Revere Auctions
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November Day 2: Dwell in Beauty

Thu, Nov 17, 2022 11:00AM EST
Lot 327

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 titled "Dandy to Me," depicting a young child reading the latest stock news from a state of the art glass domed stock ticker machine, 1930. A surreal take on the 1929 stock market crash that led to the Great Depression, this work originally appeared in a 1930 Campbell's Soup advertisement in October 1930 above a poem that reads "The news that I’m reading look’s dandy to me. Like a plateful of Campbell’s Which fills me with glee."

One titled "Sand Man's Coming Soon," depicting a young, Dolly Dingle-type girl tucking her doll into its bed, ca. 1930s. Originally for a Campbell's Soup advertising campaign, the work is accompanied by text that reads "Not a drop of Campbell’s left upon her spoon, So the good old sand man’s Coming mighty soon!”

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.

(Dandy to Me) Sight; height: 9 1/2 in x width: 8 3/4 in. Framed; height: 22 1/2 in x width: 19 in. (Sandman) Sight; height: 10 in x width: 6 1/2 in. Framed; height: 21 1/2 in x width: 17 1/4 in.


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