Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1963)
"A Rug Merchant was at the Door"
signed 'Bemelmans' (lower right)
watercolor, gouache, ink and collage on paperboard
22 x 1412 in. (55.9 x 36.8 cm.)
Madeleine Van Eerde, New York.
By descent to the present owner.
L. Bemelmans, Madeline's Christmas, New York, 1985, illustrated.
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Please note the starting bid for this lot has been lowered to $4,500.
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Lot Essay

The present work illustrates the moment Madeline answers the door on Christmas night in the story Madeline's Christmas. Anticipating the visitor to be Santa Claus, Madeline is surprised to instead meet a rug merchant. Bemelmans writes, "A rug merchant was at the door. He had twelve rugs, he had no more." Madeline buys the rugs for her schoolmates to keep warm on the cold night, and when the merchant turns out to be a magician capable of making the rugs fly, the children are able to fly home and surprise their families on Christmas morning.

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