Jessie Willcox Smith’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears Tops Illustration Art Signature Auction

Jessie Willcox Smith’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Swift’s Premium Soap Products calendar illustration, 1916 (estimate: $100,000+), a dramatic and bold masterpiece of crayon and watercolor on board — and one of the great artists’ finest masterpieces — will headline Heritage Auctions’ Oct. 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America), 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave.) in New York.

“It’s hard to imagine a better piece of art to anchor this auction than Jessie Willcox Smith’s brilliant fairy tale interpretation,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “The auction, overall, features likely the deepest line-up of Golden Age and Classic illustration that Heritage has ever offered.”

Smith’s Goldilocks features all the elements of the artist’s work that have made her one of the most sought-after of all the Golden Age illustrators. Her uncommon sensitivity to her subject, an impeccable use of color and texture and an ability to convey the entire story with a single image make this an exceptional example from an exceptional catalog of work.

Bolstering the Golden Age and Classic credentials of the auction are marquee pieces from the greatest names in the form’s illustrious history, including J.C. Leyendecker’s Startled Pilgrim, The Saturday Evening Post cover, Nov. 27, 1920 (estimate: $50,000+), Norman Rockwell’s distinctly American The Long Shadow of Lincoln, study for story illustration, Saturday Evening Post, Feb. 10, 1945 (estimate: $40,000+) and John Philip Falter’s Sunday Gardening, The Saturday Evening Post cover, July 1, 1961 (estimate: $35,000+).

Frank Earle Schoonover’s action-packed Brawn of These Lads Made the Pike a Match for a Pirate’s Cutlass, 1922 is expected to bring $30,000+, while Maxfield Parrish’s brilliant Fisherman on Pier, Life Magazine cover, Aug. 25, 1921 is estimated at $25,000+, and Howard Pyle’s superb “Again, My Captain (Pirates)”, New York Colonial Privateers, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine page 35 illustration, Feb. 1895 should bring $20,000+.

As always, Pin-Up and Pulp art features prominently in the Heritage event, led by the King of Pin-Up Illustrators, Gil Elvgren and his amazing and iconic Peek-a-View, Louis F. Dow Company calendar illustration, 1940 (estimate: $60,000+).

Further Pin-Up and Pulp highlights include George Petty, Going Fishing, Brown and Bigelow calendar illustration, 1938 (estimate: $30,000+), Margaret Brundage, The Albino Deaths, Weird Tales pulp cover, March 1936 (estimate: $30,000+) and Earle Bergey, Romance Preferred, Bedtime Stories pulp cover, April 1935 (estimate: $5,000+).

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