Tintin Drawing Sets World Record for Original Hergé Comic Artwork
It’s not every day that a crayon drawing fetches more than a half-a-million dollars at auction (don’t start pulling your kids drawings off the fridge yet), but that’s exactly what happened last weekend.
An extremely rare 1939 original comic by celebrated European artist Hergé (Belgian Georges Remi) featuring Tintin and his loyal dog, Snowy, sold for $673,468 at an auction held simultaneously in Brussels and Paris.
This original artwork in crayon and India ink by Hergé for the cover of a weekly Belgian children’s magazine “Le Petit Vingtieme” (The Little Twentieth) featuring Tintin and his dog, Snowy, brought $673,468 at an auction held simultaneously in Brussels and Paris on Dec. 14.
The cartoon itself was drawn in crayon and India ink by Tintin creator Hergé for the cover of a weekly Belgian children’s magazine “Le Petit Vingtieme” (The Little Twentieth), commissioned by the Belgian newspaper “Le Vingtieme Siecle.” In the comic we see Tintin’s dog Snowy retrieving Le Sceptre d’Ottokar (the scepter of King Ottokar), which was also the title of the eighth volume of Tintin, serialized from August 1938 to August 1939.
The piece smashed through its estimated sale of $500,000 to $600,000 and set a world record for an original Hergé cover published in a magazine. The unidentified buyer made the winning bid by phone to the Millon auction house in Brussels.
This piece was part of an auction of French and Belgian comic works realized $2.4 million in total sales and saw 86 of the 101 lots sold.
Hergé’s original Tintin pieces have become premiere collectors’ pieces and prices have gone through the roof in the past year alone. This past May, an original Hergé two-page spread featuring several pictures of Tintin, Snowy and several other characters sold at auction in France for $3.58 million. The piece was purchased by an unnamed American buyer and smashed the previous record of $1.5 million for an original Hergé.
Outside of Steven Spielberg’s 2011 animated Tintin film, the character has never been as popular in the U.S. as comic characters such as Superman and Batman. But it’s hard to argue with prices like this.
The most expensive complete comic book sale in the U.S. was a CGC graded 9.0 condition copy of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 (DC/National Comics, 1938). The comic sold for $3.2 million this last August on eBay, becoming the most expensive comic in the world. It’s not known what original artwork from Superman’s first appearance might sell for, but for now, an intrepid boy and his dog own the title of the most expensive original appearances in the world.
Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact Matt or post your question below in the comments section below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!
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