Chromolithograph inscribed ["Unicorn"]

Maurice SENDAK

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Item#: 123274 price:$3,500.00

Chromolithograph inscribed ["Unicorn"]
Chromolithograph inscribed ["Unicorn"]


SENDAK, Maurice. Chromolithograph inscribed ["Unicorn"]. No place: No publisher, circa 1976. Chromolithograph measuring 6 by 7-1/2 inches; handsomely matted and framed, entire piece measures 11-3/4 by 13-3/4. $3500.

Beautiful limited edition chromolithograph, one of only 125 copies printed for sale at the exhibition at Galerie Daniel Keel in Switzerland during the 1970s exhibition of Sendak's art, inscribed in the lower margin to a close friend: "For Betty—from Maurice Sendak. Jan:76," handsomely framed.

Maurice Sendak originally created this illustration to serve as the cover design for a Harper & Row children's books catalog. During the 1970s, the image was revived when a limited edition of 125 prints was offered for sale at the Exhibition at the Galerie Daniel Keel in Switzerland during the 1970s. Keel was the founder of Diogenes, the publishing house responsible for German translations of Sendak's work. The former owner of this drawing was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, James, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. James 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.) James was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, James called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. James and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the James' mother, Betty, as well as James' brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with James and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. James' mother, Betty, 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, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing featuring the cake). Sendak often referred to Betty as "Elizabeth" in inscriptions as he felt that "Betty" was too common a name. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.

Fine condition.

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