A little while ago, I posted one of our two big IlluxCon purchases — a Hubert Rogers Astounding cover that we had arranged to buy over the summer from a friend, and the deal was completed at IlluxCon. This is the other major piece we picked up there, also from the same friend (click for a bigger version).
It’s by the great Frank Kelly Freas, and is the cover for the Summer 1954 issue of Planet Stories. It illustrates “The Ambassadors of Flesh” by Poul Anderson, which was the third of his Dominic Flandry stories. Needless to say, Flandry saves the day, and the girl.
Like all of the original Planet Stories covers I’ve seen, the block where the magazine’s logo went was just painted as a solid color. My friend had the logo scanned and printed onto mylar, which is laid in on top of the painting as it’s framed, so the logo is actually not on the artwork. Freas won the first of his ten Best Artist Hugos in 1955, about a year after this painting was published.
On a side note, artist Herman Vestal, a Fiction House regular, contributed a double-page spread which ran as the interior illustration for this story. Several years ago at Windy City, I managed to pick up the left half of that illo (still looking for the right half!), which has Flandry in a good action scene. I’ll post that down the road.