Lot #529
James Whale Signed Set Design Sketch

Detailed set design sketch by James Whale from the same year he directed Frankenstein

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Estimate: $1500+


Detailed set design sketch by James Whale from the same year he directed Frankenstein

British-born film director (1889-1957) who helmed such horror classics as Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man. After a series of strokes left Whale physically weak, he committed suicide by throwing himself into his swimming pool. Original pencil and ink sketch of the set for Myra's bedroom in his 1931 film Waterloo Bridge accomplished by Whale on an off-white 17.5 x 11.25 sheet, signed in the lower right border in pencil, "James Whale—1931." Matted and framed to an overall size of 16.5 x 20.5; reverse is annotated in ink: "James Whale, Design for set in 'Waterloo Bridge,' 1931, Given to L. R. by Bill Condon for 'Gods and Monsters.'" In very good to fine condition, with a central area of light dampstaining in the area of the bed. Whale had garnered acclaim for himself as a set and costume designer on the British theater scene—passions that carried over into his film career, as demonstrated by this set design sketch. Waterloo Bridge opened to mixed reviews, and was quickly overshadowed by the film Whale released three months later: Frankenstein.

Gods and Monsters, the 1998 drama recounting Whale's last days, was directed by Bill Condon and starred Lynn Redgrave as his loyal housemaid, Hanna. A unique piece representing the cinematic legacy of the great James Whale.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Art and Literature
  • Dates: #645 - Ended October 12, 2022

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