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    AL HIRSCHFELD (American, 1903-2003)
    Charles Laughton in Hobson's Choice, 1954
    Pen and ink on board
    15 x 13-1/2 inches (38.1 x 34.3 cm)
    Signed center right: Hirschfeld

    Al Hirschfeld produced this marvelous drawing as the poster illustration for Hobson's Choice, the award-winning 1954 David Lean film starring Charles Laughton, John Mills and Brenda DeBanzie. Laughton held the title role of Henry Horatio Hobson, proprietor of a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub (hence the pint of stout in Hirschfeld's drawing), he tries forcefully to rule the lives of his three unruly daughters. When he decrees 'no marriages' to avoid the expensive matter of dowries, eldest daughter Maggie rebels and sets her sights on Will Mossop, Hobson's star bootmaker. Maggie and Will leave to start up in competition, and she then turns her mind to helping her sisters marry their chosen partners. In British parlance, a "Hobson's choice" is a free choice in which only one option is offered. In other words, it is a "take it or leave it" situation.

    Al Hirschfeld gave Paul Gregory this caricature of his great theatrical colleague as a gift.

    Condition Report*: Framed under glass to an overall size of 17.25 x 16.25 inches. Two spots of minor discoloration in the field (not affecting pen work at all): one brown spot an inch above head of figure and one smaller brown spot in paper 2 inches from upper right corner. Otherwise very good original condition. Brown paper adhered to perimeter of illustration board on back.
    *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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2011
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,187

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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