WINSOR McCAY LINEN-MOUNTED "LITTLE NEMO" CARTOON POSTER.
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Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:00:00 PM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:00:00 PM)
Auction 193 - Part II
Item numbers 800 though 2307 in auction 193
39.5x54.75" poster (rarely distributed poster size) has been linen-mounted and rolled. Poster was printed in 1911 in France with art signed by R. Hem. Poster has two Vitagraph Co. symbols, larger in lower right-hand corner, eagle with "V" symbol by upper left-hand corner. Created to promote the 1911 short "Little Nemo" which had an almost 8-minute, live-action prologue where McCay makes a wager with various men including cartoonist George McManus (of Bringing Up Father Maggie and Jiggs fame) and Vitagraph actor and comedian John Bunny. The bet was that he could make 4,000 drawings that "move" in one month causing the men to laugh uproariously. In this prologue, McCay is shown drawing his characters Nemo, Flip, the Imp and Doctor Pill at an astounding speed and accuracy using just a fountain pen. McCay had a legendary ability to draw rapidly. The next scene shows workers hauling in barrels of ink and huge bails labeled "Drawing Paper." McCay is also seen at his desk with huge stacks of paper with drawings. Various fantastic scenes then take place involving all characters which were sure to amaze audiences. Top of poster has Flip and Imp holding title banner which roughly translates from the French to "Winsor McCay's Latest Animated Movie." Underneath this are a series of drawings featuring alligator, Flip and Nemo drawing Imp. McCay himself is shown seated at his desk surrounded by stacks of completed animated drawings and his art tools. McCay holds nice portrait of Doctor Pill. Smaller inset image at bottom left-hand corner shows McCay placing wager from live-action prologue. Easily among the earliest cartoon posters, this poster has been speculated to possibly be the first cartoon poster ever created. An example of this poster has not come on the market for over 10 years. This example is French, and no American example is yet known to exist. Poster is lightly aged with slightly darker aging along original fold creases though this does not detract greatly from overall appearance. Poster has a very few minor color touch-ups at fold crease intersections though these are barely noticeable and only seen under close inspection. Colors remain bright and bold and overall, poster displays Exc. Would look great framed. Early and important poster from the beginning of the age of animation. Rare and the only example we've offered in our 41 years.
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