Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote original Chuck Jones Animation Art at Heritage 2/21 at Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion features classic drawings of Bugs, Daffy, Road Runner, Sylvester, Pepe LePew, Marvin Martian and ‘What’s Opera, Doc’ among original vintage Chuck Jones animation
News-Antique.com - Feb 13,2013 - One of the very early developmental sketches that legendary animator Chuck Jones made of Wile E. Coyote, dating back to within a few years of the character’s creation, is expected to bring $10,000+ as the lead lot of offerings from The Chuck Jones Archives, part of Heritage Auctions’ inaugural Animation Art Signature® Auction, Feb. 21, at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America), 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Avenue), in New York City.
The 30+ piece grouping – with more than 20 pieces that come directly from the hand of Chuck Jones himself – has been consigned by Jones’ family, the first time since the 1990s that the family has released any “new” work. This is the first time that the pieces in the trove have ever been offered at public auction.
“There are few modern animators more famous, more popular or more influential than the late great Chuck Jones,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage, “and this Wile E. Coyote drawing is one of the most important pieces of Chuck Jones artwork to ever be offered. While we can all look at this spectacular piece and see the character we all love so well, Jones did it as he was figuring out just who Wile E. Coyote was and what he looked like.”
The Chuck Jones Archives cut a broad swathe across the storied career of this most important of American animators, touching on most every major character that he helped place in the American popular imagination: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Marvin Martian, Michigan J. Frog, Sylvester the Cat and many more. It also includes samples of his work with Dr. Seuss on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Horton Hears a Who,” his work at MGM on Tom and Jerry and his Academy Award-winning short “The Dot and the Line.”
Importantly, too, the trove highlights some of the lesser explored corners of Jones’ career, including comic strips, one-off animation specials and fine art paintings and drawings, showcasing the tremendous talent he possessed that transcended his sublime cartoon work. Within this section of the grouping are character studies and portraits, all done by Jones himself, in mediums ranging from pencil and watercolor to charcoal and mixed media, and all with estimates ranging from $2,500+ to $10,000+.
One of the most interesting wrinkles in Jones’ career was a short-lived daily comic strip title “Crawford,” which is represented in the auction with an original “Crawford” daily from May 2, 1978. It is expected to bring $5,000+.
“‘Crawford’ was introduced to the New York Times-Chicago Tribune syndicate on Jan.9, 1978,” said Lentz. “Few of his hand drawn ‘Crawford’s’ have ever come to market. The history of the ill-fated strip was detailed in the coffee table book ‘Chuck Jones – The Dream That Never Was,’ where this actual strip can be seen on page 173.”
A rare Jones original watercolor painting of Pepe LePew not only presents the character in a decidedly fragrant light, contrary to his