Thursday, December 14, 2017

Auction News

On Thursday December 14, Swann Gallery in New York City held its semi-annual Illustration Art Auction which once again included a nice selection of works by Edward Gorey. Six lots, comprising fifteen pieces of original artwork were offered, and all sold.

The first five lots showcased pen and ink drawings from The Monster Den, or, Look What Happened at My House, a book by John Ciardi that was published in 1966. The first drawing, Miss Myrna, Small Ben, and John L - Those Three, a delightful drawing of the three children in a row boat, sold for more than twice the high estimate.

After four drawings from this volume were offered individually, a final lot comprising ten drawings brought almost double its high estimate. Nine of these drawings showcased individual vignettes of the above children. The tenth drawing included in this lot was a fantastic Gorey creature.

The final piece of artwork by Edward Gorey in the sale was a pen, ink and watercolor that was published in the New York Times in December 1987 to accompany a piece entitled Avoiding Christmas written by Quentin Crisp. With his typical dry wit, Mr. Crisp, whose birthday fell on Christmas Day, disparaged the holiday. Mr. Gorey's amusing illustration shows the perils encountered when entertaining other people's children.

As with previous sales, works by Edward Gorey continue to garner strong interest among admirers and collectors.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Holiday Decorating

 Christmas in the Eggplant Hills is one of Edward Gorey's more enigmatic Christmas card designs. Rabbits in plaid shirts are decorating an effigy with the help of a creature of unspecified origin. The card was a limited edition greeting for the Albondocani Press in 1989.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vintage Gift Giving

This is a vintage ad from Time Magazine, December 1975. In this ad for Waldenbooks, the paperback edition of Amphigorey by Edward Gorey is featured front and center. The description below states that Amphigorey is, "A joy to read, a welcome gift, a much appreciated belly laugh." 42 years later, this still holds true. Find a copy and give it to a deserving friend this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Finding Gorey In Unlikely Places

Edward Gorey was an illustrator for hire whose work often turns up in unusual places. This is an ad promoting the use of insurance professionals from The American College of CLU & ChFC. The add appeared in Time Magazine in August 1987.

Often, Edward Gorey's illustrations for advertisements have little or no direct relationship to the product they promote, and require a leap of the imagination to make the connection. This disjointed ad has a layout that is visually confusing and leads one to surmise that the art director was simply a fan of Mr. Gorey's work and wanted to get him to do an illustration. The drawing itself, when freed from the constraints of encroaching type, appears to be a typical evening of two people playing cards with a cat resting at their feet. The enormous fan, along with the tag line, "Thomas trusted his mother ,but he always cut the cards" provides the humor to the scene.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fine Art Prints, Part 15

On February 5, 2011 we began a discussion on this blog of the various Fine Art Prints created by Edward Gorey. To view the other blog posts regarding these unique pieces of collectible Gorey artwork, search for Fine Art Prints in the blog's search engine.

Recently, two previously unseen etchings by Edward Gorey appeared at an on line auction (neither are in my collection). Both of these prints appear to be working proofs made by Mr. Gorey at the Cape Cod Conservatory., and neither print appears to have been put into production. Both of these prints have been dated, which was not done on any print editions.

The first etching shows a typical Edward Gorey man in a frock coat and top hat with a child in shapeless garb being confronted by what appears to be a bird. The bird's beak resembles a hooked nose and gives the foul a human expression. This print is dated 1976 in the lower left corner in pencil in Mr. Gorey's hand.

The second etching shows a Bolster leaning against a wall. This print is dated 1977 and has a note about timing written in Mr. Gorey's hand in the lower margin. The note reads, "3 min should have been", indicating that the plate was overexposed to the acid when etched, which would have resulted in the over all darkness of the image. Mr. Gorey made several more Bolster etching plates which were printed after his death. The other Bolster prints have more delicate appearance than this example, which also indicates that this plate was over etched.

Many of Edward Gorey's Fine Art Etchings are available from The Edward Gorey House HERE. Prints can also be found on the secondary market through auctions.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Doll Collector Magazine

The August/September 1990 issue of Dolls - The Collector's Magazine included an article called Give Them A Good Fright by John Darcy Noble. In this essay, the author talks about how 18th & 19th century toys and books were used as cautionary tales to the children of the time.

Mr. Noble establishes a direct influence of these tales and the popularity of works by Edward Gorey. The author also relates how he once used hand made stuffed animal toys by Mr. Gorey to decorate a Christmas tree for the Museum of the City of New York, and the now well known tale of the many stuffed creatures in Mr. Gorey's home that were disemboweled by mice.