Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    ALBERTO VARGAS (American, 1896-1982)
    Esquire calendar girl, December 1946
    Watercolor on board
    28 x 22 in.
    Not signed
    Charles Martignette has noted, "The Esquire Varga Girls of World War II were the most important of his career. This is one of only two known Vargas Esquire calendar girl paintings in private circulation. Of the 72 originals published as calendar illustrations this painting and one other are the only two originals that are privately owned and not part of the Esquire Corporation Collection which is now owned and residing at the University of Kansas' Spencer Library. To use the word 'rare' in describing the importance of this painting would be an understatement. It is one of only two in the world that can ever be owned by a private collector from the famous and legendary Varga Girl Esquire Calendar series (1941-46)."

    Note that none of Vargas' paintings were hand signed during the forties while he worked for Esquire. The publisher, David Smart, asked Vargas not to sign his originals because the publisher wanted to use a mechanical "slug" signature in the printing process. This was so that the printer could change the position of the signature to suit the magazine's technical needs. This policy applied to both the monthly centerfold and the series created for the famous Varga calendars published each year.

    From the Estate of Charles Martignette

    More information about ALBERTO VARGAS, also known as Vargas, Alberto, Alberto Vargas.

    Condition Report*: There are some stains at the bottom left and right of the board; otherwise, this lot is in good condition with only normal wear commensurate with age.
    *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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2009
    15th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,862

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Jul 15, 2009 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 December 2 Ethnographic Art American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for being so courteous and professional. This was my first experience with a professional auction company and I could not have chosen any better.
    Jeffery S.,
    Fresno, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search