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Ludwig Bemelmans, 'Madeline and the Bad Hat', estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Ahlers & Ogletree.

‘Madeline’ works by Ludwig Bemelmans, commissioned for Onassis yacht, sell at Ahlers & Ogletree May 16

ATLANTA — Three oils on canvas laid to board re-creating images from Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline children’s books, commissioned from the artist-author for Aristotle Onassis’s yacht, will appear at Ahlers & Ogletree on Thursday, May 16 as part of the Collection of Jerome & Bridget Dobson sale. The complete catalog is open for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Shipping line magnate Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) loved the sea. When he purchased the Canadian anti-submarine River-class frigate the HMCS Stormont in 1954, he reconfigured it into a luxury yacht and renamed it the Christina O, after his second child and only daughter, Christina Onassis (1950-1988). Apparently, Christina was taken with the Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962), so Onassis commissioned him to create a series of paintings in mural-like fashion to line the walls of the yacht’s playroom.

The Dobson collection includes three of these Bemelmans originals. The top-estimated lot of the group is Oh, Genevieve, Where Can You Be?, measuring 66.75 by 22.5in. A&O’s lot notes state, “Some of the murals differ slightly from the book illustrations; they are Bemelmans’ adaptations from the original compositions in Madeline’s Rescue and Madeline and the Bad Hat.” Oh, Genevieve carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Madeline and the Bad Hat is a re-creation of the book’s cover art, and measures 37.75 by 22.5in. Puppet Show bears the same dimensions and estimate as Bad Hat at $15,000-$25,000.