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The Art of Finance

May 03, 2011 3:07 PM ET
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The Only Stock Market Worth Fooling With (1926).

Way back around 1987 I was working for an antiques dealer in North Carolina and we had an estate sale for a woman who had died in her 90's. She was a retired antiques dealer herself.

After the sale was over we were cleaning up the house. In the attic I found a bunch of pencil drawings on large stiff cardboard sheets. No one knew what they were and I was allowed to buy them for a relatively cheap sum (though it was by no means zero, as my boss knew a thing when he saw it, even if he didn't know what it was.)

In the basement of the house the next day I found many boxes of pages torn from the Saturday Evening Post magazine of the 1920's and 1930's. Being a nosy bastard I wondered what they were doing there and took them home with me. At some point I realised that the pencil drawings I had were the originals of some of these Saturday Evening Post cartoons drawn by a man called Wyncie King, a popular commercial artist and cartoonist of the day who had become a friend of the lady antiques dealer in Chapel Hill, N.C. after he had retired.

There isn't a lot of biographical information available about King, though apparently he got his first name because as a child he was known as "teensy-weensy boy", which was a bit childish, so they called him Wyncie when he grew up.

These cartoons are very interesting because the subject matter of several of them is the great stock market crash of 1929 and the aftermath. They are not things of great beauty, but they are absolutely genuine financial Americana and quite unique.

Right now I am trying to sell these cartoons via an antiques dealer in Arcadia, Florida, called Cindy Long of Isabellesantiques57@yahoo.com. Phone: (863)-491-1004. She has had one of them framed with the drawing at the front and the original page from Saturday Evening Post on display through another window at the back and is getting the rest done too.

They would make a great gift for the man who has everything. Of couse it would be insulting to price them cheaply, and to be honest I can't even remember how much we are asking. Let's just say if you need to ask how much a square foot, then they are not for you.

Here are some pictures:

Page torn from the Saturday Evening Post: We Have The Only Stock Market Worth Fooling With. This is from 1926. You can see a detail from the drawing at the head of this page.

Page torn from Saturday Evening Post

I think they went out of business, so I'm not too worried about the copyright issue.

This is part of a two-page spread. The two lifeboats are Investor and Gambler.

For some reason I like this one a lot.

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