SENDAK, MAURICE.  BORN 1928.

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Lot 182
SENDAK, MAURICE. BORN 1928.

Sold for US$ 11,750 inc. premium
SENDAK, MAURICE. BORN 1928.
ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR, "THE BALLAD OF CHICKEN SOUP."
Original pen/ink and watercolor on board, 10 1/2 by 9 3/4 inches, titled in Sendak's hand, "The Ballad of Chicken Soup" at upper left corner, signed and dated at lower right ("M. Sendak / July 73"), of four children in the throes of death, and one expired alligator on the floor, board tipped to verso of matte, matted and framed to 17 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches overall, very fine.

Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are won the 1964 Caldecott Book Medal and launched the career of one of the most singular voices and visions in children's literature. "The Ballad of Chicken Soup" appears in Really Rosie, an animated television musical co-authored by Sendak and Carole King, based on characters that appear in Sendak's The Sign on Rosie's Door, Chicken Soup With Rice, and other early works. "The Ballad of Chicken Soup" tells the macabre story of a young boy named Chicken Soup who boils up a pot of chicken soup, only to choke on a bone: "He gulped that soup / Let out a whoop! / And fell down croaking / On the stoop / And he Choked! / And he SAGGED! / And he SMOTHERED!/ And he GAGGED! / And he let out a SCREAM! / And he let out a MOAN! / Then he cried / 'Cause he died / From choking on a bone / On such an ordinary day / Like today / A-lack! A-day! / O-Woe! Oy-Vey! / On an ordinary day / Chicken soup passed away!"
It's unclear for what stage of the project Sendak produced this illustration, though the piece does predate the television special by two years. Fully realized Sendak illustrations are exceedingly rare, as the bulk of his archives have been placed in Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum, of which he is a trustee.
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