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This piece was found at a yard sale in North Carolina. It measures 3.75 x 5.75 inches framed. The glass of the frame on the top right corner seems to have something on it. The picture seems to be in great condition. When I put it under my scope it appears to be original. Reading the inscription on the bottom maybe it was done at a hospital function.? Also on the back it has a tag for Hoffmans Art Store in Bridgeport Conn. I have done the research on Miss Rose and found a little on the store. Question is could it be an original and what the value may be. Any help would be great please.

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If it is not a print, then it is likely to be an original. She was prolific, and perfectly reasonable that she would do a print for a child stuck in a hospital with a broken leg while on a tour of the children's ward. Although not fine art and not in the best condition, she was a well known illustrator and there are a lot of collectors of her Kewpies, and I can see it selling for good money. Send some pics to an auction house close to you and see what they say. (And let us know what they tell you).

Rose O'Neil was the first woman cartoonist. She invented "Kewpie" aka "Kewp". She had weekly cartoons in newspapers, as well as other types of printed material, dolls, toys, etc.

I think what you see in the upper right corner is something that was printed on the other side. And if so your print was taken from a newspaper or hand-out  from the hospital. This is just an  observation. Your print is dark brown, called sepia, on white.  It is not possible for me to determine if it's an original, a print, or newspaper.

Your print is dated Feb 1920. Since O'Neil had comics in Sunday issues, I checked Sundays in Feb'20 and they occurred 1, 8,15,22, and 29th.

Prior to "Hospital" are 2 initials that look like B.N.  There are lists of hospitals on-line. I checked Bronx and Brooklyn and each burrough has about 50 past/present hospitals and there isn't one that fits those initials.

I'm taking as a given the OP's statement that he looked at it with a scope and that this is not a print. With a scope it should certainly be obvious if it was taken from a newspaper since newspaper print quality is so low. I wrote "she would do a print for a child", I meant to write "she would do a drawing for a child" which is why I thought it might be an original. Kind of like Babe Ruth going through a hospital and signing pictures. I agree it is impossible for those of us looking online to know whether it is a print so that is really up to the OP to decide. A print is always more likely but if it is an original it would have some value so worth the OP figuring that out.

I think it is not "B.N. Hospital" but "N.Y. Hospital" There was a New York Hospital in 1920, see Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Hospital

Me too, but I took OP's last statement, " Question is could it be an original and what the value may be?" as meaning he didn't know if it is or isn't an original or print.

BTW I looked up the subject of her cartoon, Christain Schiott. He was a World famous pianist from Denmark who toured the USA in the teens and twenties. Based on the cartoon it appears he played with his foot some of the time.

In reply whether it is a print or an original. I have studied this under my scope for some time and there is no indication at all of this being a print. Everything checks out. I have been collecting etchings and the like for about 15 years now. I just coudnt find anything similar in the research on her. I also looked into the pianist and the tag on the back. Very cool find. My 80 year old mother, who has just joined in the fun of treasure hunting found it at a yard sale for 25 cents. I bought her a mini scope for mothers day. She is having a blast.


I just noticed that there is more writing to the right of O'Neil's name. It possibly was folded over to make it fit the frame. I can see a "@" following her name and below that a '2...perhaps it refers to the year '20 (1920). Also, following her word "Kewpisht" there are other letters not visible.  O'Neil referred to Kewpies as Kewps so this is probably another of her cute words.

As Jeff points out the initials are N.Y.  She makes an upper case (N) by making a lower case (n) taller. Example: the first letter in "new York's".

When I find something on paper that I think may have value, I will usually take it out of its frame. Either the paper quality of this piece is poor, or there has been acid damage to this from the backing. The only way to get rid of an acid backing and prevent further damage is to remove it from a frame and put a non acid layer behind the paper and the existing acid backing. This doesn't fit the frame anyway, so remounting and reframing it completely, retaining the original frame for reference, may be the way I would proceed. Of course if it turns out to be a print, then it is not really worth the cost of reframing unless you are keeping it for yourself.

If you remove it from its frame you need to do this sensitively to prevent any damage. You didn't show the back so we don't know what that looks like. If you remove it from the frame, then the writing that is hidden will be revealed. (I'm guessing part of what is hidden says "Kewpishly yours"). And you can also do a better job of examining the quality for signs that is actually an original. Looking through glass is clearly not the best way to do that. Bear in mind that not all printing techniques leave the tell-tale dots that we typically look for. When you look at an old ink pen original, you should see signs that the ink is heavier in some spots than others. Certainly an art auctioneer should be able to make that distinction if you aren't able to.

I do realize Jeff that this has to be removed from the frame. I have had VERY bad look in the past doing so. One was a Currier & Ives my pointer finger went through. WooHoo. I have looked at this extensively and do have a bit of knowledge in etchings, and very early prints. Everything matches but till I take this out of the frame I have nothing but a neat piece of history. I plan doing the surgery on it Tuesday when I have a bit more free time.  Thank you for all your help and will have more info and pictures on Tuesday.


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