Saturday, March 30, 2013
Couple of Cool Estate Sale Finds
Many of you know that I'm constantly mining texts at archive.org for public domain fantasy art, particularly for my series of posts entitled "Really Old Old-school Art." It's always cool when I come across one of the vintage editions in the "real world," especially at a bargain.
My wife and I went to an estate sale this morning in the home of an antique dealer who is leaving the state and getting rid of absolutely everything. So I picked up the the two books pictured above for about eight bucks total. As I'm writing this, I realize that everything was supposed to be 50% off today, and they charged me full price! I don't care, at 8 bucks, it was still a bargain.
King Arthur for Boys is an edition of Arthur stories that I really had to dig to find electronically. In truth, I stumbled across the digital copy after an exhaustive search through a list of hundreds(?) of Arthurian collections by various authors published in various years. The Illustrations in King Arthur for Boys are by Frances Brundage, and have a naive, gestural quality to them (see the first two images below for an example of what I mean). Here's the thing... Frances wasn't really known for this type of work (gestural "boys' stuff"). She was better known for her idealic renditions of Victorian era children, particularly cherubic girls. But, hey! I guess work is work.
Fairy Tales from Baltic Shores is a book I've known about, but an electronic edition (especially suitable enough for image mining) has eluded me. So it was nice to find the analog copy this morning. The illustrations in Fairy Tales from Baltic Shores are by Jeannette Berkowitz. The bottom image below (of the magician reading the woman's palm - actually the goddaughter of the rock fairies) was the first image I saw when I flipped through the book this morning, and became quickly enamored of Berkowitz's style. I really wish I could draw fingers and facial features as delicately as Jeannette.
I think what's interesting to me is the dichotomy of the two women's styles, and how each of the two styles seems particularly suited to the subject matters (Arthurian legends vs. Baltic Fairy Tales).