Property of a West Coast Collector
1870 - 1966
GIANT WITH JACK AT HIS FEET (POEMS OF CHILDHOOD)
initialed M●P (lower left); also inscribed Cover design./Maxfield Parrish./"The Oaks"/Windsor:Vermont./January of 1904. and numbered 367 (on the reverse) and To/Nicholas and Elizabeth./Biddle./December 12th. 1905./from/Maxfield Parrish. (on an original label affixed to the reverse)
oil, gold leaf and collage on paper tacked over a stretcher by the artist
21 ⅛ by 15 ¼ inches
(53.7 by 38.7 cm)
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes, Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, email@example.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This work on a thin piece of board is reinforced with a wooden stretcher on the reverse. There are collaged elements in the lower center and lower right of the sprig of leaves, and the scroll of calligraphy above the head of the giant is also collaged. The painting is probably slightly dirty, but it could be hung in its current state. Under ultraviolet light, it can be seen that fine cracking in the hands, arm, neck and leg of the giant have received retouches. There is also retouching to cracking in the rock in the lower right, in the child in the lower left, and in the face carved in the giant staff in the lower left. Some of the letters may have been very slightly glazed in the calligraphy across the top to even out their tonality, and there are a few small retouches in the upper left of the scroll around the "hood" of "childhood". The condition is very good overall, but the retouches are very heavy handed. Ideally one would clean the work and replace the retouches, but it could also be hung as is.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Nicholas and Elizabeth Biddle, 1905 (gift from the above)
Private collection (by descent)
[with]American Illustrators Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1996
Eugene Field, Poems of Childhood, New York, 1904, cover illustration
Coy Ludwig, Maxfield Parrish, New York, 1973, no. 367, pp. 31, 207 (as Poems of Childhood, Cover Design)
Paul W. Skeeters, Maxfield Parrish: The Early Years 1893-1930, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1973, illustrated p. 165
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundredth Anniversary Exhibition, January-March 1905, no. 171, p. 19 (as Cover: Eugene Field Book)
Tokyo, Japan, Isetan Museum of Art; Osaka, Japan, The Museum of Art, Kintetsu; Yamanashi, Japan, Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art; Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell Museum, Maxfield Parrish: A Retrospective, April-December 1995, illustrated p. 65
In his description of the present work, Coy Ludwig writes: "Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field, first published with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish in September 1904, was destined to become in the United States one of the better known, if not the best known, of all books illustrated by him. The idea to have Parrish illustrate Field's poems originated with Edward Bok at the Ladies' Home Journal. When Bok commissioned him to paint his interpretations of five of the poems for the magazine, Charles Scribner's Sons arranged to use the five illustrations in a single volume of Field's poetry. Parrish promised to provide three additional paintings, as well as a cover design [Giant with Jack at His Feet (Poems of Childhood)] endpapers, and, title page, for the proposed book" (Maxfield Parrish, New York, 1973, p. 31).
Ludwig continues: "Poems of Childhood was the first book in which Maxfield Parrish's paintings were reproduced in full color. As with prior illustrations, he allowed the author's text only to suggest the subject, and from that point the interpretation was his" (Ibid.).