Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blink and you'll miss her...

...and I almost did.  After a few days away I was back home, slogging through a backlog of emails that had piled up like snow in Buffalo.  Several were Google alerts for Enoch Bolles, one of which ended up linking to an image I'd uploaded to a flickr group months ago.  I hadn't been back to look since then so out of curiosity I opened the page to the group (Flappers and the Jazz Era) to check out thumbnails of recent entries.  Buried among them was an image that tickled a very small, but overdeveloped patch of neurons in my brain.  I enlarged the image and alarm bells starting ringing. There were tell-tale signs; long hands, fingers sinuously entwined; heart-shaped lips, the ends drawn tight like penny candy wrappers into a calm smile; rouged cheeks, a bit heavy for my taste; lovely pearls each so carefully rendered.  The bobbed hair style was spot-on but the treatment seemed too sculptural.  And then those peepers, beautiful yes but fringed by that mess of mascara which made them look like they'd draw blood if she blinked too hard. 

Still, I wasn't entirely certain but then my eyes were drawn to what looked like a small fingerprint in the corner and that's when my heart started pounding. I zoomed on in and "bing" and there it was.  Look closely and you'll see the initials EB modestly rendered next to her shoulder.  A new Bolles!  Published in 1925 amid his most active period of advertising illustration for all sorts of products and now we can add Winx to the list. What a great New Year present.  My thanks go to clotho98 who posted the image. Check out her flickr page for hundreds of other great vintage images.

So I'll leave you with a question that this entry has revived.  From 1924 to 1926 Bolles produced a huge body of advertising work, from trolley cards for a wide variety of products, to full color posters for films, to magazine illos like this one. There's plenty more around to be sure. But as far as I can tell, after 1926 his advertising work dropped to near nothing and I have no clue why.  In 1927 Snappy Stories stopped publication, leaving Bolles with Film Fun as his only regular assignment, so it wasn't as if he was overextended.  He must have taken on other work to fill the gaps, but where is it?

Addendum:  I want to give a shout-out to the Dawl for the fabulous seasonal update he gave this blog. Thanks!!


dawlism said...

Great find, Jack. Thanks for the mention. Glad you like the change. I finally did it without a nudge to do so. ;)


Jack R said...

It was a great suprise, Brandon. Thanks!!
Happy new year to you too!