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Lot 224: DR. SEUSS [THEODOR GEISEL]. "Be awfully nice to your rich uncle..."
January 23, 2014
New York, NY, USALive Auction
DR. SEUSS [THEODOR GEISEL].
"Be awfully nice to your rich uncle..." Pen and ink on board. Advertisement for Flit insecticide. 305x410 mm; 12x16 inches. Signed, additional two-line caption in Seuss's hand in pencil, reading in full: "Be awfully nice to your rich uncle . . . and when he dies / he may leave you his Flit Gun!" Some light smudging and mild tanning along margins not affecting image. On exhibition mount. Circa 1930s.
Notes: original drawing for flit, the insecticide manufactured by Standard Oil. Geisel's association with the Flit ads was a long and successful one, spanning 17 years. "The Flit phrase ["Quick, Henry, the Flit!"] entered the American vernacular. A song was written around it, and Ted's cartoons spread from the pages of Judge and Life to newspapers, subway cards and billboards ... Flit sales increased wildly. No advertising campaign remotely like it had succeeded on such a grand scale"--Morgan, Judith & Neil, Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel, page 65.