Tintin Comic Book Art Sets Auction Record – artmarketblog.com
Perhaps it was the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Tintin in 2009; perhaps it was because of the release of the movie The Adventures of Tintin in 2011; maybe it is the upcoming 20th anniversary of the death of Herge, the creator of Tintin. Whatever the reason, Tintin comic book art has proven a particularly hot item at auction in recent times.
French auction house Artcurial sold a rare 1932 cover illustration of Tintin in America by Herge, the creator of Tintin, for a record 1.3 million euros ($1.6 million) during their L’univers du créateur de Tintin sale held in Paris on the 2nd of June. Only five of the covers are known to exist with only two in private hands.
The Tintin in America cover illustration was sold by a Tintin collector who purchased the work at auction in 2008 for 764,218 euros which stood as the auction record for comic book art until the record was shattered by the same work during the June 2nd sale.
The second highest price of the sale was achieved by sketch of Plate 26 from Flight 714, the 22nd and penultimate complete volume of The Adventures of Tintin, which sold for 167,700. High prices were also achieved for a coloured gouache of the cover of Tintin in the Congo which fetched 68 500 and a gouache of the cover of the journal Le Petit Vingtième (“The Little Twentieth”) from 30 December 1937 which sold for 64,800.
According to Artcurial, their June 2nd sale masterfully confirmed their position as the leading global provider of comics. With an overall total of 3,317,177 euros and 85% of lots sold, the auction set a record for the highest total for a sale devoted to the comic book art of Hergé.
Sotheby’s also got on the Tintin wagon with their first ever comic book sale held on the 4th July in Paris which featured a number of Tintin works by Hergé. Leading the sale was an original drawing by Hergé for the album The Shooting Star which sold for $288,300 against an estimate of 220,000 – 240,000. According to Sotheby’s, the strip features the first appearance of Philippulus the Prophet and is a true heritage piece that belongs in a museum.
The second highest price for a Tintin item was the sale’s only Tintin album, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, which is the first album that Hergé ever produced. Only ten copies in the exceptional state of preservation that this album was presented in are known to exist. The album sold for 48,750 EUR against an estimate of 40,000 – 45,000 EUR.
**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer. He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others. Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.
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