This is one of several watercolor drawings--which I find completely marvelous and clearly product of a most lively and inventive mind and hand, and which I'll be more than happy to keep for myself--that I know were salvaged from a scrapbook/sketchbook that lived from many years in the possession of a collector (of the hoarder disposition), whose huge, amazing collection was badly damaged in a flood. Such a heartbreaking thing, as the few drawings salvaged from the notebook indicate that it was quite a masterpiece!
Happily we have a few, and they fill me at least with a whole lot of joy. Here, this wonderfully rendered woman wearing a pastel garden of a hat and terrific red cloak over intensively patterned dress. What I love most, though, is the mysterious third hand emerging from under her cloak, held by the other hand! (A bit Gorey-esque, but much predating him.) Plus this hand-colored litho frog swallowing a fly, who she seems to be looking on with just mild curiosity. Quite an excellent vignette.
8 1/4" if measured from tip to tip (her elbow to frog's mouth). Woman measures 4 5/8" t. Good condition, obviously torn from a larger page but done well and carefully. One small tear to the paper along the top edge. Another partial drawing/collage on reverse. 2nd half 19th c.