Revere Auctions
Live Auction

November Day 2: Dwell in Beauty

Thu, Nov 17, 2022 11:00AM EST
Lot 326

2 Grace Drayton School Campbell's Soup Kids

Estimate: $200 - $400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
School of Grace Drayton (American, 1877-1936). Group of two 1930s gouache on illustration board paintings depicting young children for Campbell's Soup advertising campaigns.

One depicting a Dolly Dingle-type character Campbell’s Soup Kid doubling as a railroad flagbearer with lantern ablaze attesting to the importance of the railroad in 20th century American history. Verso is stamped with a usage print date of October 11, 1933.

One depicting a Dolly Dingle character Campbell’s Soup Kid putting the finishing touches on their soapbox derby bi-plane early aviation age-inspired racing car, ca 1931-33.

Lot essay:
These two works are excellent examples of the Campbell's Soup Kids illustrations. The Campbell’s Soup Kids appeared in print ads in countless American mainstream publications such as The Saturday Evening Post. The brainchild of illustrator Grace Wiederseim Drayton, who debuted the first Campbell’s Soup Kid ad in 1904, the characters became so popular, that the company soon hired a number of illustrators to create ads in the manner of Drayton. It’s unknown whether Drayton herself is the illustrator of this example.

The Campbell Kids have been selling Campbell’s Soup since 1904 when Grace Wiederseim Drayton, an illustrator and writer, added some sketches of children to her husband’s advertising layout for a Campbell’s condensed soup. The Campbell advertising agents loved the child appeal and choose Mrs. Wiederseim’s sketches as trademarks. In the beginning, Campbell Kids were drawn as ordinary boys and girls, later, Campbell Kids took on the personas of policemen, sailors, soldiers, and other professions.

Grace Wiederseim Drayton will always be the “mother” of Campbell Kids. She drew for the company advertising for nearly twenty years. Drayton’s designs were so popular that doll makers wanted to capitalize on their popularity. Campbell’s gave the E. I. Horsemen Company the license to market dolls with the Campbell label on their sleeves. Horseman even secured two U.S. design patents for the dolls’ clothes.

Today, Campbell’s Soup Company, with its famous red and white label, remains a staple in the kitchen as well as American culture.

(Vertical) Sight; height: 10 1/4 in x width: 8 1/4 in. Framed; height: 16 1/2 in x width: 14 in. (Horizontal) Sight; height: 6 3/4 in x width: 8 1/2 in. Framed; height: 12 1/2 in x width: 14 in.


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