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Personal Sendak drawings for auction at Swann Galleries
Sendak created the drawings for four-year-old Nicholas Hentoff, called Kiko, whose father Nat profiled the author for The New Yorker in 1966. Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

NEW YORK, NY.- Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak is best known for Where The Wild Things Are, the 1963 children’s book that became a global phenomenon. Several of his personal drawings never intended for publication will be available September 29 in an Illustration Art sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

Sendak created the drawings for four-year-old Nicholas Hentoff, called Kiko, whose father Nat profiled the author for The New Yorker in 1966.

During an outing at the beach on Fire Island in 1965, “Nicholas, returning from a thwarted attempt to play with some older children, noticed that Sendak had been sketching. Nicholas asked, 'Can you make me a ferryboat?' Sendak did, and then drew other pictures at Nicholas’ request, including some of seagulls – creatures that my son is very fond of. The next day, Sendak dropped in at our house with a water-color scene that contained all the boats, birds, and fishes Nicholas had asked for the previous afternoon.”

That watercolour, shown above right, is titled Kiko’s Ferryboat. Described as a collaborative drawing by Sendak and four-year-old Nicholas Hentoff, it is signed and inscribed, “To Kiko – For a nice afternoon! Maurice Sendak.”

The work is estimated at $5,000 to $7,500.

Further gifts from Sendak to Kiko include the 1973 drawing Eagle with Baby and Terrier ($2,000 to $3,000) and For Kiko! Hector Protector, 1963 (group of three; $3,500 to $5,000).

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