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    Description

    MEAD SCHAEFFER (American, 1898-1980)
    Head Tide, Good Housekeeping story illustration, 1932
    Oil on canvas
    38-1/4 x 28 inches (97.2 x 71.1 cm)
    Signed lower right: Mead Schaeffer

    EXHIBITED:
    The Atwood House Museum, Chatham, Massachusetts, "American Illustrators of Joseph Crosby Lincoln, A Chatham Historical Society Special Exhibit," June 6-July 31, 2004.

    A close friend of Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer focused his early career on illustrations for classic, historical, and adventure novels, including Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Christo, and King Arthur and His Knights. The featured lot, a masterpiece of political intrigue, was published as a story illustration for Joseph C. Lincoln's novel Head Tide, serialized in Good Housekeeping in 1932. Set in the fictional town of Wellmouth, Cape Cod, in the late 1870s, Head Tide centers on the efforts of the local newspaper owner to present in an unbiased fashion the platforms of the Republican candidates running for a seat in the Massachusetts Legislature. Primarily at stake are the interests of Wellmouth's elite -- the Four Cornersmen -- versus those of the town's shipping class -- the South Siders.

    This particular illustration for Head Tide depicts a critical moment in the Republican caucus, organized to nominate a candidate for the House of Representatives and to elect delegates to the state convention. Grouped in front of a monumental American flag are the key members of the Four Corners establishment: with his signature grey beard, powerful Joel "Judge" Dean, the town's leading attorney and the chairman of the Republican committee; earnestly leaning toward Dean, Cornelius Haven, the local bank cashier and committee secretary; and seated, venerable Manasseh Eldredge, the wealthy shop owner. Flanking these central figures are other members of the Four Corners Republican guard, whose distinction and influence Schaeffer emphasizes in their formal suits and upright stature. Nonetheless, the group expresses collective worry at this moment, as a caucus member from the working-class South Side challenges their proposed list of delegates and threatens to foil their political victory: "The tumult and disorder spread, and after a whispered consultation with Cornelius Haven, Judge Dean rose and pounded with his gavel. 'A moment,' he shouted. 'Mr. Haven has a word to say. Will you grant him the courtesy of silence?'" (M. Schaeffer, Head Tide, New York, 1932, p. 236).

    The present work is accompanied by an original color print of The Atwood House Museum exhibition brochure from 2004.




    Condition Report*: Wax-lined canvas; Under UV exam, there appears to be minor inpainting around the stars in the upper left and right corners, an approx. 2 x 2 inches L-shaped line of inpainting near the lower left corner, possibly to address a scratch or tear, and several flecks of inpainting around the lower right corner. Framed Dimensions 52.5 X 42.5 Inches
    *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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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 Dates
    May, 2015
    2nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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