Princess Pat Cosmetics Advertisement by Earl Christy
This is an exquisite, well-preserved pastel illustration by American artist and illustrator Earl Christy. A dramatic Art Deco portrait, this pastel features a rosy-cheeked, fair skinned flapper beauty posed against a black background with her raven hair glistening and her tantalizingly exposed décolletage adorned with a strand of pearls. The picture of Jazz Age style, this delicate beauty holds in her hand a small red box of Princess Pat cosmetics face powder. This was a published advertisement that appeared in magazines during the early 1930s. Tear sheets of this published advertisement are included in the sale.
This pastel has been signed by the artist in the lower right corner and is framed behind glass in a vintage, ornate wood gesso frame.
This illustration comes from the collection of esteemed illustration art collector Norman Platnick.
About the artist: Earl Christy
F. Earl Christy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1882. The “F” is believed to stand for “Frederic”. At 17, he painted originals for the Boardwalk Atlantic City Picture company, with many of his early works published by the J. Hoover and Sons Calendar Company of Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts from 1905-1907.
Christy produced dozens of magazine covers including; Dell Publishing Company for Modern Romances, Modern Screen and Radio Stars, Ainslee’s magazine, American Magazine, Sunday Magazine of the New York Times, Collier’s, Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, Liberty Magazine, McClure’s Photoplay Magazine, and Puck Magazine. He also created illustrations for many calendar prints, ink blotters, postcards and Princess Pat Cosmetic’s advertisements. Most of his images were of beautiful girls primarily playing sports such as basketball, golf and tennis. Earl Christy never married and lived most of his life with one or both of his sisters. He passed away on Long Island New York in 1961.
Princess Pat Cosmetics
Princess Pat was a Chicago-based cosmetics company established by the husband and wife team of Patricia and M. Martin Gordon. The company was an early leader in cosmetic advertising and at one point had offices in Chicago, New York City, Toronto and London.
The naming of the Gordons’ cosmetics line was initially intended as a trendy homage to Queen Victoria’s popular granddaughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. But as the true public face and voice of the brand, Fannie Gordon eventually adapted her own identity to better serve the business. She became the titular Patricia, and—in combination with a 50-year career as a chemist, business executive, writer, lecturer, radio host, and advertising guru—arguably achieved her own version of royalty within the beauty industry.
The Legacy of Norman Platnick
In his New York Times obituary, Norman Platnick’s son Will said that his father had three passions in life, his wife Nancy, spiders, and collecting.
Few individuals have the chance to leave a mark like Norm’s in even one field, let alone two. But Norm managed to be both a celebrated scientist, and one of the most influential lay historians of illustration art.
Under his imprint Enchantment Ink, Norm researched, wrote, and published collectors guides to artists like Rolf Armstrong and Earl Christy. We at Grapefruit Moon Gallery rely on these books in our work, and they are now all freely available as PDFs through the Enchantment Ink website.
Norm’s expertise was a gift, his friendship was a treasure, and his legacy is immeasurable. He is missed.