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Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898) and Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900)

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Books & Manuscripts - 2433
Date / Time :
November 16, 2008 11:00AM


Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898) and Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900), The Climax, Important original illustration for Salome: A Tragedy in One Act, published in 1894. India ink and pencil on paper, signed with his Japanese monogram lower right, on heavy paper, likely Whatman, with penciled title inscriptions and number to verso, 9 by 6 1/2 in., framed with catalog entry and holograph inscribed pastedown to verso, "The Climax, for Salome. Original Drawing by Aubrey Beardsley. John Lane Sale, A.G. 11.22.26. no. 46j. Guy Eglington" (faint remnants to reverse, small foxing upper left and extreme lower left corner, small shaved area to the right of the head).

Provenance: The John Lane Collection of Original Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, sold by order of Mrs. John Lane, London, England, The Anderson Galleries, November 22, 1926, sale number 2104, lot 46j. Acquired by William M. and Dora Bay Wheeler of Boston, Massachusetts. Thence by descent to the present owner.

From Salome, pp. 66-67; " Ah! thou wouldst not suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan, I have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips. Was it the taste of blood?...Nay; but perchance it was the taste of blood...They say that love hath a bitter taste....I have kissed thy mouth".

According to the 1926 catalog, an earlier version of the same subject, following the same design, was published in The Studio, April 1893, illustrating Joseph Pennell's article. It was on the strength of this drawing that John Lane gave Beardsley the commission for the series.
Estimate $15,000-20,000

Faint glue remnants to reverse, small foxing upper left in thr center of the bubble field and a very slight discoloration just at the edge of the "Bubble field and to extreme lower left corner; minor soiling along all outside edges; paper very bright and fresh; layering of ink substantial and rich; two small shaved areas to the right of the head which, according to the letters of Beardsley, he caused himself. Blue crayon markings to reverse and with pencil scribblings, none visible from the front. Very slight pencil sketching where Beardsley altered the design of the drawing.


Aubrey Beardsley, John Lane, India, John Lane Sale, Guy Eglington, London, United Kingdom, Dora Bay Wheeler, Massachusetts, The Studio, Joseph Pennell, Art Nouveau, Aubrey, Beardsley, Genealogy, Salome