WONDERFUL ORIGINAL DRAWING OF MICKEY MOUSE, INSCRIBED BY MAURICE SENDAK TO A CLOSE FRIEND
SENDAK, Maurice. Original drawing inscribed [Mickey Mouse]. Ridgefield, Connecticut, 1975. Pen-and-ink illustration, measuring 5-1/4 by 6-3/4 inches; handsomely matted and framed, entire piece measures 8-3/4 by 10-3/4 inches. $9500.
Beautiful original drawing of Mickey Mouse—who shared Maurice Sendak's birthday—with a speech balloon reading: "One Mickey Mouse Birthday deserves another!", additionally inscribed to a close friend and neighbor: "For Betty—All best wishes to you! Maurice Sendak. July 12, 75."
Sendak and Mickey Mouse were both "born" in 1928 and Sendak maintained a deep affinity for his cartoon counterpart. "Sendak credited his decision to become an illustrator to watching the Walt Disney film 'Fantasia' when he was 12" (Penn Live Patriot News). He was also an enthusiastic Mickey collector for much of his life and his impressive and valuable collection was sold at auction after his death. The former owner of this drawing was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, 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. Andrew 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.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's 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.