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Winning Bid:
$49,973.00 (Includes 18% Buyer's Premium)
Bidding Ended:
Thursday, March 12, 2020 9:00:00 PM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Thursday, March 12, 2020 9:00:00 PM)
Time Left:
Auction #229 Part II
Value Code:
Q - $35,000 to $50,000 Help Icon
Item Description
19.75x23-1/8" illustration board w/paper mounted to it features mixed media original art by Winsor McCay, the creator of legendary Sunday comic strip "Little Nemo"  as well as the 1914 animated cartoon "Gertie the Dinosaur." Before Nemo, McCay created a Sunday strip that ran only in the "Cincinnati Enquirer" entitled "Tales Of The Jungle Imps By Felix Fiddle." McCay went on to do 43 different stories for the strip between Jan. and Nov., 1903. These tales were based on poems by "Cincinnati Enquirer" editor George Randolph Chester and the stories were similar to Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories." In each Sunday page, an animal's anatomy was explained in stories involving three mischievous and somewhat cruel Jungle Imps and their pestering of various animals. Offered here is original art for "Why The Parrot Learned To Talk" which deals w/trio of Jungle Imps antagonizing a sleeping trio of prehistoric cavemen. The Imps look on from bushes as club-toting men discuss eating whale and elephant for breakfast. When the men fall asleep, Imps attack w/sticks, only to be caught by the men who grab the Imps while saying such things as "Hello! You Measly Imps, Hello You Brats, Hello You Mischievous Wretches." All the while, parrots look on and in last panel imitate what they have heard, threatening the Imps, who react in fear. Felix Fiddle oversees each panel. Art has four text panel paste-overs that nicely complete the story. Original art has been hand-colored by McCay as is often the practice when original art from this era was presented as a gift. In 2006, it was discovered that a family in Ohio had held the only known examples of McCay's Imps art - a total of 11 - for over 100 years. Upon learning of the historical significance of the art, the family donated two pages to the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library and sold three pages privately. Two art dealers bought the remaining six pieces; "How The Tiger Got His Stripes, How The Pig Got His Appetite, How The Camel Got His Back Up, How The Snake Lost His Body, How The Pelican Lost His Pouch" and "Why The Parrot Learned To Talk." In addition to the original art offered here, the only other example of McCay's Imps art that made it to auction, "How The Pelican Got His Pouch," recently sold in June 2019 for $57,500. Illustration board shows obvious margin wear/aging w/heavy foxing/wear to corners w/1x1.25" corner piece missing from bottom right corner, removing most of McCay's last name from inked signature. Margins have some scattered chipping to both board and paper, which does not infringe upon art areas aside from at corners. Top left corner missing from fourth text panel paste-over, only removing a few letters. Art has moderate aging at margins, being more pronounced at upper left and lower right corner. Scattered pin holes along margins w/three pin holes affecting art (center word balloon in first panel, at upper right of second panel and to left of Imps image in last panel). Back of board has vintage framer's label and margins show heavy aging/soiling, however this does not affect front's display. Illustration board is VG overall, but colors remain bold and art still displays Fine and would present wonderfully if matted and framed. During his career, McCay produced 400+ Nemo pages, roughly 10 times the amount of Imp pages. As infrequently as "Little Nemo" original art comes to market this is an even rarer opportunity to obtain an "Imps" original. A truly historic one-of-a-kind work of art from the legendary McCay.
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