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1941 Charles Addams Original Cartoon Artwork - Special Presentation Piece Inscribed by Addams
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $8,295
Charles Addams (1912-1988) possessed a special talent among artists. Macabre humor, especially in the form of a cartoon, requires a delicate balance of sensibility and wit, a fine line that few artists have ever been able to tread successfully. Addams not only walked that line, he raced down it at breakneck speed, leaving us today with more than 1,300 classic cartoons, many of which elicit both a laugh and an involuntary shudder. Offered here is one of Addams' original cartoon artworks dating from 1941 that was later presented by the artist to two of his friends as a special birthday gift. The artwork pictures two American explorers resting outside their jungle hut as a group of natives walks by, each of whom holds a spear upon which is a human head, including that of the explorers' companion. The original published caption, "Why there's Carver now." appears in pencil on the matting below. Signed by Addams in the lower right. Addams later presented this artwork to two of his friends, as indicated by the pencil inscription (grading "10") written upon the matting in the lower left: "Happy Birthday/for Helen & Ruthie/with love/Charlie." Medium: Brush, ink and wash en grisaille on art board. Image Area: 11.5 x 11.75 inches. Publication History: Published in the New Yorker (January 1941). Condition: There is a small area of light toning/foxing along the base of the artwork (very unobtrusive) that extends downward into the matting; otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. Provenance: this artwork was presented by Addams to two elderly women who were twins. The two women lived in Westhampton Beach, New York (where Addams had a summer home) and were friends of our consignor's mother, who many years ago purchased the piece directly from the two sisters. It has been owned by our consignor's family ever since. This particular piece is additionally of note as it was at one time exhibited overseas, as noted by an official stamp on the inside lower left of the backing board that reads "OWI OVERSEAS BRANCH EXHIBITION UNIT." - Exhibit No.: 261. Title: 'Why, there's Carver now'" (OWI stands for "Office of War Information"). The piece is housed in its original wood frame, which measures 19 x 20 inches. Accompanied by a LOA from the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,295
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