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BEN DENISON (American 20th Century)
Original Playboy cartoon from the very first issue, Playboy #1, December 1953
Gouache on board
11 x 8-1/2in.
Signed lower left
Caption: "Jeannie -- what's the past tense of 'virgin?'"

Offered here an exceptional piece of Playboy lore -- the very first cartoon ever to appear in Playboy #1 (otherwise known as the "Marilyn Monroe issue"). This eye-opener was showcased in the December 1953 issue, on page 9. Its creator, Ben Denison, was an accomplished artist who produced scores of sizzling illustrations for Playboy during the magazine's critical, formative years. Of the tens of thousands of cartoons since published in Playboy, it's important to recognize that this is "the one that started it all." This superb, sexy illustration was the first commissioned piece of artwork to be printed in the premiere issue's interior. The tasteful, yet provocative humor of this sultry scene captured the look and attitudes of the 1950's to a T -- in short, it was a perfect fit for the successful editorial formula of the magazine. This historic cartoon was also published in 1970's The Playboy Cartoon Album #1, a collection of Playboy's most famous cartoons.

Condition Report*:

The art is in Excellent condition.

*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
December, 2007
12th Wednesday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 12,084

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You performed the appraisal exactly the way I personally felt an appraisal should go.
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San Antonio, TX
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