Books and Prints - Sale 08BP01 - Lot 43Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 10am
COOLIDGE, CASSIUS M.[ARCELLUS]
Coolidge's comic photo-caricature foregrounds. U.S. Patent No. 149,724. New York: C.M. Coolidge [n.d., but the patent was filed January of 1874, and issued in April of that year]. Manuscript in the original sketchbook, faux-leather binding, the front cover with a painted label reading Coolidge's photo-caricature foregrounds. 8 1/4 inches (21 cm). The inside of the front and rear covers bears a drawing of a flying goose with reins, with a photo of Coolidge's head affixed to the rider's head. The reverse of the title has a briefly penned indication on the method of production. This is followed by 80 leaves, each of which has two caricatures to a leaf, for a total of 158. These are drawn in pen outline and handcolored, with the accompanying text written out below. The blank verso of many of the final leaves have pencil sketches for further caricatures, for a total of 215. Spine cracked, a little shaken, but overall sound. * Sold with a second notebook, including pencil sketches for about fifteen caricatures, as well as three printed sheets, one giving directions to the photographer for taking photo-caricatures.
A piece of prime period Americana (and of some photographic interest), Coolidge's boardwalk photo-caricatures were extremely popular in their time. The subject's head was inserted into a cutout in a painted oilcloth background with a comic scene, and their photograph was taken. Though no longer protected by patent, the genre remains ubiquitous.
Provenance: Marcella Coolidge, daughter of the artist, by descent from the estate of the artist.
Sold for $2,125 (Includes Buyer's Premium)
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