Children's & Illustrated Books
During the past decade, Waverly Auctions has been instrumental in establishing a consistent auction market for original works by Tasha Tudor, one of America’s most cherished 20th century children’s book illustrators.
Born in Boston in 1915, Tasha Tudor began illustrating children’s books in the 1930s. Her first book, Pumpkin Moonshine, was published by Oxford University Press in 1938. Many other books followed, often containing illustrations of her favorite four-legged friend, the Corgi. She was honored with a Caldecott Award in 1945 for her Mother Goose. Tudor’s fondness for country life is evident in her work, much of it depicting the rural simplicity of her life as an artist in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Among the lots of Tasha Tudor original artwork in the December sale are Lot 227 – an original watercolor drawing for a Christmas card, depicting four children around a piano watching as a fifth child plays. The drawing is decorated with a border of dried flowers and illustrates Tudor’s use of watercolor to portray a dark room bathed in the glow of candlelight. Lot 227 is signed “T. Tudor.” [Estimated at $6,000 to $8,000].
Another highlight of the sale is Lot 234 – an original watercolor drawing produced as a two-page spread illustrating the beloved children’s story, The Night Before Christmas, executed for publication by Rand McNally. In the center of the watercolor is a beautifully decorated Christmas tree surrounded on all sides by marvelous old toys, dollhouses, rocking horses, a sleigh, a drum a wagon, dolls and their accessories, etc. [Estimated at $8,000 to $12,000].
Previous sales at Waverly have established record prices for Tudor’s works. An original watercolor illustration by Tasha Tudor for her book Pumpkin Moonshine, sold for $13,500 at Waverly Auctions on December 9, 2004.
Also well-represented in the December sale are works illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Lot 21 is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with illustrations by Rackham. Published in 1915 by Heinemann/Lippincott, bound in full vellum gilt and housed in a custom slipcase, this limited edition is number 201 of 525 published, and signed by Rackham. [Estimated at $1,200 to $1,800].
Another Rackham-illustrated work in the December sale is Lot 37 – The Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm. Published by Doubleday Page in 1909, bound in full suede, this limited edition (one of 50) has 40 tipped-in plates and is signed by Rackham. [Estimated at $2,500 to $3,500].
There are many children’s books in the December sale, including those illustrated by Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Randolph Caldecott, and others. Children’s book authors include L. Frank Baum, W. W. Denslow, A. A. Milne, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, and of course, there’s Alice, Eloise, Mickey, and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
Preview begins Saturday, December 3rd.