Dec 15, 2022 - Sale 2625

Sale 2625 - Lot 59

Price Realized: $ 32,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000

ROCKWELL KENT (1882-1971)

"And then, without more ado, sat quietly down there." Illustration for Moby Dick.

Illustration for the heading of Chapter XXI, "Going Aboard," page 141 published in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, (New York: Random House, 1930). Pen and ink on paper, mounted to board. 155x190 mm; 6 1/4x7 1/2 inches, on 8 1/2x10-inch board. Signed "Rockwell Kent" in lower right margin. Tipped to window matte and framed to 14x17 inches.

Provenance: Graham Gallery, with their labels; private collection, New York.

Moby Dick was Kent's masterpiece and one of his most important commissions as a commercial illustrator. This scene shows the moment after Queequeg and Ishmael have an exchange with Elijah who asks them in the "grey imperfect misty dawn" along the wharf if they are "Going Aboard?" Ishmael warns him about disturbing the sailor, imploring him not to sit near him, but Queequeg "put his hand upon the sleeper's rear, as though feeling if it was soft enough; and then, without more ado, sat quietly down there."

'Kent's illustrations are perhaps the best known illustrations for Moby-Dick and are certainly among the most effective" --Thomas Tanselle, A Checklist of Editions of Moby-Dick, 1851-1976, (Chicago, 1976).