When this week's guest author Matthew Chaney began cleaning and sorting the hundreds of photos, letters, notes and original artworks he found in a box he'd won at a local auction, he discovered many lost treasures. Although the contents of the box had clearly belonged to long-forgotten graphic artist, Eleanor Dalton, not all of the originals therein appeared to be by her hand.
Matthew found several hand-drawn children's book 'dummies.'
Over the course of our conversations in preparation for this week's series, it became apparent to both of us that the style of the sketches in these dummies was not Eleanor Dalton's.
Since she lived for many years with her long-time boyfriend, the famous children's book illustrator Aurelius Battaglia, it seems likely that these dummies were either created by him alone or in collaboration with Dalton.
Matthew tried searching these book titles online, but turned up no sign of published versions.
This raises the tantalizing prospect that we are looking at never-published children's book concepts by one of the most acclaimed and beloved artists of that field...
... which have been lost for half a century...
... until they were unearthed by Matthew.
Here is a selection of pages from the third and final children's book dummy Matthew found...
To see all the pages of all three of these remarkable little children's book dummies, please visit Matthew Chaney's Facebook page.
* Matthew also has a Facebook album of Aurelius Battaglia's caricature art, clipped from newspapers of the late 1940s and early '50s.
* Aurelius Battaglia illustrated children's books for Little Golden Books during the 1950s. There is an upcoming show that will feature some of his originals, along with the work of many other popular '50s Little Golden Book artists.