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Press Release - June 24, 2019
‘It’s a Small World’ Brings Big Price in Heritage Auctions’ Record $2M Animation Auction
Classic Mary Blair façade painting for famous attraction brings $66,000 June 15-16
DALLAS, Texas (June 24, 2019) — It took a big bid for the castle façade concept art for the "It's a Small World" Disneyland attraction to set the all-time record for the highest grossing Animation Art auction. The sale surpassed $2 million, setting a house record with in winning bids for its June 15-16 event.
Collectors sought early concept art for Walt Disney theme park attractions and films. Artist Mary Blair's 1964 concept painting for Disneyland's famous "It's a Small World" attraction sold for $66,000 against a $10,000 estimate. The piece set a new world artist auction record for Blair's work, beating the previous $60,000 world record set by Heritage in 2018.
"This $2+ million sale puts us firmly at the top of Animation Art auctions," said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation at Heritage. "We work all year long to bring collectors the very best lots."
Among Blair's most iconic artwork, generating top bids was a Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept/Color Key Painting, completed in 1950, which sold for $38,400. An Alice and Flowers Concept Painting for Alice in Wonderland sold for $31,200, a surfers concept painting for "It's a Small World" ended at $28,800, and paintings for key scenes in the 1950 film Cinderella and a serene concept painting for the feature film So Dear to My Heart, sold for $22,800 and $21,600, respectively.
Additional concept paintings for Disney classics, such as Gustaf Tenggren's painting for Bambi, sold for $31,200, and an Eyvind Earle painting for Sleeping Beauty, featuring a beautiful Princess Aurora, sold for $24,000.
Hand-painted cels from fan favorite productions brought several bids:
· A production/color model cels and key master pan background for 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sold for $32,400.
· Cels from beloved Peanuts holiday programs generated multiple bids as a pair of 1965 production cels from A Charlie Brown Christmas, by master animator Bill Melendez, sold for $18,600. Two highly desirable production cels featuring Snoopy depicted as the WWI Red Baron flying ace from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown sold for $16,800.
· A 1933 production cel and key master background for the iconic Mickey Mouse film The Mad Doctor sold for $14,400.
· Winsor McCay's 1914 animation drawing of Gertie the dinosaur, an important piece of inked production artwork from the early landmark animated short, sold for $13,200.
Additional highlights from the auction include, but are not limited to:
· An embellished portrait print of the for "Quicksand" Stretching Room from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion sold for $28,800.
· A poster for Disneyland's "Santa Fe Railroad" park attraction from 1958 ended at $15,000.
· A circa 1960s original maquette used to design the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction brought $11,400.
Heritage Auctions' next Animation Art Auction is scheduled for Dec. 14. Consignments are welcomed until Oct. 31 and bidding will open around Nov. 24. To consign, contact Jim Lentz, director of Animation Art, at 214-409-1991 or JimL@HA.com.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
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