Saturday, November 5, 2011

Richard Taylor: "En Garde!"

On October 24, this original cartoon art by the very talented Richard Taylor offered for sale on eBay failed to find a buyer. Bidding reached $400 after five bids, but the piece did not meet its reserve. The cartoon, set at a formal cocktail party, was published in the New Yorker in 1963. The ink and wash drawing shows a lively party scene with great body language and expression in the three main characters. The gag mocks the older, sexually-active man who no longer has the luxury of biding his time. Now, tell me, where's the humor in that?

(Captions are mine, of course, and not the eBay seller's.)

"En garde.  He doesn't have time for the waiting game."  Framed.

"En garde.  He doesn't have time for the waiting game."  Full image.

Detail of the elderly but determined man

Marvelous detail of the two women

Caption inscribed on the mat

The full sheet with the artist's hand-written caption

The back of the artwork


eBay Listing Ended October 24, 2011
Richard Taylor, eBay Reserve not met

Richard Taylor, eBay Item Description

Questions and answers about this item

No questions or answers have been posted about this item.

Richard Taylor, "En garde.  He doesn't have time for the waiting game."  
The New Yorker, February 23, 1963, page 29

Richard Taylor, "En garde.  He doesn't have time for the waiting game."  
The New Yorker, February 23, 1963, page 29
Image added January 8, 2012


  1. Interesting. The women all look like clones of the original donor/image, except for the token dowager on the left. I'm curious about the two people who are spotlighted. The old gent looks mildly insane, I think 'driven' would be a good word to describe his condition, as if all of his blood has gone to his brain and is about to pour out of his eyes. Reminds me of a Dylan song; "Blood In My Eyes" from World Gone Wrong.

  2. Yes, the gentleman certainly has a purposeful stride, Leocadia, and the woman who is speaking knows exactly what that means. It's fascinating how much visual storytelling goes into this one gag cartoon!

  3. The elderly gentleman also looks (could it be just accidental?) like the British cartoonist, Osbert Lancaster...

  4. I'm pretty sure Taylor was drawing a "type," Brian, rather than a specific caricature. Lancaster would have been only around 55 when this was published, making him an unlikely model for the old gentleman.