A few tentative thoughts on the market for Frank Godwin original art . . .

These are subjective observations, based on my own experience, and the views of others might easily differ.

Lately I have taken note of a phenomenon, and maybe a trend, regarding collector interest in Frank Godwin original art. It appears to me that most of the interest is in Frank Godwin’s comic-strip work, and to some degree in his pen and ink drawings.

Collector interest in his original illustration art (other than pen and ink) seems to be far lower. In the past, on several occasions, I have listed on eBay a certain original drawing by Godwin, which was used as a Redbook illustration back in 1932. As I recall (someplace around here I have the receipt), I paid $850 for the drawing about 15 years ago. It still have it. Recently I offered it on eBay for $725, and even threw in a Rusty Riley daily. No takers, no inquiries.

Last year, I listed an oil painting (used as for the frontispiece image in most Godwin printings of The Swiss Family Robinson), full color, a beautiful, large painting, at two different prices, $3750 and $3500.  No takers.

I actually think that on the whole, even the market for Rusty Riley art in general seems depressed. If this is so, it is probably in large part because there is such a huge quantity of Rusty Riley original art “out there.”

At the moment, someone is auctioning on eBay an original Frank Godwin oil painting used for Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Black Arrow. It will be interesting to see how the bidding goes on that. (There is a “reserve,” which as of now has not been met.)

—Tom Sawyer

October 24, 2016

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