In 1951 Searle collaborated with UK animation studio Halas & Batchelor to create a film version of William Cowper's story 'The Diverting History of John Gilpin'. British readers can now view the film at this link.
The drawings were later released in an illustrated edition. See them here
I came across a rather special video on YouTube on the making of Ronald Neame's 1970 adaptation of Dickens' 'Scrooge' which featured a title sequence designed by Searle. The clip features Ronald sketching on set and talking about the project. He draws in the sketchbook that I was able to look at and photograph many years later at his home in Provence.
'A series of three original watercolors, "Commercial Christmas," "Office
Parties," and "Giftmanship," unused illustrations for the article
"Christmas Lifemanship," Holiday Magazine, c.1960, watercolor, India
ink and pencil, 253 x 365 mm, each numbered ("1"-"3") and titled by the
artist in ink at bottom, some soiling, discolored along edges.
trio of humorous sketches lampooning holiday etiquette: a secretary
presents a toy Santa Claus to her boss in "Commercial Christmas"; a sexy
young woman with a much older man "showing that you are in the secret
confidence of the managing director"; and another beauty in evening gown
pushing her Christmas present for her husband—a gift-wrapped
wheelchair—in "Giftmanship. 'Slightly unflattering.'" During his early
career, Mr. Knight was enthralled with the Punch cartoons of Searle,
particularly the Belle's of St. Trinian's series. "He did these
dreadful, vicious little schoolgirls terrifying their teachers," Mr.
Knight told The Easthampton Star. "I loved the wicked style, and
in the early '50s began doing contemporary drawings along those lines."
Eloise in her little uniform owes much to the Englishman's pint-sized
signed, cartoon in pen and ink on board, with dedication "David, Don't look at this with a professional eye! This is just a souvenir of the Monte Carlo jaunt - with best wishes from Ronald 1968', 36 x 47cm, in card mounted display with copies of Searle's artwork designs for the titles of 'Those Daring Young Men in the Jaunty Jalopies' (working title) and scanned images of David Watson clowning with Dudley Moore and some of the film crew.
From the collection of the late David John Peter Watson, equity card carrying professional driver. Watson acted as technical adviser and performed some of the driving stunts on the film, doubling for the likes of Tony Curtis, Terry Thomas and even Mireille Darc. The film was released as Monte-Carlo or Bust! in the UK in 1969 and as Those Daring Young Men in the Jaunty Jalopies in the USA.
Sold at Sotheby's July 10th 2018
Sold June 28th, UK
Sold June 2, NY
Sold March 6th, UK
A magazine cover design for the winter number of ‘Town & Country’ in 1948 by Ronald Searle
The Wilhelm Busch Deutsches Museum für Karikatur & Zeichenkunst in Hanover has put the first part of its archive online representing almost 1000 pictures by Ronald Searle! Although the site is in German it's relatively easy to navigate just go here !
The images are photographed form the originals held in the museum's collection and there are many unpublished pictures. Fascinating stuff for Searle fans.
The museum was inordinately co-operative and generous in their help on my book 'Ronald Searle's America' and the Searle Archive is now the most extensive collection of the cartoonist's work in the world.