Friday, June 30, 2017

Garbo Reads

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Ambassador Pamela Harriman. The list of A-listers in the social circle of New Yorker cartoonist and Addams Family creator Charles Addams has been well-documented on this blog alone, and much more scrupulously in Linda H. Davis's biography of the artist. Yet there's something altogether thrilling about finding new evidence that even the reclusive actress Greta Garbo knew Addams. She was indeed the proud owner of a presentation copy of his 1960 collection Black Maria. The book is inscribed "For G G with much love/ New York 1960" and is available from the highly-reputable Argosy Books in New York for $400. The shop reports having purchased it from the Garbo estate. Alas, the listing includes no photos.

Charles Addams' Black Maria (1960)
Argosy Book Store
AbeBooks Listing as of June 24, 2017

James Cummins, another of New York's great bookseller, also has an inscribed copy of Black Maria listed on AbeBooks, and he does indeed provide photos. This book is inscribed to author Nathaniel Benchley and his wife Marg. It is also dated New York 1960 and it is available for $750.



Charles Addams' Black Maria (1960)
James Cummins Bookseller
AbeBooks Listing as of June 29, 2017


Note:  Support your local blog! Attempted Bloggery is by no means above celebrity worship. If you own or have access to a book presented by A-list cartoonist Charles Addams to an A-list celebrity, you don't have to be shy about it. Send a scan or sharp photo of the book's cover and inscription and let the world admire it.


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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ronald Searle: Portraits of Officers

On June 29, 2011, twenty-nine lots of original artwork by British caricaturist Ronald Searle were auctioned off at Christie's South Kensington. Many of these pieces were original St. Trinian's cartoons and they sold exceedingly well. In fact, only one Searle lot failed to sell, a portfolio of nineteen caricatures of officers from HQ 18th Division dating from Searle's military service in the second World War.

Later the portfolio was sold elsewhere and individual portraits were offered on eBay in October 2011. Individual drawings continue to show up from time to time at various auction houses. A dozen of them are shown here, but a few got away...

For starters, here's Christie's South Kensington Lot 709 from June 29, 2011:

Nineteen caricatures of officers from HQ 18th Division (one illustrated)
UnsoldEstimate
£800 - £1,200
($1,277 - $1,915)
Set of 19: pencil and pen and black ink, loose in a folio
22,9 x 17,8 cm
9 x 7 in


The eBay offerings:

1


CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF PADRE H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (2)

MEDIUM  - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE -  C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE


Ended:Oct 16, 201109:03:08 PDT
Bid history:
Starting bid:GBP 70.00
Approximately US $111.64
Price:GBP 150.00
Approximately US $239.22



CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF MAJOR H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (3)

MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE
Bid history:





CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (4)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE

Ended: Oct 16, 201109:10:16 PDT 
Bid history:
Winning bid:GBP 70.00
Approximately US $111.64

CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (5)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE

Ended:Oct 16, 201109:15:14 PDT
Bid history:
Starting bid:GBP 70.00
Approximately US $111.64
Price:GBP 150.00
Approximately US $239.22



6 LT

Bid history:




CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (7)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE



Ended:Oct 16, 201110:25:01 PDT
Bid history:
Starting bid:GBP 70.00
Approximately US $111.64
Price:GBP 150.00
Approximately US $239.22




CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (8)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE
Bid history:






CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (9)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE
Bid history:




CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (10)
MEDIUM  - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE -  C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE
Bid history:



CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (17) 
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920 
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE 
Ended: 
Oct 16, 201110:46:21 PDT
Bid history:
Winning bid:GBP 70.00
Approximately US $111.64




CARICATURE PORTRAIT OF OFFICER H.Q. 18TH DIVISION (18)
MEDIUM - SIGNED PEN AND INK ON PAPER 
ARTIST - RONALD SEARLE B1920
DATE - C1940S
SIZE 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inches) IMAGE
Bid history:




19. Officer
Bid history:


Nine of the unsold drawings from this portfolio were later offered as a group on eBay with a low opening bid:

ALBUM OF 9 ORIGINAL RONALD SEARLE B1920 SUPERB PEN & INK CARICATURES SIGNED
Item condition:      --
Time left:   4d 18h (Nov 11, 201109:55:50 PST)

Bid history:
Starting bid:GBP 100.00
Approximately US $160.26





Note:  My 2011 post on the Christie's auction may be found here. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with scans of the missing Searle portraits.

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Ronald Searle

World War II
Attempted Bloggery's Wartorn Index



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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ray Rohn: A Portrait of a Serviceman

The late Marge Schrader would go to thrift stores and yard sales, bringing home books by the hundreds. She would read them and then donate most of them to a worthy cause, but one that she chose to keep was Dere Mable: Love Letters of a Rookie by E. Streeter. This is the author's first book and it was published in 1918. (In 1949, Edward Streeter was to write Father of the Bride.) Recently, Marge Schrader's grandson was looking through the book when a sheet fell out of it with an original World War I era drawing by Ray Rohn. Rohn, you may recall, illustrated a single New Yorker cover, that of March 28, 1925, the magazine's sixth issue. Here's what I had to say about it in 2015:
Everyone knows women and cats sell magazines. Ray Rohn's New Yorker cover has both. It is very theatrical, which seems appropriate for a new magazine that covers so much of the stage. Like the cover of the magazine's third issue, a fashionable young woman carries a cigarette holder and the cigarette smoke is a prominent design element. Ray Rohn never did a second cover.
Ooh, I ended on a real downer there. Today I might add that the rendering of the female figure and the cigarette smoke seem to be influenced by the art nouveau style of Alphonse Mucha. I might also add that the smoking here shows that the fledgling magazine was embracing women's equality. Like men, women had the right to vote, to smoke, and to drink hooch in speakeasies.


