From the Auction Listing:
“This is the world’s only known complete collection of these creatures; this set of three was purchased in the late 1930’s and has remained intact. Created by Dr. Seuss, these sculptures were first carved from wood, then hand painted and mounted onto small plaques.”
“This collection would have been originally purchased in the late 1930’s. They were kept in a child’s room, and eventually retired to the storage barn next to a chicken coop in upstate New York. The set was acquired for a substantial sum in 2004. Though aged and weathered, restoration was not considered for several reasons. They are perfectly charming, and the need of a face-lift is a matter of opinion, because the personalities remain intact. The aged quality imparts character and denotes the history of these priceless pieces of Americana. These museum pieces were later copied and reproduced as limited edition sculptures by The Chase Group, the licensee of the fine art property originally created by Dr. Seuss. The limited edition Blue-Green Abelard was re-created in a smaller edition size than the other contemporary sculptures; only 375 pieces. The Tufted Gustard was 375 pieces and the Mulberry Street Unicorn was 850 pieces. All of those resin limited editions are going for big bucks, which is a good way to gage the value of the originals! The limited edition of the Blue-Green Abelard currently retails in the range of 25-28k! and The Tufted Gustard for 15k! The entire collection is sensationally popular, because the sculptures are not dead old taxidermy beasts, but Unorthodox Taxidermy, filled with whimsy and life!”
“Today the pieces are part of a larger and very intriguing exhibition by Dr Seuss, in a mideival fortress in France, Chateau de Belcastel, which is a historical monument that is open to the public. The collection includes a pen & ink that was published in The Judge magazine in 1927 featuring Horton’s predecessor and strange creatures and eunuchs. Dr Seuss kept his paintings in his studio, but he created one as a charitable contribution, entitled “Raising Money For the Arts,” which is the only original painting by Dr Seuss on public display in the world, as far as we know. (At some point in time, Dr Seuss’s collection of paintings will go to a museum–either in Springfield Massachusetts or UCSD in Southern California.) Dr Seuss first used some of these original sculptures in his Esso oil advertising campaign, and photographs of the artist holding various sculptures from this collection are featured in many historical archives as well as the book “The Art of Dr Seuss.” The collection is called “Unorthodox Taxidermy,” and was critically acclaimed. A Retrospective and National Touring Exhibition that was launched in 2001 featured educational panels about it, and the biography, “The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing but the Seuss” by historian Charles D Cohen writes extensivly about these sculptures.
Due to the delicate nature of the sculptures, the winner of this rare collection and a guest will be flown to the Chateau where the buyer can oversee the packing, and transport the pieces safely away. Travel and lodging for three nights in the Castle’s Romantic and luxerious Tower suite is included courtesy of Animazing Gallery. This is a trip fit for a “king”.
Geisel embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930’s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Geisel’s father was superintendent. His “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy” was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler.” And “Goo Goo Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast.” Shortly after Geisel created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Ted Geisel “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Ted’s unorthodox taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.”
(Chase, Robert Jr. publisher. The Chase Group. The Art of Dr. Seuss a Retrospective and National Touring Exhibition. 2004.)
via, boing boing