Tudor illustrations illuminate Oct. 4 Waverly Auction

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – A rare 28-page illustration of The Lord’s Prayer from Tasha Tudor, the undisputed queen of American children’s books illustrators, will highlight the Oct. 4 auction of Children’s and Illustrated books from Waverly Auctions at Quinn’s Auction Gallery in Falls Church, Va.

191.jpg“It’s rare to see a book like this sold as one complete lot,” said Matthew Quinn. “Typically we sell a lot of Tudor, but the illustrations are usually sold individually. It should help to make this October sale, always a good time, even better.”

Tasha Tudor, 28 original watercolors, all the illustrations for Give Us This Day: The Lord’s Prayer. Includes later edition of the book, published (NY): Philomel Books, (1987). $65,000–$85,000.

Dale Sorenson, Director of Waverly Auctions, agrees. “What’s unusual is to have an entire work of original illustrations,” he said. “That just does not come to the marketplace.”

“Give Us This Day” represents a bit of a departure in the work of Tudor, as the task given to her did not necessarily lend itself to her signature pastoral style. What emerges from the drawings, as it follows the themes of the prayer is drawings with a darker perspective, with deep reds often punctuating a specific point.

“Some Tudor collectors wouldn’t buy this on its own,” said Sorenson, “because it doesn’t fit the theme that is normally associated with her. Her task was to illustrate the Lord’s Prayer, so there are both positive and negative aspects to that.”

Tasha Tudor, watercolor on stiff, wove paper. Christmas card design showing a mother seated in a rocking chair sewing by hand, room lit by single lamp, small child kneeling near chair looking at baby in wooden cradle. Signed, $6000 – $8000.

The consignor of the manuscript is a longtime customer of Quinn’s and Waverly, and they felt that the time was right to make such an offering to the market. If previous sales hold true, then the collection should generate significant interest in the children’s books and illustration circles.

In December 2004, a Tudor illustration sold for more than $13,000 at a Waverly Auction, setting a precedent for the firm and firmly establishing it as a reliable and trusted source for Tudor illustrations among its yearly Children’s Book sale. The pre-sale estimate on “Give Us This Day: The Lord’s Prayer” is at $70,000-$90,000.

192.jpgBesides the major Tudor lot, Waverly will also be offering for sale several of the illustrator’s other drawings in the sale, including an advent calendar estimate to bring $15,000-$18,000, as well as several other illustrations, bringing the total available Tudor illustrations in the sale to more than 45.

Tasha Tudor. Advent Calendar. Watercolor on stiff paper. 1960. Signed and dated. $15,000–$18,000.

“We’re always pleased to offer Tasha Tudor in our auctions,” Quinn said. “They’re always impressive, always grab a lot of attention and are always fun.”

The Children’s Books & Illustrations Auction at Quinn’s begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. The Gallery is located at 431 North Maple Avenue, Falls Church. The auction will also be listed live on LiveAuctioneers.com. For more information, call 703-532-5632, or go online to www.quinnsauction.com.