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Illustration Art Recap

5 Mar

2012 March 1-2 Illustration Art Signature Auction- Beverly Hills

Illustration Art soars again, with a spectacular first sale of the season.  Congratulations to Ed Jaster and Todd Hignite for a job well done on a marathon two-day sale in Beverly Hills.  The sale totaled just over $3million, almost doubling the pre-sale low estimate of the sale.  Pin-Ups ruled the sale, taking 8 of the top 10 lots.

857 of 872 lots sold
96% by value
98% by lot

The top lot of the sale was none other than Gil Elvgren’s Vision of Beauty (Unveiling), which zoomed past its estimate of $50,000-75,000 to a final selling price of $140,500.  Known for his sassy pin-ups in a variety of undress, complete nudes by the artist are rare, and collectors took note.

Other highlights include:

Charles Addams’ Sad Movie, New Yorker magazine cartoon illustration, sold for $40,625. A world record for the artist!



Hugh Ward’s Spicy Adventure Stories cover illustration from April 1937, sold for $62,500.





And my favorite Elvgren, Let’s Eat Out, sold for $104,500.





Of the ones to watch – here are the results:

Hannes Bok’s Hocus Pocus Universe, Science Stories digest cover from October 1953, sold for $21,250.  Not too shabby for a piece estimated to sell between $3000 and $5000.




Joseph Leyendecker’s Kuppenheimer Good Clothes (Banjo Player), sold for $33,750.  The cover lot. It sold just over the low estimate of $30,000.  I honestly thought it would do much better.  The colors and design are so vibrant and classic.



And Norman Rockwell’s preliminary drawing for The Roadblock, sold for $32,500 – just under the low estimate of $40,000.  A great piece, and a good price, but I think we were hoping it would be more appealing to collectors than it actually was.


Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Thought I would share one of my favorite Elvgren works today.  Enjoy!

GIL ELVGREN (American, 1914-1980)
Let’s Eat Out, 1967
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 in.
Signed lower right
From the Estate of Charles Martignette.
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000.

UPDATE: Sold for $104,500 including buyer’s premium!

Calvin and Hobbes

27 Jan

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own an original work of Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. 

One of the most special pieces in the upcoming Comics and Comic Art auction on February 22-23 is the original published Bill Watterson cover art for the Calvin & Hobbes 1989-1990 18-month calendar.  It’s the only piece of published Calvin and Hobbes artwork to ever surface for public auction. While estimated at $50,000+, this piece has the potential to go much higher.

I still miss Calvin and Hobbes, as do many people.  The syndicated comic strip ran from  November 1985 to December 1995 and followed the antics of a rambunctious little boy and his stuffed tiger.  To Calvin, Hobbes is a live tiger – a partner in crime on all his adventures; all the other characters see Hobbes as an inanimate stuffed toy.  The comic strip was widely popular worldwide and produced 18 books.  Almost no legitimate Calvin and Hobbes merchandise exists outside of the book collections. Exceptions produced during the strip’s original run include two 16-month calendars (1988–1989 and 1989–1990), and the textbook Teaching with Calvin and Hobbes

When asked about this work, Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage and a specialist in Illustration and Comic Art, gets excited.

“Beyond the Peanuts comic strips of legendary cartoonist Charles Schulz, there is no more popular comic strip and certainly no strip where the original art is more in demand,” says Todd.  “The difference being that original Schulz work can be had at a variety of price points. Original published Calvin and Hobbes artwork, simply, never comes up for public auction.  There’s really no telling how high collectors will be willing to go on this one, seeing as they will also be competing with non-traditional collectors who simply love the comic strip and will be very excited to see a piece of original art on the block.”

From the catalogue:
Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes 1989-90 Calendar Cover Watercolor Illustration Original Art (c. 1988). Calvin and Hobbes fans, feast your eyes on this —it’s the real deal! As all comic art fans know, few pieces of original art are as scarce and sought after as a Calvin and Hobbes original by the characters’ creator Bill Watterson. Since Watterson is one of the few cartoonists to shun the merchandising bonanza of a popular character and is a very private person, his artwork is in incredibly high-demand. Only a very small handful of originals have ever come onto the market, so don’t miss out on your chance to win this gem, only the second such piece we’ve offered — an incredible, published beauty featuring the two main characters from the most popular and fondly remembered newspaper strip since Peanuts. The image area of this ink and watercolor masterwork is 13″ x 10″, and the art is in Excellent condition. This piece has a special provenance as it was in the collection of one of the American comic strips’ most important historians and feature writers, Rick Marschall. Inscribed and signed at the lower right, “For Rick Marschall, ‘komic konnoisseur’ Bill Watterson.”

UPDATE:  Sold for $107,550 including buyer’s premium.