Al Smith Was Fellowman to Every Man, 1945, another entry from Martignette, bringing $60,945.
Harvey T. Dunn’s famous Reclining Nude, 1939, painted by the legendary artist for the 1941 Guild Artists Bureau of Manhattan’s controversial “Sexhibition” proved to be one of the most popular offerings of the day – and was certainly one of Charles Martignette’s favorite paintings from his epic collection – bringing $59,750 from a determined buyer.
One of the great surprises of the auction came in the form of another legendary children’s illustrator, Ludwig Bemelmans, whose Madeline and Horse at Dinner Table, a gouache illustration based on his story Madeline in London, but is not published in the book, with a brilliant red background, brought $47,800, a record for the artist.
“The enduring popularity of the Madeline books cannot be doubted,” said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration Art at Heritage, “nor can the demand for high quality examples of Bemelmans work from, or based on, those superb books. We were all very impressed by where this particular piece finished.”
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Gil Elvgren, Ticklish Situation, 1957: Oil on canvas, signed lower left. The lobby card based on this painting was reproduced as figure 327 in Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, Taschen, 1999. Realized: $101,575.
Gil Elvgren, Smoke Screen, 1958: Oil on canvas, signed lower right. This painting was reproduced as figure 253 in Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, Taschen, 1999. Realized: $83,650.
J. C. Leyendecker, Saturday Evening Post cover, Dec. 24, 1921: Oil on canvas, initialed lower right. This is one of the most lushly painted and charming holiday-themed Post covers Leyendecker ever painted. Realized: $77,675.
Howard Chandler Christy, Triptych of Three Nudes, Hunting, Fencing, and Tambourine, decorative folding screen, c. 1925-1930: Oil on canvas laid on board, each panel signed. When Charles Martignette acquired the painting, he often told colleagues that he considered the work to be one of his finest acquisitions. Realized: $56,763.
Maxfield Parrish, The Oaks, The Garden of Years and Other Poems, book illustration, 1904: Oil on board, not signed. This illustration was the frontispiece for Guy Wetmore Carryl's The Garden of Years and Other Poems. Realized: $56,763.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction