Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Card" to Barlow

(Lovecraft, Howard Phillips) Barlow, Robert Hayward. HANDMADE BIRTHDAY CARD FOR H. P. LOVECRAFT. Pencil drawing of monster on 17" x 23" newsprint flyer (with ad for Piggly Wiggly groceries on verso) with brief verse, signed "Ar-Ech-Bei." Date unknown, but probably 1935 or 1936. Barlow, twenty-eight years Lovecraft's junior, became one of his best friends during the 1930s and was made his literary executor. The present item, an oversized, humorous, handmade birthday card, was (according to a note by Barlow in the lower right corner) sent in order to one-up a similar card sent to HPL by Robert Bloch. This drawing shows a monster of some sort with flames in the background and an eight-line poem that begins: "I came to wish you greetings, late, / In Tulu's name vast horrors, great / Gloom upon the coming year / May it be horrible and drear ... ." The draughtsmanship, like the verse, is tolerably good, making the whole thing eminently suitable for framing, carrying a special poignancy because it came so near to Lovecraft's death in 1937. Old crease folds and some very minor edge tears, pulpy paper browning a little but not brittle, generally very good to excellent. (#116830

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