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    [W. Somerset Maugham]. Laurence Tompkins. Original Sketches of Studies For Laurence Tompkins' Bust of Maugham, with Photograph of Maugham Sitting For the Sculptor.

    In May 1941, Maugham sat for American sculptor Laurence Tompkins, considered one of the best portrait sculptors of the day. Tompkins' unsigned ink studies of Maugham's head are on tissue paper, with "Somerset Maugham May 16, 1941" written in somewhat faded ink at bottom right. Sketch measures 7.5 x 9.5 inches. Fine condition.

    Included with the original sketch is a 10 x 8 inch black and white press photograph by Richard Averill Smith featuring Maugham seated before Tompkins as he works on the bust. The blurb on the back reads: "FOR POSTERITY - New York:- The most recent portrait of the eminent English novelist and playwright W. Somerset Maugham, as he sits for his bust done in clay by Laurence Tompkins. 6/10/41." Photograph has light patches of discoloration to background and a few creases which extend into the image.

    Maugham was impressed with the finished bronze sculpture and thought that Tompkins had made him look like a Roman senator. (As an interesting literary sidenote, Tompkins' actress wife Molly had a lengthy affair with George Bernard Shaw beginning in 1921 and lasting well into the '30s.)

    Morgan. From the Collection of Norman F. Moore.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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