While any piece of original Edward Gorey artwork is a rarity, early artwork such as the Anchor cover (see blog entry for October 8, 2008) by Edward Gorey can be especially difficult to find. The earliest piece of Gorey original art I have in my collection is from around 1950.
This “pre-Earbrass” art (Mr. Earbrass being the main character in Gorey’s first book) is reported to have been exhibited in Gorey’s first public art exhibition which took place at the Mandrake Book Shop near Harvard. I have been told that Gorey worked at the Mandrake “for about a day”. I have never been able to find a list of the original illustrations that were shown at this exhibition, and I have never seen any other piece of art from this show.
This lovely piece shows an Edwardian gentleman poised on the running board of his early motor car. The elongated profile of the gentleman, his attire and the two dimensional quality of the vehicle are all signature Gorey motifs. The initial signature at the lower right of the drawing is consistent with Gorey’s earliest pieces.