The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 15, 2018


The original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise achieves $100,000 at Bonhams
Hilary Knight's original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise. Tempera on board. Price realized: $100,000. Photo: Bonhams.


NEW YORK, NY.- On December 5, Hilary Knight’s original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise achieved $100,000 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale. Once lost and now rediscovered, this portrait captures the irrepressible spirit of one of the most influential children's book characters in history. The World of Hilary Knight continues online through December 13 with estimates ranging from $100 to $5,000 and open to established and new bidders alike.

The original portrait of Eloise:
Toting a history as lively as its inspiration, this portrait was painted as a birthday gift by Hilary Knight for Eloise co-creator Kay Thompson in 1956, on the eve of Kay's appearance on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person on CBS, where she proudly displayed the painting to guest host Jerry Lewis. Shortly thereafter, she loaned the work to the Plaza Hotel where it hung ceremoniously in the lobby as an homage to their most famous (imaginary) resident. However, on the night of a Junior League Ball at the Plaza, November 1960, it disappeared. As Mr. Knight tells the story, "Kay called me, 'Drunken debutantes did it!' And soon it was all over the news, in the columns, and Walter Cronkite confirmed it on the evening news." The famed portrait of Eloise had been stolen. Despite the press and the hubbub, the portrait failed to reappear. Some years later, Mr. Knight received a call: "The painting had been found in a dumpster, frameless." Once identified as the missing artwork, it was returned to Mr. Knight, who had already replaced the Plaza portrait with a new one: an oil painting that still hangs there today. Mr. Knight rolled up the original and put it in his closet, forgetting about it for the next 50 years, until it was revived for an Eloise exhibition at the New York Historical Society 2017. It is now being offered at auction for the first time.

Additional highlights from the collection included:

• An Archive Of Hilary Knight Illustrations For The Owl And The Pussycat. Price realized: $26,250 (estimate: $5,000-8,000)

• SENDAK, MAURICE. 1928-2012. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. First Edition, Presentation Copy From Artist To Artist In The Month Following Publication. Price realized: $31,250 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)





Today's News

December 7, 2018

Hieronymus Bosch painting returns to Het Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch

Culture Minister steps in to prevent JMW Turner's 'Walton Bridges', valued at £3.4 million, from export

Sotheby's sales of Barbara and Frank Sinatra total $7.8 million in NYC with online auction still open

An evening of Old Masters at Christie's realised $53,730,552

Joslyn Art Museum announces major gift by Ed Ruscha of multiple works

(RED), Sotheby's & Gagosian celebrate the third (RED) Auction - $10.5 million raised

Black heritage museum, 'crucible of creativity', opens in Dakar

Freddie Mercury's iconic stage necklace up for auction at Ewbank's Auctions

Museum Brandhorst opens a major exhibition of works by Alex Katz

Exceptionally rare panorama from circa 1860 is a highlight of Sotheby's sale

ICA LA Board of Directors announces Elsa Longhauser stepping down in 2019

Saatchi Gallery premieres groundbreaking multisensory virtual reality installation

Voting opens to find Britain's favourite work of art in Art Fund's 2018 poll

Phillips' second New York Watch Auction realizes $11.5 million

Storied provenance drives Millea Bros. Select Auction

Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels sale totals $69.2 million

Solzhenitsyn's son back in Russia with opera for centenary

Important paintings by Zhang Daqian to be presented at Clars' December 16 auction

Chunk of Moon weighing 6 pounds, new-to-science dinosaur offered at Heritage Auctions

Hammer Museum announces Made in L.A. 2020 curators

The original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise achieves $100,000 at Bonhams

Charles Dickens handwritten signed quote from 'A Christmas Carol' sold for $23,597 at auction

Swann Auction Galleries to sell historic archive tracing the origins of modern Japan

Chile begins its participation during Miami Art Week with high-profile sales

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The Morgan receives a major Renoir drawing unseen for over 50 years

2.- Recording console built by Elvis Costello and used to record Stairway to Heaven stars at Bonhams sale

3.- On December 9, estate jewelry & more goes up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

4.- French museum chief hits back at call to return African art

5.- David Castillo Gallery to present works by a stellar group of artists at Art Basel Miami Beach

6.- Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for almost $60 million at Christie's Hong Kong

7.- Exploring the watery remains of France's sunken Roman port of Olbia

8.- Exhibition examines eroticism in paintings and drawings of the male and female nude

9.- Thieves nab Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting from Vienna auction house

10.- Israeli archaeologists unveil rare stone mask dating to the Neolithic



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