A 1969 painting from Disneylands The Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square sparked a flurry of competitive bidding en route to claiming top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions Animation Art Auction Dec. 8 and 9 in Beverly Hills, Calif. With sell-through rates of 99.1 percent by value and 99.76 percent by lots sold, the sale totaled $1,956,296, making it Heritage Auctions most successful animation auction in the history of the company, and one of the biggest ever held.
Animation Art Sale Deemed Most Valuable Auction Ever Held For Department At $1.96 Million
Mickey Mouse, Mary Blair, Charlie Brown, Grinch, And Scooby Doo Lead Heritage Auctions Record-Breaking Event
More than 30 bidders pursued the Haunted Mansion stretching room Disneyland painting original art (Walt Disney, 1969) until it closed at $72,000, nearly tripling its pre-auction estimate. The rare, handpainted image was one of four that greeted guests upon entry into The Haunted Mansion in New Orleans before the images were replaced at the attraction by prints. The massive (11 feet, 2 inches-by-3 feet, 10 inches) painting shows an elderly widow sitting on her husbands tombstone and is hand-signed by Marc Davis.
This animation art auction was our best to date, said Heritage Auctions animation art director Jim Lentz. It showcased the global love of animation art. Record prices were seen across the board for all the studios: Disney, Hanna Barbera, Warner Brothers and so many more!
Two lots set individual records: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? full cast stock production cel (Hanna-Barbera, 1969) was driven by two dozen bidders to a record price of $26,400, while Winsor McCays Gertie the Dinosaur animation drawing original art (1914) sparked 16 similarly eager bidders before establishing a new standard for Gertie artwork when it brought $24,000.
Mickey Mouse Turns 90
Perhaps the most celebrated animated character of all time, Mickey Mouse was hailed in the auction through the sale of 65 lots. Leading the way was Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse and Pete animation drawing original art (Walt Disney, 1928), a rare 12-field, two-peghole animation drawing in graphite of both Mickey Mouse and Peg Leg Pete that went for $14,400 to the winning bidder from a field of 28.
The Plane Crazy Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse animation drawing (Walt Disney, 1928-29) continued the active bidding for Mickey Mouse-related memorabilia when 19 bidders pushed its price to $14,400, while an early Mickey Mouse publicity artwork signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, early 1930s), showcasing Mickeys 1930s design with the classic pie slice eyes and double brow, brought $11,400, more than twice its estimate.
Mary Blair artwork
Blair was so revered for her artwork that she earned a 1991 induction into the Disney Legends group and established her as Walt Disneys favorite artist. Among her highlights in the auction, some of which came from the Mary Blair Family Trust, was Its a Small World concept painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1964), which nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $28,800. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Headless Horseman concept painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1949) topped its estimate by more than 100 percent when it closed at $21,600; Its a Small World park ride penguin prop (Walt Disney, 1964) drew bids from 29 collectors on the way to a final price of $19,200; and the Alice in Wonderland Tweedledum and Tweedledee concept painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1951) more than tripled its estimate when it yielded $16,800.
The competitive bidding continued when 19 collectors made a play for Lady and the Tramp background color key/concept painting by Eyvind Earle (Walt Disney, 1955), which finished at $24,000. After Blairs departure from the Disney studio, Earle was recruited to do more than 50 background color key paintings for the infamous scene in which Lady and Tramp share spaghetti and meatballs. This large (16-by-13-inch) image is done in gouache-on-board and is signed by Earle in the lower right corner.
Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang appeared in 35 lots in the auction. The Peanuts The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show Happy Dance Snoopy and Charlie Brown production cel sequence of seven with pan master background (Bill Melendez, 1983) more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $10,800. Peanuts A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Lot limited edition cel #212/500 (Bill Melendez, 1993) and Peanuts Charlie Brown and Friends color model cel on production background (Bill Melendez, 1970s) each prompted at least two dozen bids when they sold for $6,300 and $5,040, respectively.
Dr. Seuss legendary Grinch made a pre-holiday appearance, with 25 lots drawing the attention of numerous collectors. Topping the wish list of Grinch collectors was Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas Grinch and Max production cel (MGM 1966), which sold for $4,320, and Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas storyboard original art (MGM, 1966), which brought $4,080.
Other top lots included a Bambi production cel courvoisier setup with master production background and Walt Disney signature (Walt Disney, 1942), selling for $21,600, and Two-Gun Mickey production cel with production background (Walt Disney, 1932/1934), realizing $20,400.
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