Dec 15, 2022 - Sale 2625

Sale 2625 - Lot 241

Price Realized: $ 21,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000


Papering the Tree.

Cover illustration for The New Yorker, published December 21, 1992. Watercolor, graphite, and ink on paper. 280x215 mm; 11x8 1/2 inches, on 13 1/2x9 1/2-inch paper. Initialed "EG" in lower right image. Tipped to matte; verso blank.

Provenance: The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, consigned to support its mission of maintaining Gorey's artistic legacy and the animal welfare organizations he supported.

The last color magazine cover by Edward Gorey published in his lifetime and one of only two published New Yorker covers by him. This image, featuring a family festively trimming a bizarre, denuded Christmas tree (and, in the process, the family pets) with poinsettia wrapping paper, appeared on the December 21, 1992 Christmas week cover. While this was the only New Yorker cover published in Gorey's lifetime, a second watercolor submitted with it, "Cat Fancy," languished in their archives, 18 years after his death and nearly forgotten until 2018 when editor Françoise Mouly rediscovered the illustration upon the submission of an appreciation of Gorey by Joan Acocella. In belated homage, it graced their December 3, 2018 issue. That original drawing, featuring cozy felines camouflaged in a riotously patterned bed comforter, was sold in our showrooms the following June.

Over the course of his career, Gorey created a total of thirty-four published covers for magazines. Among those, only eight were in full color though some contained small watercolor additions or backgrounds. Gorey scholar and collector Irwin Terry noted that an additional four were unpublished. His excellent posts on Gorey's magazine covers can be found on his blog and his helpful research and assistance is greatly appreciated.