Tony Sarg, born Anthony Frederick Sarg, was a German American puppeteer and illustrator. A native of Cobán, Guatemala, Sarg later migrated to the United Kingdom in 1905. In 1915, after World War I broke out, he settled the family in New York City. He became a U.S. citizen in 1920.
Having grown up around puppets, he inherited his grandmother’s collection, developed them as a hobby that influenced other artists, and finally turned them into a profession in 1917. In 1928, he designed, and his protégé Bil Baird built tethered helium-filled balloons up to 125 feet long, resembling animals, for Macy’s department store in New York. The work involved several puppetry principles. The creations were featured in the store’s Thanksgiving parade. In 1935, he designed Macy’s elaborate animated window display, shown between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Sarg took a break from competing with other puppet studios and focused on illustrating magazine covers, guide books, children’s picture books, games, and toys. In 1939, Sarg designed extensively for the New York World’s Fair. He designed salons and sophisticated interiors for high-end department stores and restaurants.
Look at Tony Sarg’s lovely color illustrations of London and New York: