Vargas, Sundblom and Elvgren masterpieces anchor Illustration Art Auction in Beverly Hills Feb. 11-12 at Heritage; Illustration Art poised for another record-breaking year following 2010’s $14.4+ million record total
dozens of rare illustration offerings, and this auction is very deep in more of Martignette’s "greatest hits," including a superb selection of major pin-ups from his favorite artist, Gil Elvgren, “the king of the pin-up,” including Elvgren’s I’m a Happy Medium (And Find Out How the Future Looks), 1947, estimated at $30,000+.
While the focus may be on pin-ups, pulp magazine and paperback cover art is very strongly represented in this auction, with the majority hailing from Martignette’s blue-chip collection, including what may well be the single most iconic paperback cover ever painted D for Delinquent, paperback book cover, 1958, painted by an anonymous American artist, and used numerous times over the ensuing decades. It is estimated at $4,000+.
“Martignette has an amazing eye for the greatest in pulp and paperback art, and we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of it now,” said Jaster. “I can say in all honesty that when these masterworks are gone we may never see another such extraordinary group by the likes of Norman Saunders, Earle Bergey, Frank R. Paul, and Rudy Nappi offered again in a single auction.”
After setting the world record for pulp art in August of 2010 with the $143,400 auction of H.J. Ward’s The Evil Flame, Spicy Mystery Stories pulp cover, August 1936, Heritage follows up with another example of Ward’s mastery, the superb and suggestive Spicy Adventure Stories, pulp cover, July 1935, estimated at $30,000+.
Heritage will also be offering up its largest auction section ever devoted to Animation Art, spotlighting the legendary genius Gustaf Tenggren, as well as some truly outstanding Disney Studio production cels from classic features including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Pinocchio, led by Tenngren’s original 1937 promotional art for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, featuring all the major characters from the famous film, a benchmark piece of art, estimated at $70,000+.
One of the sparkling highlights of Heritage’s fall 2010 Illustration Art Auction in New York City – and of any auction in recent memory – was the selection of art created by famed children’s book illustrator Garth Williams, virtually all of the original work from Charlotte’s Web, with stunning results. Heritage is following up that very successful offering in this auction with a special section devoted to Little House on the Prairie and Stuart Little, with the heart of the offerings being the original 1953 cover art from Little House on the Prairie, a defining image in Children’s Literature, estimated at $8,000+.
Rounding out the offerings, and certainly not to be forgotten among the great pin-ups on offer, is a select group of classic American Illustration masterpieces, including the subtle and brilliant At the Close of Day by Maxfield Parrish (estimated at $200,000+), a museum quality painting that has been exhibited in several institutions over the years, and a selection of work from the great artists of the Saturday Evening Post, including Douglass Crockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover, April 4, 1942, a classic cover image from the