Friday, March 1, 2019

Ronald Searle: A Contented Smoke Signal

A 1950s-era Boxing Day card from Ronald Searle also writing for his wife Kaye Webb (who is "elbow deep in washing up") thanks "Dearest June and Charles" for a set of knives. These knives—are they "super" or "superb?"—must be of the type whose blades fold into the handles as illustrated here on the headdress of an American Indian indulging in a peace pipe and sending, we are told, "A contented smoke signal." Presumably dating from the latter part of 1951-1960, the drawing possibly bears a thematic relationship to Searle's Holiday magazine cover of July 1959. The card was sold on eBay ten years ago for 369.99 GBP ($530).

The eBay seller failed to get the artist's name right in the main title of the listing:
Ronald Searle
eBay Listing Ended February 19, 2009

Thanks to eBay for providing the translation…from British English:
Ronald Searle
eBay Item Description

The Holiday cover, not that you asked:
Ronald Searle
Holiday, June 1959

Note:  Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb's modernist home at 32 Newton Road is the subject of Perpetua, the Ronald Searle Tribute blog, here. 

Images of illustrated letters of this sort from the hand of Searle are just the sort of submissions welcomed here at Attempted Bloggery. Hint, hint.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Ronald Searle

Kaye Webb

Autograph Drawings, Signed

Attempted Bloggery's Contented Content


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