Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Milton Glaser: Figures in the Flowers

Collector William Friedlander of grain merchandiser Bartlett and Company purchased an original work by designer Milton Glaser in 1980 from the Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati. The invoice identifies it only as a watercolor and pencil piece with the title Figures in the Flowers. There is no date and no information about publication. Its aspect suggests it might have been intended as a record album cover or perhaps a magazine spread. Its gallery price in 1980 was $2,400. This illustration was offered at auction by Caza Sikes in Cincinnati on September 14 in a sale titled The Friedlander Collection. Bidding started at $1,000 with a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.



Milton Glaser's signature


Detail of Figures in the Flowers with a fish

Milton Glaser
Caza Sikes auction listing accessed September 9, 2023

Sold! To the $1950 hammer price was added the 27% buyer's premium for a total of $2,476.50, not so far from the 1980 invoice price. Adjusted for inflation, $2,400 in 1980 dollars would be $8,942.50 today, so the work lost real value over forty-three years.

Note:  It should go without saying that I would like to hear from anyone who knows more about Figures in the Flowers.


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