Sunday, January 31, 2016
Auction News - Swann Wrap-Up
2016 Illustration Art Auction at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City was held on Thursday January 28th. This now annual event has become a source for original artwork by Edward Gorey, and this year's selection was diverse and enchanting. While there were no color pieces included in this year's auction, the quality of the artwork being sold was exceptional.
The auction included an amazing eleven pieces of original art by Edward Gorey, the most artwork by this renowned artist to be offered at one time since the seminal 2001 Bromer Booksellers Catalog which featured eighteen pieces of original art from the personal collection of Anne Bromer.
As predicted, the star of the proceedings was Haunted New Orleans, an exceptionally large, beautifully executed graveyard scene from 1961. The 11.5" x 15" piece sold well above the presale estimate of $5,000 - $7,000.00 with a final price of $10,625.00 (including the 25% buyers premium).
Each decade of Mr. Gorey's professional career was represented in the auction. Two previously unseen book cover designs from the 1950's included a finished sketch for an Anchor book on author Henry James which sold for $3500.00, and a truly fabulous dust jacket design for Dead By Now. This highly detailed piece more than doubled it estimate with a final price of $9375.00.
The three pieces representing the 1960's all met or exceeded their presale estimates. In addition to the previously mentioned Haunted New Orleans, Sunflower Planting (also from Holiday Magazine in 1961) sold for $7500.00, more than doubling its estimate. From 1968, The Ghostly Rental, a highly detailed piece showing three illustrations on one page, overshot its estimate with a final price of $5750.00.
Three pieces from the late 1970's all sold respectably within their estimates, while I Love Cats from the 1980's almost doubled its estimate, selling for $4500.00.
Two rare National Post Card Week images finished off the Edward Gorey portion of the sale. A very unusual elephant from 1986 sold for $4250.00. The final piece was a densely rendered image of a family from 1991 which sold for $3750.00.