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    Irving Berlin Original Artwork with "White Christmas" Musical Quotation with Lyrics and Typed Letter Signed. Irving Berlin (1888-1989), the Russian-born composer and lyricist proclaimed by many to have been the greatest American songwriter of all time, is best known for his celebrated Christmas tune, "White Christmas." Written sometime around 1940, the tune was popularized by Bing Crosby, who first performed the song on December 25, 1941. The song was originally recorded by Crosby in 1942, but due to overplay, the master was damaged. The version widely recognized by audiences today is a 1947 re-recording by Crosby. The song is now the best-selling single of all time with over 50 million copies sold.

    Berlin was an avid painter, mostly of still life, and he often gave his artwork to family and friends. Measuring 5.75" x 5" (sight) and in acrylic, Berlin has used a black background as contrast for a red rose. Beneath the rose, he has written five bars from his tune, "White Christmas," below which appear the lyrics: "and may all your Christmases be white." Inscribed "For Gerald Wagner," he has signed and dated "Irving Berlin/1973." Framed to an overall size of 7" x 6.25".

    With the painting is a typed letter signed "Irving," one page, 7.25" x 10.5", on personal letterhead, n. p. [New York], March 30, 1973, to Wagner reading, in part: "This is a 'do it yourself' Christmas card but I couldn't wait until Christmas, so here it is and I hope you like it. Again, many thanks for helping me with a situation that worried me a great deal." Smoothed folds with additional fold in the upper third.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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