UNIQUE PAIR OF CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS WITH ORIGINAL DRAWINGS ON THEM OF A WILD THING AND THE NUTCRACKER BY MAURICE SENDAK
SENDAK, Maurice. "Wild Thing" and "Nutcracker" Christmas Ornaments. No place, circa 1978. Two white round Christmas ornaments, each approximately 2-1/2 inches across, with drawings in black, yellow, green and red marker. $35,000.
A wonderful and unique item: two plain white Christmas ornaments, one with a drawing of Wild Thing on it done in red, black and yellow markers and the other with a drawing of the Nutcracker on it done in black, yellow and green markers by Maurice Sendak for a neighbor and close friend.
According to the original owner, a neighbor and close friend of Sendak, these ornaments were presented by him to Sendak around 1978 for Sendak to decorate; Sendak chose to cover the entire surface of the balls in marker, one with an image of a Wild Thing from his classis children's book Where the Wild Things Are and the other with an image of the Nutcracker from his designs for the ballet The Nutcracker. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. The owner first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) He was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, he called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. The two embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the the original owner's mother, Betty, as well as his brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with him and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Betty, the mother, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, Sendak frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing). The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, limited edition books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.
Fine condition. Wonderful and unique.