June 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Dr. Seuss, Unicorn Hunter

image.jpgWho knew Dr. Seuss was a sculptor--or a taxidermist? The beloved children's author/illustrator had a sense of whimsy second to none, and that is reflected in a series of mounted animal sculptures he made in 1931. He called it the "Seuss System of Unorthodox Taxidermy." The painted clay sculpture seen here, "Mulberry Street Unicorn," will be sold at Bonhams New York on Wednesday. The estimate is a whopping $60,000-90,000.

In 1937, an exhibition of Seuss sculptures was held in New York while he promoted his book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. The following year, a magazine advertisement announced, "Dr. Seuss Returns From the Bobo Isles ... with Rare and Amazing Trophies for the Walls of your Game-Room, Nursery or Bar!" The Mulberry Street Unicorn was one of "trophies" of his safari. A little chipped and cracked, this one was given to his friend, fellow artist and Disney animator Phil Dike. It has remained in the family until now.