LOVELY PRINT FROM THE GRIMM STORY, "HANSEL AND GRETEL," FROM THE JUNIPER TREE, INSCRIBED BY MAURICE SENDAK TO A NEIGHBOR AND CLOSE FRIEND
SENDAK, Maurice. Print inscribed ["Hansel and Gretel"]. No place, circa 1980. Black-and-white print, measuring 6-1/2 by 8-1/4 inches. $1200.
Lovely print featuring an image from "The Golden Bird" from Sendak's adaptation of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, inscribed in pencil on the verso to a neighbor and close friend: "For Michael—For New Year's! With pleasure—Maurice Sendak Jan. '80."
This print is from The Juniper Tree, a collection of 27 (mainly) lesser known Grimm fairy tales adapted by Lore Segal and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. This illustration depicts a scene from "Hansel and Gretel" of Gretel reaching out imploringly toward the witch with Hansel caged in the background. On top of the cage is a German shepherd—almost certainly a portrait of one of Sendak's beloved dogs. The former owner of this inscribed print was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut, the brother of the inscribee, Michael. 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). The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.