Tasha Tudor Drawing from "Pumpkin Moonshine," ca. 1938
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:12)
Books & Manuscripts
Brattle Book Shop
APPRAISER: We have here “Pumpkin Moonshine” by Tasha Tudor, her first book. But tell me what you brought.
GUEST: What I brought is this little page. And she originally made this little booklet up, and these are her original artwork for it. And she made it for her little niece. And she bound it-- you can see the little holes here-- and tied it with string and then gave it to her. And then later she got it back and she took it to the publisher to be made into “Pumpkin Moonshine.”
APPRAISER: When she first did it, the publishers didn't want it and she had to...
GUEST: No, they thought it looked like a seed catalogue, they said.
APPRAISER: Yeah, they thought it looked like a seed catalogue, it was her first item... Many times first-time authors, they get rejected. Now, let me just show you, first of all, in the book... We have the exact illustration that she did. And one of the things that you see with this is even though the illustration in the book is good, it's still a little better in the original. And Tasha Tudor is one of the great icons of illustration, children's books. She's 93 years old, she's still up, working.
GUEST: I know, I got to meet her a year ago.
APPRAISER: Tell me about that.
GUEST: Oh, that was so exciting. She lives in Vermont, and I went on one of her garden tours. She's frail, but she came out and we got to meet her. I got to shake her hand. And it was just a very thrilling moment for me.
APPRAISER: Another interesting part about this is when you turn to the back, there's another of the illustrations. A little bit different; you can see a few changes from when it was published. So, you have the front, the back. Now, tell me a little. Where did you get this, how did you get it?
GUEST: I got it from an auction service. I got their booklet and they had it listed in there and I bid on it through the mail at that time. It was probably eight or nine years ago.
APPRAISER: And what did you pay for it?
GUEST: I think I paid about $1,200.
APPRAISER: Well, $1,200 at the time was a fair price.
GUEST: It was.
APPRAISER: What's happening, though, is children's illustrated art in general is soaring. Tasha Tudor is one of the greatest. Now, the book itself that we have here, the condition isn't that good.
GUEST: Right, right.
APPRAISER: Quite honestly, it's here more to show the illustration. But I wanted to show another illustration in the book. This is a darker illustration, maybe not quite as fanciful. About two years ago, the original from this illustration sold at $11,000. People collect Halloween, so it got a good price. This one, where it has the two sides, now the sale price really is the main illustration. It would easily go for $8,000 to $10,000 in a retail bookstore, children's art shop, or so on. She's one of those, I can confidently say, is going to get more and more popular as time goes on.
GUEST: Okay, all right.
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