Past Timed Auction

A Collection of Edward Gorey

Soft close begins Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 10am EST
  • Online Only Auction of A Collection of Edward Gorey
  • Bidding Closed Tuesday, February 25, 2020 beginning at 10am
  • A Wide Selection of Whimsical Books and Memorabilia by the Famed Illustrator

NEW YORK, NY -- Edward Gorey, who was born February 22, 1925, was an extraordinarily prolific illustrator. Beloved for his macabre and disquieting visual narratives, he started his career working for the Art Department of Doubleday Anchor, and his many designs for the Anchor paperbacks are distinctive and abundant. His first separately published illustrated book, The Unstrung Harp; or Mr. Earbrass writes a Novel, was published in 1953. He produced a handful of books in the 1950s, and in 1959 received his first important critical notice (in the New Yorker), from the great American critic Edmund Wilson. Wilson described Gorey’s world as “poetic and poisoned” -- a turn of phrase that aptly encompasses his oeuvre. He wrote and illustrated well over a hundred books under various (largely anagrammatic) pseudonyms: Raddory Gewe, Edward Pig, Ogdred Weary, Eduard Blutig, Mrs. Regera Dowdy, and Aedwyrd Gore, among others equally fanciful. Additionally, he provided illustration for almost as many works again by other authors; dust-jacket and paperback cover designs by the hundred; posters; periodical illustrations etc. It’s likely that there are very few American readers who have not (wittingly or unwittingly) viewed a Gorey design at some point. It’s equally likely that there is no American illustrator (except, perhaps, his near-contemporary Maurice Sendak) who are as well loved.

The collection that Doyle offered auction was far from all-inclusive, but it offered major works from all of the categories above, and those usually in fine examples. The collection was especially rich in retained copies (these lettered A and 0) of his later works, and there were many rarities, including a binding proof (with Gorey’s hand-coloring of the tutu) of The Lavender Leotard with a presentation to the publisher; a copy of Illegitimate Sonnets, Gorey’s first commercially published illustrations, inscribed by the author Merrill Moore to the poet Robert Lowell and his wife (and also signed by Gorey); a delightful manuscript of a children’s story entitled Can a Pig Fly?; and many other exceptional offerings.


Bidding in the timed online-only auction closed on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 beginning at 10am EST. Lots closed sequentially, one lot per minute, with a soft close. Should any bids be placed in the final minute, bidding will remain open on that lot for one additional minute.

View a PDF of the printed catalgoue (not illustrated)


All of the books were on public exhibition at Doyle from 10am-5pm on Friday, Feb 21 and Monday, Feb 24. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan.


Payment can be made by cash, check, credit card or wire transfer. The final purchase price will include the successful hammer price plus the Buyer’s Premium of 25% and any applicable sales tax.


Doyle can facilitate shipping using a third-party shipper. For details please contact [email protected]

We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact Peter Costanzo at 212-427-4141, ext 248, or Edward Ripley-Duggan at ext. 234, or email [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Peter Costanzo
212-427-4141, ext 248
[email protected]

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