1930s Rosie O'Neill w/ Kewpie & Ho-Hos Photograph
Circa 1930/40s, this 8" x 10" black & white photograph was professionally created by Frank Lauder.
It has the photographer's stamp on the back of the photo and is signed at the base in pencil, "Rosie O'Neill with Kewpie & Ho-Hos," and "Lauder" in the right lower corner.
This photo is framed in a simple, black wood frame (as found), and is in overall, fabulous condition. There is minor foxing along the lower left edge and a small pinhole in the upper center edge. The image is completely without flaw.
Rosie O'Neill is well-known for her creation of the Kewpie doll, and from 1912 to 1914, the Kewpie doll was all the rage. This photograph was most likely taken a few years before her death in 1944.
Guaranteed original and definitely a rare piece, this photo is not a reproduced print. It is an excellent investment and a fantastic addition to the collection of any serious Kewpie collector.
A Little Known History Fact:
According to Inventors' Assistance League, at the early part of the 20th century, "people were buying Kewpie books and Kewpie rattles, Kewpie soap and Kewpie dishes, Kewpie pianos and Kewpie salt-and-pepper shakers. Women began plucking their eyebrows to mimic the surprised dot brows of the little porcelain cherubs. Poet/artist Rose Cecil O'Neill made $1.5 million from the munchkin dolls, which she first invented as magazine illustrations and patented in 1913.
Rose O'Neil was born in 1874 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Throughout her childhood, she was encouraged in her artistic bent, and at age fourteen won a drawing contest sponsored by the World Herald newspaper in Omaha (where the family then lived). Soon she began seeing her cartoons and illustrations published in mid-western newspapers and magazines.
Seeking a wider audience for her art, O'Neill moved to New York City in 1893. The concept behind the little Kewpies from Kewpieville was that they did good deeds like keeping birds' eggs warm and recovering lost babies; they were immediate sentimental favorites of the magazine's readership. Ladies' Home Journal publisher Edward Bok suggested that Rose begin making the bisque dolls of the Kewpies, which were first manufactured in Germany. Rose gained fame for visiting overseas factory workers and telling them to be extra careful with the tiniest dolls " because they were for the poorest children."
Porcelain and bisque Kewpie dolls began being manufactured in Belgium and France after the outbreak of war; celluloid, wood, and paper models were made in the United States. With her royalties, Rose bought a home in New York's bohemian Greenwich Village and a villa on the island of Capri. She upgraded the Bonnie Brook estate in the Ozarks, calling it "a good place to unbutton." Rose considered herself a patroness of the arts, holding salons for poets and scupltors. She liked to appear in public wearing flowing robes and in bare feet, and she launched a second career writing romantic poetry and Gothic novels.
Rose O'Neill went through her entire fortune by 1936, and she returned to the Ozarks to spend her last years at Bonnie Brook with her devoted sister, Callista. Rose completed her memoirs in 1944, and she died that same year of heart failure at age seventy."
Item ID: KC-03395
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