CLARKE, JOSEPH CLAYTON ("KYD")
Set of 55 Pickwick Playing Card designs [together with two packs of printed cards], comprising:
standard pack of 52 cards together with title card, Joker card and design of Mr Pickwick for card backs, each 90 by 64mm., ink or ink and watercolour drawings, collector’s chemise and green morocco folding box
Set of 55 Pickwick Playing Cards, [London: Navarre Society Ltd., c. 1980s], comprising standard pack of 52 cards together with title card, Joker card and variant Ace of Spades, 10 pp. folded description of the history of the pack, unsealed pack
Duplicate set, sealed; both in collector’s green morocco folding box
There appear to be at least two sets of original drawings by "Kyd" for his Pickwick Playing Cards.
One set was apparently made in 1931 and offered by Chas. J. Sawyer (catalogue 103). Apparently bought by Marjorie Wiggin Prescott they were sold in her sale at Christie’s New York, 6 February 1981, lot 88. The Prescott set included a variant of the Ace of Spades for Charles J. Sawyer had objected to Kyd’s depiction of Dickens as an old man (based on the Frith portrait). Kyd therefore provided a replacement (based on the Maclise portrait). The Prescott set was published as a set of Playing-Cards in the 1980s and two sets are included in the present lot.
A different set was offered for sale from the A. Edward Newton Collection in his sale at Parke-Bernet Galleries, 18 April 1941. This set originally included a letter, dated 20 May 1931, from an apparently forgetful Kyd in which he noted "…the 55 drawings which I submitted to you… are… the only set of ‘Dickens’ Playing Cards’ in existence… I am now in my 75th year… the odds against my ever doing a similar set… must be several millions to one."
The present set is, presumably, the Newton set or, with increased odds, a further set.
?A. Edward Newton, his sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, 18 April 1941, lot 557
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.