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Leyendecker, Elvgren, Wyeth and Vargas Anchor Deepest Illustration Art Event Yet from Heritage Auctions

NEW YORK, NY.- J.C. Leyendecker's striking Lovebirds, The House of Kuppenheimer Style Book advertising diptych, Fall/Winter 1918-1919, is expected to bring more than $80,000 to lead the offerings in Heritage Auctions' May 4 Signature(r) Illustration Art Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute) at 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave). This simply superb example represents peak period work from one of the greatest painters from the Golden Age of Illustration.

"This masterpiece has been in a single collection since the 1920s and has never before been offered on the market," said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Heritage Auctions. "Frankly, in our continued search for the absolute best in Illustration Art, this is exactly the kind of painting we dream about uncovering."

Following the resounding success of Heritage's $4.1 million February auction in Beverly Hills, the diverse highlights of the auction are a testament to both the continuing riches found in the Estate of Charles Martignette, as well as in the offerings from scores of other Heritage consignors, who continue to turn up masterpieces in all genres, including major works of art previously unknown to the collecting community.

"New York is a very important market to Heritage and putting together a strong auction, one rich with great paintings by the most important names in the Illustration field, is a top priority," said Ed Jaster, Senior vice President at Heritage Auctions. "We feel confident that we've assembled the most desirable examples from all genres, as illustration aficionados have come to expect. This is one of our best ever sales, on all levels, and we expect collectors to take full advantage."

Leyendecker's Lovebirds is joined by a score of singular Saturday Evening Post covers - one of the most highly competitive areas of collecting in recent years - as well as classic American illustrations by artists such as N.C. Wyeth (The Return of the Four, All Around Magazine, pulp cover, December 1915. Estimate: $40,000+), Dean Cornwell (The Desert Healer, Cosmopolitan story illustration, 1922. Estimate: $20,000+), Harvey Dunn (Promise You Will Come, 1922. Estimate: $8,000+), Maxfield Parrish (Study for Autumn Brook, 1948. Estimate: $6,000+) and many more.

The classic children's literature illustrations of the late great Garth Williams have been creating quite a stir among collectors in the last two Heritage Illustration Art auctions, and the journey continues in the May New York auction with more great pieces by Williams, including the cover art to his beloved The Cricket in Times Square, estimated at $10,000+.

The hot market for children's art, buoyed by the Williams art is further bolstered by a small, choice group of animation art and illustrated book art including an Arthur Rackham's astounding Becuma of the White Skin, Irish Fairy Tales book illustration, 1920, estimated at $20,000+, while the equally hot market for pulp and paperback artwork is reinforced by a deep range work, led by H. J. Ward's Super Detective, Pulp magazine cover, April 1942, estimated at $10,000+.

Classic pin-up art is ever the staple of Heritage Illustration Art auctions and the May New York event will not disappoint, with a wide array of superlative examples, led by Gil Elvgren's Gay Nymph, an exceedingly rare nude by the master and, in the minds of Heritage specialists, the best example he ever painted. It is estimated at $60,000+.

The world class pin-up offerings continue with works from Alberto Vargas (Miss March, Vargas Esquire calendar, 1945. Estimate: $20,000+), Enoch Bolles (Clara Bow Surfing, Film Fun magazine cover, August 1929. Estimate: $9,000+) and Earl Moran (Blank Canvas. Estimate: $8000+), following his record-setting $83,650 Marilyn in Heritage's last Illustration Art auction.

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