Saturday, March 30, 2019

National Doctors' Day 2019: Ronald Searle

Every year on March 30 we celebrate National Doctors' Day. While managing the many maladies that afflict their patients, doctors have always strived to keep up with the latest technology. British illustrator Ronald Searle, for one, understood this. In 1969 he inscribed a copy of Take One Toad (1968), described as "A Book of Ancient Remedies," to Midge and John Locke, his North American agent. He added a detailed ink and watercolor drawing showing the aftermath of what I take to be an 18th century tooth extraction utilizing elaborate toothed forceps and noting, "Positively no home should be without one." Who can argue with progress?

Drawing of a dental extraction
inscribed "For Midge & John [Locke]
with love       
                 New York
                        February 1969
And appended
"Positively no home
should be without
in Take One Toad (1968)
Bookseller image, Farshaw's Fine Old Books & Vintage Toys
Priced at $2,000 in 2007

Note:  Need I say it? If you, Kind Reader, have access to a cartoon art book containing an original drawing of this quality, whether by Ronald Searle or by another superb artist, either with or without the depiction of a historical medical procedure, please submit an image to me for probable inclusion here in a future blog post.

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Ronald Searle


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