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Dr Seuss meets Marilyn Monroe in the latest Swann Auction Galleries sale

A previously lost work by Dr Seuss and a nude portrait of Marilyn Monroe are amongst the highlights of the forthcoming Illustration Art sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

The Dr Seuss artwork is from a short story about a pair of identical twins entitled ‘Tadd and Todd’, in which Tadd strives to be different from his brother by dyeing his hair red, wearing a false tail, walking on stilts, keeping a pet bird and carrying an umbrella from Shanghai.

However, his brother manages to change his appearance in exactly the same ways, and Tadd eventually makes peace with their identical nature.

“And still no one knows when they meet with these two
If this one is that one, or that one is this one,
Or which one is what one, or what one is who.”

The story was originally published in Redbook magazine in August 1950, but had been largely forgotten until scholar Charles D. Cohen republished it in 2011, as part of a collection of obscure Seuss works entitled ‘The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories’.

The original ink and watercolour illustration will now cross the auction block for the first time in 66 years, with an estimated value of $12,000 – $18,000.

The Swann sale’s leading lot is a little more racy – a nude portrait of Marilyn Monroe by noted pin-up artist Earl Moran.

Moran originally met Monroe in 1949, whilst she worked as a model with the Blue Book agency under her real name Norma Jean Dougherty. During his later years as a fine artist in Las Vegas, he painted several portraits of Monroe at various stages in her life including this example, depicting her as the 20-year-old he first met in Hollywood.

Executed in 1979, and originally owned by a plastic surgeon friend of Monroe’s, the portrait is expected to sell for $20,000 – $30,000.

Further notable highlights from the sale include an original drawing by Man Ray entitled La Femme Portative, dating from 1937 and valued at $15,000 – $20,000; and an original full-page Charles Addams cartoon for The New Yorker entitled Noisy Neighbor, printed in April 1951, estimated at $10,000 – $15,000.

The Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art sale takes place on Thursday September 29.

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