Compared to the published version, the mock-up reveals a number of changes were made to enhance the backgrounds with a more distinctly Parisian air, and to replace static scenes with livelier ones. On page 9, Bemelmans opts for the Opéra Garnier in the final version instead of the base of the Eiffel Tower in the lower corner of the original sketch. For page 11, he rejected the girls watching a funeral procession, and has them instead sympathizing with a wounded soldier with a broken leg in front of the Invalides. And when Madeline is whisked off to hospital, Bemelmans added a collage of Parisian streetscapes and monuments in the final version.
Even though Bemelmans had to change Madeleine to Madeline to work with his rhymes, he still misspelled the name two or three times in the course of his manuscript.
The folio (330 x 240 mm) includes 46 working sketches (some with text typed on the bottom margin), four line drawings in ink of the room with the 'rabbit' crack on the ceiling, Madeline's accessories, Madeline's beribboned hat, and a decorative architectonic frame.
Part 2 of the sale features an archive of 41 illustrated letters signed "Ludwig," "Ludovico," or "Ludwig Bemelmans" to American socialite, philanthropist, and Francophile Elizabeth Weicker and her then husband Theodore Weicker, Jr (estimate: $40,000-&60,000). These discuss his writing projects, travels, and analysis of President John F. Kennedy.
Other highlights include:
- Nineteen original ink and watercolor drawings for A Tale of Two Glimps [c.1949-50] (estimate $8,000-12,000)
- sketches for Madeline in London (estimate $5,000-7,000) and Pepito ($3,000-5,000)
- a Madeline first edition (estimate $1,000-2,000)