DALLAS — Gil Elvgren’s racy ‘Bare Essentials,’ a 1957 Brown & Bigelow calendar painting from the peak era of the classic American pin up, is expected to realize $75,000+ in its auction debut as part of Heritage Auctions’ July 31 Illustration Art Signature® event in Dallas. Elvgren’s iconic image heralds a veritable who’s who of 19th and 20th century artists.
Another iconic work also making its auction debut is Up at Bat, The Saturday Evening Post cover, August 10, 1940 by Douglas Crockwell, which is expected to break $40,000+. The charming slice of Americana is considered a treasure among Illustration Art collectors.
“Crockwell’s painting is perhaps the best Saturday Evening Post cover ever printed and among the best Crockwell produced during his career,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “While planned as a more intimate single-catalog sale, our summer auction is chock full of treasures across the realms of Pin-Up, Paperback, Golden Age & Classic Art, and everything in-between—as collectors have no doubt come to expect.”
The diversity of major artists featured in the sale spans more than a century. Patrick Nagel’s Her Casual Pose from 1983, expected to bring $30,000+, and appears on the heels of two straight record-setting results for the artist. Rolf Armstrong’s Hello Everybody!, dating to the late 1920s, is considered one of his more iconic works. Originally a Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, the image was used on a 1929 cover of College Humor magazine as well as a compendium documenting Armstrong’s work. It is expected to bring $20,000+.
Art from the Golden Age of Illustration art includes a rare Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post interior illustration from 1947, which may bring $35,000+, a Saturday Evening Post cover by Harrison Fisher, is expected to reach $6,000+ and Howard Pyle’s work titled Sunday In Old Catskill, a story illustration from Harper's New Monthly magazine 1879, is expected to realize $10,000+. A number of works by famed children’s illustrator Garth Williams may be led by original cover art for the Little House series titled These Happy Golden Years, from 1953, is expected to bring $5,000+.
Stanley Meltzoff’s cover painting for I Am Legend by science fiction/fantasy author Richard Matheson is expected to bring $5,000+ to lead a particularly strong offering of pulp and paperback book cover illustrations. Norm Saunders’ gruesome Dream-Doll of Nightmare City, the cover image for All-Story Detective, December 1949, is expected to fetch $9,000+. The pulp illustration selection offers a heavy emphasis on science-fiction masterworks, including treasures from the estate of pioneering fan and historian Jerry Weist— with rare examples from the likes of Frank R. Paul, Virgil Finlay, Frank Kelly Freas, and John Berkey.
And what Heritage Illustration Art auction would be complete without a strong selection of fetching pin-up art, some of which comes directly from the Charles Martignette Collection. Never-before-offered paintings by Gil Elvgren include Aiming High (Will William Tell?), from 1959, which is expected to bring $50,000+, and Something New, from 1957, which also may realize $50,000+, in addition to examples of his charcoal and pencil works. A+ examples by the likes of Rolf Armstrong, William Medcalf, Pearl Frush, Earl Moran, Zoe Mozert, Olivia, Robert McGinnis round out the selection.
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