?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
AUBREY BEARDSLEY. "Spiky Leaves on a Stem" [Convolvulus leaf]. Ornamental device for Book X, chapter LXXXIV on page 607 of "Le Morte d'Arthur" (London: J.M. Dent, 1893-94), created by December 26, 1893. Pen and ink on paper with thin tissue paper backing. 100x78 mm; 3 3/4x3 inches. Inlaid to size on 10x7 1/4-inch sheet with hand-drawn borders, "598" in pencil on verso. Provenance: J. M. Dent to Erhard Weyhe Collection, Sotheby's New York, December 15, 1988 to Jack and Caroline Milne.
Beardsley's tour-de-force was his first major commission and one in which he explored techniques suited to fine book reproduction, specifically the line-block. The artist's knowledge of the text and the literary associations with flora guided his choice for their usage in specific sections of the story. For this drawing: "The leaves in 'Morte d'Arthur' resemble spears or phalluses, appropriate to the male bravado and fighting that this chapter specifically, and the text in general, describe."--Zatlin 573.