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Press Release - October 22, 2014

Earth Orbit 98 by Robert McCall Brings Record $245,000 At Heritage Auctions

Science fiction art takes top lot honors in Illustration Art Signature Auction Oct. 17-18 in New York

Robert Theodore McCall: Earth Orbit 98
DALLAS — Robert Theodore McCall's visionary spacescape Earth Orbit 98, 1977, sold for a record $245,000 in Heritage Auctions' Oct. 17-18 Illustration Art Signature Auction in New York. The two-day, $2.7 million event set artist auction records across multiple genres, with standout results for science fiction, pin-up art and the work of American artist Patrick Nagel.

"This auction proves yet again that commercial art indeed carries status and value," said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage. "Demand for work by the best artists in each category continues to climb in every genre."

Earth Orbit 98 is reminiscent of the work McCall carried out for NASA to document the U.S. space program. McCall, a production illustration on Star Trek: The Motion Picture also gained a following for the majestic murals he produced for the National Air and Space Museum and the Pentagon.

Space art master Chesley Bonestell's primordial painting Beginning of the World (The Earth is Born), the cover image for the December 8, 1952 edition of LIFE magazine as well as a 1955 laymen science book, sold for $197,000. Bonestell's Separation Over the Pacific, an oil on board depicting an experimental rocket separating from its boosters, saw interest from five bidders before closing for $53,125.

Three of six paintings by artist Patrick Nagel sold for $137,000 each following interest by multiple bidders: Untitled, an acrylic on canvas; Nude With Gloves, 1983, a major painting from a private collection; and Posing With Panther, 1983. Nagel's Geometric Plaid sold for $93,750, The Tigress ended at $56,250 and Posing in Thigh High Boots, a probable illustration for Playboy magazine, earned 10 bids before reaching $18,125.

A selection of pin-up art by Gil Elvgren was led by What A View!, a Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration from 1957, which sold for $68,750. Doggone Good (Puppy Love) from 1959 sold for $59,375, Hi-Ho, Silver! sold for $53,125 and Swingin' Sweetie, a 1968 painting from the personal collection of mega-collector and scholar Charles Martignette, sold for $50,000.

Pulp magazine art was also strong, as Hugh Joseph Ward's Desert Madness, the painting for the May 1935 cover of Spicy Adventure Stories, sold for $43,750 to kick off a stellar collection of pulp covers. The Slithering Shadow, a Weird Tales pulp magazine cover from September 1933, buy Margaret Brundage sold for $42,187.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:

Let's Be Friends, a pin-up painting by Rolf Armstrong with incredible provenance by the work's model, Dea Smith: Realized: $40,625.

The Shootout, Western Trails magazine cover, circa April 1943, by Allen Anderson: Realized: $11,250.

The Journey Begins, Spectrum #8 interior illustration, 2000 by Scott Gustafson: Realized: $13,750.

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