Howard Chandler Christie study beats estimate by 14%

A study for Howard Chandler Christie's "I Am an American" poster realised $40,000 in a sale of illustration art at Swann Auction Galleries.

It beat an estimate of $35,000 by 14.2% when it crossed the block in New York on January 28.

Howard Christie American
Howard Christie created the poster for I am an American Day

The poster was designed to appear on a billboard in New York's Central Park during "I am an American Day" on May 18, 1941.

The event saw Americans gather in a wartime display of patriotic fervour to recite the pledge of allegiance.

The auction house comments: "The determined, spirited 'Columbia' in the maquette was based on model Elise Ford; she is seen here donning a traditional laurel wreath, bearing a torch and a volume of Constitutional Law�Ǫ

"The Chairman for the Mayor's rally committee, Federal Judge Murray Hulbert, was quoted in the New York Times on May 4, 1941, suggesting that if Hitler could see the poster it would 'stop him in his tracks.'"

Arthur Rackham's Scrooge and the Ghost of Marley, a drawing for a 1915 edition of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, sold for $32,500.

Rackham (1867-1939) was a British artist who created illustrations for picture books. Such books were hugely popular until the advent of the first world war dulled demand.

His work regularly sells for sums in the mid to high five figure range.

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