Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Schooner by 10-Year-Old Charles Addams

A pencil drawing of a schooner made by Charles Addams at the age of ten has been available on eBay for the past two years or so. The drawing shows a carefully-rendered schooner along with a lighthouse and a biplane. These subjects are shown in side view with little perspective, making the rendering seem somewhat schematic.

I do not recall the juvenilia of any cartoonist making its way to the market, although I suppose it must happen occasionally. It's remarkable to see the early work of someone of Addams's stature. The subject matter is interesting to me because despite the early date it's related to some of the artist's celebrated work, including lighthouses that appeared on the cover of the New Yorker. I have added some of Addams's later work below the eBay listing for comparison.

The seller acknowledges that the drawing is in fair condition. There seems to be moderate foxing. The lofty $12,500 offering price hasn't changed in two years. The Make Offer option is available.

Charles Addams's signature, age 10
Charles Addams, A Schooner, 1922
Detail of schooner
Detail of ships in the background
Detail of biplane

Detail of biplane

EBay November 2012 Listing

[End of eBay listing]

Almost fifty years later, the mature Addams handled a similar sailing subject in a New Yorker cartoon:
Charles Addams, "Check this one in the rulebook, Rutherford."
The New Yorker,
October 17, 1970, page 38

In addition, Addams contributed several New Yorker covers with lighthouse subjects. Here are two of them:
Charles Addams, The New Yorker, February 10, 1951
Charles Addams, The New Yorker, June 23, 1973

October 19, 2014 Update:  The eBay seller has cut the asking price in half.
EBay Listing, October 23, 2014

November 19, 2016 Update:  Another $2000 has been taken off the asking price.

Note:  Don't miss my older posts on the older Charles Addams.


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