Lady of Mystery is a supreme example of art deco pin-up calendar art by Edward Eggleston, created in 1938 for the V.P. Wright Litho Company. Without question, this is one of the most iconic images from the 1930s, and for good reason. The purple prose V.P. Wright came up with to adorn the calendar does a better job than we can describing the scene and artist:
“She might be a Ziegfeld Girl, or a Flower of the Orient, this striking, semi-nude figure. The beautiful costume — green, jeweled headpiece with red ostrich plumes; red and green jeweled scarf around her hips, from which is suspended a gorgeous train of red ostrich plumes; the round brass plaque which she holds in back of her head — suggests the elaborate costume of the Follies Girl. Yet the jet black hair and heavy-lidded, mysterious eyes also suggest an Oriental Dancer caught by the artist in a strikingly beautiful pose of her dance.”
“Edward Eggleston, an American artist by birth, resides in New York City. He works almost exclusively in oil, and his particular theme is painting beautiful women. This has been the basis of his popularity and his work in this line speaks for itself. The finished technique, the thorough knowledge of color values, the careful drawing, the wealth of detail, all betray the hand of a master.”
A large vintage calendar print of Lady Of Mystery is included in the sale.
This painting was part of the collection of noted pin up collector and historian Charles Martginette, and appears in his book The Great American Pin-up (page 54 plate #93).