Dec 14, 2023 - Sale 2656

Sale 2656 - Lot 24

Price Realized: $ 22,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
"Some beautiful young women sat twining wreaths of flowers." Illustration published on page 111 in "The Three Golden Apples" of A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1922). Watercolor, pen, and ink over graphite on board. 279x406 mm; 11x16 inches. Matted and framed to 25x19 3/4 inches. Signed and dated "A Rackham 14" in lower left corner.

Hawthorne's A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys is a collection of six stories within a story in which Eustace Bright, a Williams College student, recounts the legends to a group of children. The tales are modernized versions of ancient Greek myths.

"The Three Golden Apples" is the retelling of Hercules' search for three golden apples that grew in the garden of the Hesperides. The "beautiful young women" in the story refer to the Hesperides, the nymphs of the evening and sunsets. Their days are spent singing and guarding the golden apple tree in Queen Hera's apple orchard. The published illustration comprised of four figures; it appears the fourth was later painted over.

Provenance: A present from Katherine Miller to her daughter Mable 'Polly' Miller on her 11th birthday in 1938. Has remained in the family until now. From verso: "11th bday - May 1938. The Three Beautiful Maidens twining wreaths - whom Hercules met while on a journey looking for the three golden apples in the garden of Hesperides. (Originally a 4th maiden - later painted out.)"