Christy Mathewson Grip Studies: Fastball, Change of Pace, and Fadeaway - Children's Book Illustrations - Three Original Paintings by Jim Burke

Sold For: $1,422

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1131

Item Year: 2010

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Three original oil-on-board paintings by Jim Burke used as interior illustrations for the book Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2006). Each is signed by the artist along the base. These three paintings (which in essence are one single artwork, as they are intended to be displayed together) show the different grips used by Christy Mathewson when throwing his fastball, change of pace, and famed fadeaway.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame , written and illustrated by Jim Burke, is an annotated version of the classic baseball song of the same name, written in 1908 by Jack Norwith and Albert Von Tilzer. In addition to providing both interesting historical and anecdotal information regarding the song, the book also chronicles the career of the game's most revered player at the time: Christy Mathewson. Featuring page after page of stunning baseball illustrations created by Burke, the book parallels the creation of the song in 1908 with the remarkable pennant race waged that season between the Giants and Cubs. The three offered paintings were used for illustrations that appear together on the same page in the book describing Mathewson's vaunted arsenal of pitches. The page also brings to life the song's lyrics "For it's ONE, TWO, THREE strikes, you're out, At the old ball game." As a point of reference, Robert Edward Auctions featured the original painting used for the back-cover illustration to Take Me Out to the Ballgame in our May 2011 auction. The painting appeared as Lot 1315 and realized a final sales price of $6,463.

Jim Burke, whose work is instantly recognizable, is one of America's most celebrated children's book illustrators. His artwork is known for its unique style, historical accuracy, and for bringing to life for children many 103 stories, events, and characters. Jim Burke's original paintings are normally sold only in galleries. These three interior illustrations from Take Me Out to the Ballgame, as well as three additional baseball artworks in this auction, have once again been consigned directly by the artist at the special request of Robert Edward Auctions. Jim Burke's artwork was shown in The Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition 2008 in London, and in the Society of Illustrators' Icons & Images: 50 Years of Illustration. He is a Gold Medal recipient from the Society of Illustrators, has had five of his books honored at The Original Art Show (NYC) and is included in its Museum of American Illustration Permanent Collection. Burke taught at Pratt Institute and Syracuse University, and has lectured at The Norman Rockwell Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The National Baseball Hall of Fame, among others. He is currently the Illustration Chair at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Each painting (11 x 14 inches) is in Mint condition and has been individually framed to total dimensions of 12 x 15 inches. Together with a copy of Take Me Out to the Ballgame . Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,422

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