Wednesday, November 20, 2019

American Gothic

 Searle's 'Atlantic City' sketchbook.

  Searle's 'Catskills' sketchbook.

  Searle's 'Hawaii' sketchbook.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019


Illustrated Autograph Letter Signed, to Irving, thanking him for the Eliot cutting and hoping to visit, joking that they were going to send a dove out to look for him instead of dry land. With a large illustration of a man holding a balloon. 1 page, single large 8vo sheet; mat burn. London, 27 September 1948 

British Artist and Satirical Cartoonist. A.L.S., Ronald, one page, 4to, London, 30th July 1952, to Nicolas Bentley ('Dear Nick') on the printed stationery of Perpetua Limited. Searle informs his correspondent that he didn't fully enjoy a book, commenting 'It's difficult when you dislike almost every character. Still - it was interesting - and well written.' He further informs Bentley that he has to go away until the end of August on a couple of features, 'but meanwhile you could be looking out a drawing which would make an American laugh for £10', explaining, 'The wife of a big New York advertising man (Mr. Henry Bach of Henry Bach Associates!) [Inc. Inc.] wants me to get for her one or two originals of cartoons to hang in their apartment over there. (no commission!) She fell in love with your trotting passenger in the Sedan chair - but we weren't parting with it. So anything like.' In concluding Searle asks 'Did I tell you we are doing the odd book under this firm? Our first on dramatic criticism, critics and such subjects will be out in October and we hope it will sweep the profession! If it doesn't we'll have to give it away with ice creams in the Interval. Any way we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.' VG
Nicolas Bentley (1907-1978) British Author and Illustrator, best known for his humorous cartoon drawings in books and magazines of the 1930s and 1940s.

British Artist and Satirical Cartoonist. A.L.S., Ronald, two pages, 4to, Paris, 21st June 1975, to Nicolas Bentley ('Dear Nick'). Searle states that he was delighted to hear from his friend and remarks 'I don't know a thing about the OMNIBUS film & haven't seen it....So it was marvellous to have a spontaneous reaction like that from you & to know that you didn't consider it a waste of time to have chatted out once and for all some of those thoughts that go round in the head - but are usually kept out of sight. I must confess I hesitated over the idea for a long time because I much prefer to remain a private person. People call it 'secretive'. But it is not. I'm all for cutting out the inessentials & getting some peace & quiet.' Searle continues to refer to his wife's illness and further adds 'By the way - she is a great detective fiction buff. A couple of weeks ago she tracked down a first edition of Trent's Last Case through a second hand bookseller & she asked me to tell you how much she enjoyed Floating Dutchman. Now she is chasing your others as it made her thirst to read more. She combs almost every second hand bookseller's catalogue in GB. Her form of regular treasure hunting.', also commenting on his own work, 'I get tired too easily now. I work more tranquilly now - & the work may be better for it. But noise drives me mad & I am obviously showing signs of wear.' In concluding Searle reflects 'And why didn't they knight you instead of the amateur Lancaster? Shaming I thought, that the only signs of recognition to the profession - apart from Low on his deathbed - in the last 20 years, should be Giles & Osbert. Or do they only read the Daily Express? Pathetic.' A letter of interesting content. 

British Artist and Satirical Cartoonist. Vintage signed and inscribed 9 x 7 photograph of Searle seated outdoors in a full length pose alongside another gentleman. Signed in bold blue fountain pen ink across a light area of the image, 'To Walter Alford, Souvenir of a pleasant 'Monte Carlo' day in Rome, with best wishes, Ronald Searle' and dated August 1968 in his hand.

Typed Letter to (Searle's secretary) Jean Ellsmoor Monday 30 October 1961-Chris Beetles Gallery

'One page, 242 x 190mm, printed letterpaper, illustrated with a sketch showing the Belles of St Trinian's and Miss Fritton.

A letter from Ronald Searle to the writer and broadcaster Arthur Marshall featuring his most famous creation  the Belles of St Trinian's  caught in a moment of mischief. 'St Trinians send you their very best thanks and good wishes for a charming reception. Their activities sounded so much funnier than we, as founder, thought they were on paper! – and they enjoyed it very much'.

In 1949, the year after the present letter was written, Ronald Searle collaborated with the writer and broadcaster Arthur Marshall (1910-1989) on a feature for a Christmas edition of Lilliput 
magazine; Marshall supplied the words for 'Look Out King Wenceslas', which was then illustrated by Searle. After Searle, Marshall was perhaps the best-known parodist of life in British girls' schools at the time, though his broad career would later extend across radio, television and the stage.' - Christie's