Wednesday, December 7, 2016

eBay 101: The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975 Signed by Five Cartoonists

The two copies of The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975 to appear previously on this blog were each signed by five cartoonists and the copy which appears here today has the very same attribute, but all five of these signing cartoonists are different. Alphabetically, they are Charles Addams, Charles E. Martin, Frank Modell, James Stevenson, and Barney Tobey. The eBay seller states confidently that this copy "Has signatures from 5 of the greatest contributing cartoonists!" I would not dream of contradicting this, but it is no doubt the Addams signature which is the great prize to a book collector.

The seller also notes that the "Book is in really nice condition," which is more debatable. Does the seller know we can see the photographs? The book itself is probably acceptable but that dust jacket is hardly in ideal condition.

In my previous posts about this volume, I noted that the eBay sellers showed many pages from the book, but none of these contained cartoons by the artists who signed the book. Whether this seller researched my old posts I don't know, but the listing has only two photos of the cartoon pages, and both have a full page illustration by one of the signers. I'm going to chalk this one up as a victory.

But a look at this listing suggests it isn't a full victory. In the hope of influencing future eBay sellers to put their best efforts into these sales, I'm going to make a few further suggestions.

Sellers should avoid photographing pages in the dark illuminated solely by the harsh yellow of incandescent light. People with even the most rudimentary powers of observation will know what's been done. Also, sellers shouldn't allow the shadow of a camera to fall across the signatures they are attempting to photograph. This is basic common sense. Some problems of poor focus seen here on the cartoon pages could probably have been resolved by avoiding the low lighting in the first place. Autofocus is not a new invention. Use it. Finally, there is no advantage to time stamping your photographs unless you want people to know how long you've been trying to sell your item. This book happened to sell right away, but only one bid was received and the time-stamp likely didn't add anything positive.

The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975

"Book is in really nice condition..[sic]"

Signatures of Frank Modell, Charles E. Martin, Barney Tobey,
James Stevenson, and Charles Addams

Signature of Frank Modell

Signatures of Charles E. Martin and Barney Tobey

Signature of James Stevenson

Signature of Charles Addams

Cartoons by Dana Fradon, Sam Cobean, and by book signer Charles Addams who gets a full page

A full page cartoon by book signer James Stevenson, with cartoons by Mischa Richter and J. B. Handelsman

eBay Listing Ended September 10, 2016


eBay Bid History
A single early bid





Note:  This marks cartoonist Sam Cobean's first mention on the blog.

I now know of eleven New Yorker cartoonists who signed this book in groups, and they have always been in groups of five. Why? Let me know of any other combinations out there.

Autograph groupings:
1.  Edward Frascino, Herbert Goldberg, William Hamilton, Warren Miller, Everett Opie
2.  Edward Frascino, Herbert Goldberg, Warren Miller, Everett Opie, Al Ross
3.  Charles Addams, Charles E. Martin, Frank Modell, James Stevenson, Barney Tobey

Are there any New Yorker collections that were group-signed prior to 1975? Send your evidence my way.

While we're on the subject, I am, as always, desperately seeking photos or scans of New Yorker collections with original drawings by New Yorker artists.


Attempted Bloggery's quick links:

Signed Books

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