The Bande Dessinée auction achieved a final total of €3,821,947, a record result for a comics sale at Sotheby’s Paris saleroom. The auction honoured the greatest examples of the “ninth art” with a selection of 288 works by the likes of Jean Giraud, Juanjo Guarnido, and founding fathers Winsor McCay and Hergé, the undisputed master of comics. The sale offered ten original works by Hergé which collectively reached a total of € 1.2 million. Particular highlights included the original boards from cult albums Le Sceptre d’Ottokar and Les Bijoux de la Castafiore, which together sold for €970,000. The top lot of the sale was another work by Hergé, a cover designed for the 10-year anniversary of Le Petit Vingtième, which achieved €453,000.
Throughout the afternoon, high prices were obtained for exceptional boards signed by the most famous names in comics. Besides Enki Bilal and Hergé, Hugo Pratt is one of the most sought-after artists in the field. The cover of Volume 6 of the famous maritime adventures of Les Celtiques far exceeded its estimate, selling for €315,000. Albert Uderzo’s La grande traverse, the twenty-second album in the adventures of the famous Astérix le Gaulois, illustrates the artist’s iconic style and sense of motion and achieved €243,000. A superb 1974 illustrated board of Gaston Lagaffe by André Franquin received €75,000, reflecting the rarity of works of the great comic masters in such a format. A board from the epic 300 by Frank Miller, the internationally recognized artist of Sin City, sold for € 27,500.
Sotheby’s is delighted to announce its forthcoming Bande Dessinée auction taking place in Paris on 7 March 2015, featuring selected works by leading comic strip artists from around the world. The sale, comprising 288 illustrations, paintings and original plates from a variety of historical and contemporary European and American authors, will appeal to international connoisseurs and collectors, and reflects the current trend of comics being a new fast growing market, acclaimed as a new form of art.
The auction includes established names such as Hergé, Hugo Pratt, Peyo, Gir-Moebius, Enki Bilal and François Schuiten alongside American artists like Winsor McCay – one of the founders of transatlantic comic strips – and Milton Caniff, with the first two Sunday Pages of Steve Canyon. Sotheby’s is teaming up with experts Bernard Mahé of Galerie 9e Art in Paris and Eric Verhoest of Brussels’ Galerie Champaka to stage this exceptional auction devoted to comics from around the world. Mr Mahé, an international specialist in American comic strips, has played a pioneering role in promoting the art form while Mr Verhoest has overseen a series of exhibitions combining classic Belgian artists and contemporary authors.