September 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Illustration from Searle's "Slightly Foxed" at Auction

In 1989, the Souvenir Press published a limited edition of Slightly Foxed--but still desirable: Ronald Searle's Wicked World of Book Collecting, a volume that continues to delight book collectors. In it, Searle, a British artist and cartoonist, put his pen to work on the lingo of antiquarian booksellers' catalogues, e.g., "a little thumbed," "cracked but holding," and, as seen in the illustration below, "spine defective." His style was effusive and irreverent.  

719050.jpgThis original illustration in ink, graphite, and watercolor--one of more than sixty drawn for the initial publication--appeared on page 65 of Slightly Foxed. Searle's famous satire has since been published in a trade edition and a Folio Society edition.

Now, nestled amongst New Yorker cartoon art and children's book illustrations, this signed drawing goes to auction at Swann Galleries. The estimate is $2,000-3,000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Image Courtesy of Swann Galleries.