News | December 15, 2023

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Petit Prince Watercolour Smashes Auction Estimate


The original watercolour of the Little Prince

An exceptional original watercolour of The Little Prince, reproduced in the first edition of the book, as a full-page illustration by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has sold for £302,400 at Christie’s London The Alphabet of Genius: Important Autograph Letters and Manuscripts sale.

This figure hugely surpassed its estimate of £25,000-25,000.

The illustration is pencil, ink and watercolour, on American ‘Fidelity Onion Skin’ paper, with a few marginal annotations, probably for the printer. It was reproduced as a full-page illustration on page 59, depicting the Little Prince just after his arrival on earth.

Original drawings and watercolours in their near-complete or final versions as reproduced in the first edition of the Little Prince (1943) like this are very scarce. Most of the known examples are in institutional collections, in particular the Morgan Library.