Ray Rohn, The New Yorker, March 28, 1925

The sketch found in the book is a portrait of a serviceman named Girard, evidently dating from the first World War. He appears to be a pleasant, good-natured man despite the intrusion of the war. He is shown in a three-quarter, left-facing view with a light source on the left.
Ray Rohn, Girard, c. 1916-1918
Here's the book that has kept the drawing protected:
Edward Streeter, Dere Mable:  Love Letters of a Rookie, New York:  Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1918.
Cover illustration by Bill Breck

Title Page
Dere Mable:  Love Letters of a Rookie, New York:  Frederick A. Stokes Co.,1918


Note:  My 2015 reading of the New Yorker's sixth issue with the cover by Ray Rohn may be found here. Rohn was a major illustrator of his day, yet there are only a few works by him available on the internet today. Write if you have more artwork of his to add.

I know nothing of Girard's military insignia, but I'd love to hear from anyone who does know of such things.


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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for May/June 2017

Here are my two entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for May/June 2017. I don't really have a preference between them this time. The drawing is by Benjamin Schwartz.

"No kidding? My zaide was at Roswell too!"
"I'm an L.G.M.—or a Little Green Mensch."


Glossary:  Zaide is Yiddish for grandfather. A mensch is a person of integrity. Capiche?

July 16, 2017 Update:  The Finalists

You can vote for your favorite caption here. The deadline is August 20. While you're there, why not enter the current contest yourself? It's cutting-edge humor.


September 11, 2017 Update:  Winning Caption


Note:  Benjamin Schwartz has created more caption contests than any cartoonist on any planet on any blog. Well, at least on this blog.

If you'd like my take on all the caption contests in the known universe, here's a link to all the cartoon caption contests I ever entered. Look, it's a start. For those who don't have the time or the inclination to peruse that number of caption conundrums, perhaps I can interest you in nearly four years' worth of just my Moment Magazine contests. Of course, if you're a real mensch, you'll visit both.

And let's not forget the LGMs.


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Monday, June 26, 2017

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #574

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #574 for June 26, 2017. The drawing is by P. C. Vey.

"At last my career is smoking hot!"

These caption ingredients just didn't make it into the mix:
"Dinner will be ready briefly."
"It's time to flip my career."
"My career is really cooking!"

July 3, 2017 Update: The Finalists



July 17, 2017 Update:  I voted for the first caption.


July 24, 2017 Update: Winning Caption



Note:  Last week's Caption Contest cartoonist was again by P. C. Vey. Bob Mankoff would never have let this happen. Drink in Contest #573.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

E. H. Shepard: Reaching for the Honey Jar

A colored drawing of piglet and Winnie-the-Pooh by Ernest H. Shepard is signed and dated 28 January 1970. It depicts Pooh Bear reaching for a jar of honey and is inscribed "Replica drawing for Leif Dahlberg." It was sold in September of 2015 in Nottingham for 12,000 GBP to London's Chris Beetles Gallery, where it was exhibited at "The Illustrators" 2015 show. It is still available from the gallery for 45,000 GBP. Assuming a buyer's premium and other expenses of about 3,000 GBP from the auction house, this price represents a dealer markup of about 200%. Talk about reaching for the honey jar!



E. H. Shepard
International Autograph Auctions
September 26, 2015





Chris Beetles Item Listing as of June 24, 2017




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02224

Saturday, June 24, 2017

E. H. Shepard: Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Jar

A drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh holding the honey jar was made on camera by E. H. Shepard in the late 1960s for a documentary by Hans Keller. The original art was sold at Sotheby's in December.
E. H. Shepard, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Jar, 1960s


E. H. Shepard
Sotheby's Item Description

E. H. Shepard, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Jar, 1960s


Note:  I have not been able to locate the video clip of Shepard making this drawing. Any assistance would be appreciated.


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02223

Friday, June 23, 2017

Now We Are Six

E. H. Shepard, "The Morning Walk"
A. A. Milne, Now We Are Six, 1927, pages 84-85

E. H. Shepard, "Anne's Balloon"
A. A. Milne, Now We Are Six, 1927, page 86

Now we are six. Six years ago today, your mild-mannered cartoon correspondent brought into being a brand spanking new blog. Yes, you're looking at it now. This sixth anniversary finds me on the cusp of meeting some long-term goals, goals I once foolishly expected I could meet handily more than a year earlier, but which have come to mean less and less to me over time. Hitting a million page views on the blog, for one, makes for a nice round number indeed, but it is hardly a ringing endorsement when only thirty-four people worldwide have opted to follow the blog after six years. Similarly, winning five thousand Twitter followers sounds impressive enough, but it has done very little to drive new traffic to the blog. Rather, I seem to have gotten caught up in a senseless churning process on Twitter where accounts follow me for little reason other than that I will follow them in return. Thus the engagement on Twitter isn't all that much better than when I had but a few hundred followers who were more interested in my actual posts.

Attempted Bloggery All-Time Overview Stats
June 23, 2017

Twitter Followers, June 23, 2017

More to my usual point, Now We Are Six, the title of this post, is first and foremost the title of A. A. Milne's 1927 book of children's verse. Three original illustrations by E. H. Shepard from "The Morning Walk" sequence were sold as a set at Sotheby's in 2012.
E. H. Shepard, "The Morning Walk"
Original art
A. A. Milne, Now We Are Six, 1927

E. H. Shepard, "When Anne and I go out a walk"
Original art
A. A. Milne, 
Now We Are Six, 1927

E. H. Shepard, "Anne's balloon"
Original art
A. A. Milne, 
Now We Are Six, 1927


E. H. Shepard
Sotheby's Item Description, December 12, 2012



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