Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Something About Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain

Frontispiece from The Dark Secret of Weatherend
Weathering heights of prices.

Irwin Terry’s Goreyana noted an auction at the end of last month showcasing thirteen pieces of artwork from collector John A. Dressler-Carollo's collection. The collection ranged from mid 1950's Anchor paperback covers to the title page illustration for The New York Times Quiz Book from 1986:
Many pieces received bids [during the Nate Sanders Auctions sale (via Live Auctioneers) on Wednesday September 30, 2020] but only one, the frontispiece illustration from John Bellairs’s The Dark Secret of Weatherend met its reserve price, ultimately selling for $5120.00 (including buyers premium). Artwork from the popular Bellairs series rarely become available and this piece had multiple bids.
Terry has mentioned how clearer Gorey’s frontispieces are when viewing the originals verses the versions in the books. In most editions of Weatherend this image of the statues comes across a blocky smudge. Here you can distinguish separate faces for most of the statues.

All which reminds me of something I’ve wondered about in the past: do these statues have any real-world antecedents? I’m not naïve enough, of course, to believe there are identical statues of Wind, Snow, Hail, and Lightning out there. If anything these statues remind me of Francis Bacon's Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, where something unsuspecting and unassuming has been distorted and disfigured.

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