Jul 16, 2020 - Sale 2541

Sale 2541 - Lot 36

Price Realized: $ 2,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
"Pretty Pretty Peggy Moffitt." Together, group of 16 illustrations on 15 sheets for a book of the same name by William Pène du Bois (New York: Harper & Row, 1968). Includes jacket page/copyright page, back of jacket/opposite copyright page, title page, and pages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13-14, 20, 22, and 23. Pen, ink and watercolor on paper; some with cellotape lettering. Image sizes vary, from 50x90 mm; 1 3/4x3 3/4 inches to 180x110 mm; 7x4 1/2 inches. Sheets measure from 2 1/2x4 1/4 inches to 7 3/4x11 inches. Two signed "William Pène du Bois." Two mounted together on board with matte. See condition report for complete image set. Accompanied by mock-up of text with printed illustrations.

Pène du Bois describes the dangers of vanity in this moralizing project. The tale follows a young girl who distractedly admires her beauty in all of the reflective surfaces she passes instead of watching where she is going. She gets bumped, bruised, and battered as she stumbles through life until an ill-timed tumble into a coal chute brings her to her senses.

The story is based on the fashion model Peggy Moffitt, whose distinctive heavy eye makeup and 'five-point' Vidal Sassoon hairstyle contributed to her status as a style icon of the 1960s. Her signature mod look was the inspiration for Rudi Gernreich, whose designs were the basis for all of her fashionable outfits in the book.

Pène du Bois' whimsical illustrations and beloved cast of characters made serious themes accessible and engaging for children. The American author and illustrator is among a select few who have been presented with both a Newbery Medal (for The Twenty-One Balloons, 1947) and Caldecott Honors (for Bear Party, 1951 and Lion, 1956). As both artist and author, Pène du Bois captivated generations of readers with his unique combination of humor and imagination.