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    Description

    RICK GRIFFIN (American, 1944-1991)
    Grateful Dead Skeleton & Top Hat Master of Ceremonies, 25th Anniversary Without a Net Tour, 1990
    Gouache on celluloid
    23 x 17.5 in.
    Not signed

    In the fall of 1990 the Grateful Dead played the European leg of their Without A Net tour, which included concerts in England, Sweden, Germany and France.

    Rick was excited about the project and produced a visual tour package which consisted of one piece of art for a tour poster, another piece for a program cover, and a third piece which was used for the album cover when the live recordings of the concerts was released.

    This piece, originally for the program cover, is painted gouache on celluloid, and set in a black mount and wide silver frame.

    The program cover eventually featured a more modest version with the skeleton dressed up in a top hat and tuxedo to serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the festivities, and with a blue spotlight. A copy is included in this lot.

    This image became very popular, and later it also ended up being printed on metal signs, originally distributed by Sony. The lettering on this art is a remarkable example of Rick Griffin's unique calligraphy, especially combined with his Grateful Dead's top hatted skeleton head, and the spotlight circle behind.

    In the final painting, shown on the program cover, the lettering, possibly as finally requested, is not anywhere near as adventuresome and innovative as the lettering and art in this lot. The rendering of the skull is also noteworthy, and conveys Rick's non-conformist art in a more abstract direction, after having been at the forefront of the Dead's art for over two decades.

    A metal sign and program book are included with this lot.


    PROVENANCE:
    Acquired directly from the artist.

    From the Collection of Peter Golding.


    Condition Report*: Unless otherwise noted, this lot is in good condition with only normal wear commensurate with age. Framed to an overall size of 30.5 x 25.5 in. Not examined outside of frame.
    *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 Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    17th-18th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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