Illustration Art: Upcoming Highlights At Auction July 16, 2020

Lot 108: N.C. Wyeth, The Black Arrow, A Tale of the Two Roses, oil on canvas, title-page illustration for the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1916. $150,000 to $250,000.

Children’s Book & Magazine Illustrations

Original illustrations by enduring favorites such as Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Peter Newell, William Pène du Bois, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, and William Steig kick off a section dedicated to children’s books. Among the cherished characters featured are Babar, Eloise (pictured below), Frog and Toad, and Dick and Jane. A run of works by contemporary illustrators Allan Neuwirth and Jane Breskin Zalben rounds out the section.

Lot 1: Chris Van Allsburg, The Moon Dismayed, paint, pastel and pencil, front cover for The Big Book for Our Planet, 1993. $15,000 to $25,000.
Lot 10: Laurent de Brunhoff, Babar took them to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame, mixed media color study for Babar’s World Tour, 2005. $10,000 to $15,000.
Lot 25: Hilary Knight, Eloise with Valentine, watercolor, ink & pencil, for The 365 Days of Eloise: My Book of Holidays, 2015. $25,000 to $35,000.

Literary, Magazine & Advertising Illustration Before 1960

This wide-ranging section is led by an iconic work by N.C. Wyeth (pictured above), alongside material by other giants from the Golden Age of Illustration, particularly those from the Brandywine School, including Wyeth’s mentor, Howard Pyle, Violet Oakley, Harrison Fisher, and Charles Dana Gibson. A run of magazine illustrations contains a number of pieces for The Saturday Evening Post by Stevan Dohanos and the Mexican caricaturist and cartoonist, Arias Bernal

Advertising and design is represented with a rare-to-market original probable calendar back by Leslie Ragan (pictured below), a postcard design starring George Studdy’s beloved Bonzo the Dog, and a quirky shoe advertisement by Gottfried Sieben. Two rare fine art pieces by Ludwig Bemelmans, and a group of studies for Eugene Berman’s unrealized mural project at the old Desert Inn, Las Vegas are also in this section.

Lot 95: Leslie Ragan, New York Central System, oil on canvas, circa 1930. $4,000 to $6,000.
Lot 93: Howard Pyle, It was a Comrade from His Own Regiment, oil on canvas, illustration for W.G. Beymer’s Landegon, Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1909. $20,000 to $30,000.

Literary, Magazine & Advertising Illustration: Modern & Contemporary Works After 1960

Highlighting modern and contemporary illustrators such as James Barkley, Nicky Zann, and Bob Ziering, the section incorporates a run of works by Edward Gorey, covers for Scientific American by Stanley Meltzoff, and Fortune magazine covers by Jerome Snyder. Additional noteworthy lots include a giant poster maquette featuring Sophia Loren, and an erotic alphabet book by Harvey Kornberg.

Lot 117: Edward Gorey, Suction cups and snakes, pen, ink and watercolor. $2,500 to $3,500.
Lot 138: Coby Whitmore, ‘Poor baby! You want me so much,’ she said, acrylic on board, published in The Saturday Evening Post, 1968. $6,000 to $9,000.

Theater, Costume & Fashion

This robust selection boasts a range of costume and set designs for theater, film, and television with stunning works by Erté and Motley, and set designs by Josef Svoboda and Pavel Tchelitchew. Lively cast illustrations by Al Hirschfeld featuring African-American and Latinx actors are featured in the theater section.

Films featured include award-winning designs by Bill Thomas for Spartacus, and Leonor Fini’s period design for A Walk with Love and Death, while television is represented through glitzy designs by Lou Eisele for The Jackie Gleason Show. A portrait of fashion giant Pauline Trigère by Joe Eula and an iconic drawing of actress and model Shannon Tweed by Patrick Nagel complete the section.

Lot 162: Al Hirschfeld, Charley’s Aunt, pen and ink illustration for the Broadway revival at the Cort Theater, published in The New York Times, 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
Lot 152: Erté, Décor de Laideronnette, gouache, set design for the third movement of Maurice Ravel’s ballet Mother Goose, 1949. $5,000 to $7,500.

Comics, Cartoons & Caricatures

Classic comics, such as Chic Young’s Blondie and Otto Messmer’s Felix the Cat, are present alongside works by Joe Kubert and Will Elder, 1950s comic book favorites. Vince McIndoe’s stunning oil paintings of contemporary superheroes and villains from Marvel Studios and DC Comics give the section a modern twist.

The enduring appeal of cartoons by Barbara Shermund and Gahan Wilson complement more recent favorites like Roz Chast, who brings her humor to  pysanky eggs, and Rick Meyerowitz, with a piece for the comic powerhouse of National Lampoon. Caricatures by Al Hirschfeld and book illustrations by Saul Steinberg are also represented. 

Lot 193: Vince McIndoe, Villainous Last Supper, DC Comics, oil on canvas, 2016. $4,000 to $6,000.
Lot 181: Roz Chast, Forbidden Words of Childhood, pysanka egg, mixed media, circa 2010. $500 to $750.

The New Yorker

This section encompasses works by iconic cover artists, such as Arthur Getz and Garrett Price, as well as recent covers by George Booth and Danny Shanahan. Time-honored cartoonists Lee Lorenz and Frank Modell are offered alongside current contributors, such as Bob Eckstein, Ben Schwartz and P.C. Vey.

Lot 221: Arthur Getz, Rooftop Party, casein tempera, cover illustration for The New Yorker, 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.
Lot 236: Benjamin Schwartz, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Funkytown.” pen ink and wash, cartoon for The New Yorker, 2015. $800 to $1,200.

Further Learning: Changing Production Methods & Public Perception in Illustration with Cartoonists Emily Flake and Benjamin Schwartz

What You Need to Know for Auction Day

This auction will be held live and conducted remotely by Swann auctioneers taking bids from multiple platforms. While there will not be bidding in the room, we will be accepting order bids, and interested buyers will be able to participate live online via the Swann Galleries App. The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play, and it can also be accessed on a desktop at

Please note: limited phone bidding will be available for this auction. Phone bidding registrations will close the day before the sale at 4pm.

At this time, our exhibition and auction location at 104 East 25th Street is closed to the public. Private viewings are available by appointment only, from Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 15, and must be arranged in advance directly with the specialist.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Specialist for the Auction

Christine von der Linn

Illustration Art Director

(212) 254-4710 ext. 20

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