Monday, June 8, 2015

EBay 101: Partying with Whitney Darrow, Jr.

That party thrown on Saturday, December 15, 1951 at 4 p.m. must have been the place to be. A drawing by Whitney Darrow, Jr. indicates the time and the place and the sorts of uninhibited goings on that just don't seem to happen at the parties I'm invited to. The original artwork has been languishing on eBay since 2012, and the price has been reduced from $350 to $175. What went wrong?

Let's start with the photos. There are four of them here, unchanged since at least 2013. The seller states, "I do not know if my pictures do it justice." They do not. The two close-ups are just acceptable, but the images of the entire piece convey few of the artistic details. The page looks busy and unintelligible. The condition may well be iffy. The photos are too small and the resolution is poor. There is no picture of the signature. Overall, there's just no excuse for these images. The artwork has been on eBay three years without a bite. Take a few new snaps.

Then there's the item description. Basic errors and misspellings have gone uncorrected since 2012. For example, one of the recipient's names is Judson, not Joel. The likely purpose of the piece is not mentioned. It most likely was a fanciful design for a party invitation, rather than "a series of party sketches and other experiences him [sic] and his friends had." That's cringeworthy writing and shoddy salesmanship.

"I understand that Whitney Darrow was a noted gag cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine." Now we're getting somewhere. I understand that too.

EBay Listing in August 2013
EBay Listing June 2015

EBay Item Description, August 2013

May 16, 2016 Update:  Gone?

Note:  I find some eBay auctions appallingly inadequate. I may have to return to this new eBay 101 format from time to time if only to vent my frustration.

Shouldn't there be a blog dedicated to the work of Whitney Darrow? Of course there should, and in a perfect world, we'd have one. Any volunteers? Well, then, until something better comes along, you'll just have to make do with my blog posts.

This is really a long shot, but if any of you paper collectors has a copy of the printed invitation to this party, don't be a stranger!


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