Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Los Angeles – Edward Gorey original art pieces "Tales of Good and Evil" and "Tattooed Man and Associate” sold for $16,801 and $8,750 respectively Thursday night at Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

Tales of Good and Evil

The original artwork was done for the cover of Nicolai Gogol's short story collection, Tales of Good and Evil, unpublished but closely matching the final cover, with slightly different colors on the lady's dress and man's coat. This was completed by Gorey circa 1956, at which time Gorey worked as an illustrator for Doubleday Anchor. This artwork beautifully exemplifies Gorey's Victorian-Gothic sensibility.

Tattooed Man and Associate

This Edward Gorey original artwork, rendered in pen, ink and watercolor is informally titled ''Tattooed Man and Associate.’’ This charming, somewhat absurdist artwork by Gorey was likely completed in the early 1950s, showing a man covered in swirly tattoos speaking to his companion in the library, with amusing touches such as the man holding a miniature person or statue, and a chamber pot next to the reclined reader.

Category
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Bill Sienkiewicz, Batman #75 Wraparound Sketch Cover Variant Original Art (DC, 2019).

Dallas, TX – Heritage Auctions is proud to partner with The Hero Initiative to offer The Batman 100 Project, which features more than 100 original Dark Knight covers drawn by some of the comics industry’s best and best-known names. The sale of these one-of-a-kind pieces, which adorn blank-covered editions of Batman No. 75, will benefit the 20-year-old nonprofit that provides medical and monetary assistance to veteran comics creators in need of a helping hand.

Bidding opens Sept. 13 exclusively at HA.com. A live online auction will follow on Sept. 19 – Batman Day -- beginning at 1 p.m. CT.

The 100 Project kicked off in 2006 with Spider-Man as the featured hero, and in the past these one-of-a-kind covers were auctioned during conventions and through comics shops. But because of the global pandemic, DC Comics and The Hero Initiative are making The Batman 100 Project available exclusively through the Dallas-based auction house. This means that for the first time in the 100 Project’s history, which has included Captain America and The Walking Dead and Wonder Woman, all 100-plus original pieces of art are being offered simultaneously to a worldwide audience.

“We are honored to be part of such an extraordinary and long-running effort to provide care for the comics creators who helped shape our favorite characters and created countless indelible memories,” says Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin. “The Hero Initiative is doing heroic work, and we’re thrilled to bring it to our more than 1.25 million registered online bidders.”

Among the talents involved in The Batman 100 Project are: The Dark Knight Returns writer-illustrator Frank Miller, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, All-Star Superman and Batman and Robin artist Frank Quitely, DC Comics Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee, Eisner Award-winning Batman: The Long Halloween artist Tim Sale, Batman: The Animated Series character designer Kevin Nowlan, Grendel creator Matt Wagner and The Sandman artist Jill Thompson.

Also onboard are such comics greats as George Pérez, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jerry Ordway, Walt Simonson, Mike Grell, Dan Jurgens, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck and DC Comics Style Guide creator José Luis García-López.

And a number of modern-day favorites also contributed to this charity event. A short look at that very long list includes Adam Kubert, Eisner-nominated Tony Parker, Nicola Scott, Ivan Reis, Tony Daniel, Arthur Adams and Liam Sharp.

CGC is grading all of the comics in advance, and they will be shipped slabbed and graded to the winning bidders.

Since 2000, The Hero Initiative has provided assistance to more than 100 comic book creators, writers and artists who might otherwise have been unable to pay for rent or food or cover hospital bills. It has kept roofs over their heads, and allowed them to visit doctors without worrying about the mounting expenses.

The nonprofit covered medical and living expenses for Howard the Duck creator Steve Gerber, who battled pulmonary fibrosis and was awaiting a lung transplant when he died in February 2008. It has provided $775 a month to colorist Tom Ziuko, whose career has taken him from Archie to Hellblazer and has spent years dealing with myriad debilitating health issues that left him unable to work.

And most famously, The Hero Initiative contributed more than $60,000 toward the living and medical expenses endured by Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Famer Gene Colan. “If there was not a Hero Initiative, I probably would have gone under. Hero picked up the slack and made sure I didn’t drown,” Colan said before his death in 2011.

The comic-book industry, like most, has been roiled by the impacts of Covid-19 -related comic-shop shutdowns and delivery slowdowns. Now, more than ever, The Hero Initiative provides a vital lifeline for artists and writers impacted what its president Jim McLauchlin calls “fear and uncertainty in the coronavirus world.”

“I’ve come to the realization that there is ministering to the pocketbook and ministering to the soul,” McLauchlin says. “Many of the problems we’re dealing with are solved by writing a check, but at the same time there is also a comforting voice on the other end of the phone – someone you can take a problem to, who will listen to you and help you fix it. That’s as important as writing the check.”

And you can start by buying a one-of-a-kind comic book cover on Sept. 19.

The Batman 100 Project opens for bidding on Sept. 13. You can see all of the covers here.

Category

Amsterdam — The first book was printed in Italy in 1465, only ten years after the Gutenberg Bible. It is natural then, that there are many fine, early volumes available from Italy. As Fine Books & Collections readers will be aware, an Incunabula is a book, broadside or pamphlet printed before 1501. For many collectors, these are the pinnacle of their collections, being the earliest printed items possible.

We are pleased to offer a range of early Italian books, beginning with the Biblia Latina from 1480, we have selected 9 incunables to share with you. These are followed by 14 books printed in the 16th century, finally, we chose a number of special items from the 17th and 18th centuries, to demonstrate the range of Italian printing in this period.

Courtesy of Catawiki

Constitutiones Clementinae (1483).

As a highlight, one of the particularly attractive items is the Constitutiones Clementinae printed in 1483. This beautiful example was owned by Pope Pius VI, and bears his coat of arms to the front board. In addition to illuminated red and blue drop Caps throughout, this copy has a wonderful hand painted border to the frontis page. Poor Piux VI was Pope from 1775.  Having made his opposition to the French Revolution known, it was perhaps inevitable that the Papal States would be invaded by Napoleon, and that he would be deposed. He died a prisoner in France in 1799.  

You can find this particular lot here https://www.catawiki.com/l/38296221

We have been working to make our auctions more accessible in recent months, and part of this is an experiment with video.  Seeing a whole video of the lot, complete with pages turning gives a far more complete impression of what the winning bidder will receive.   

You can find our You-Tube link here: Italian Incunable videos

The auction will be online starting Friday 28 August 2020 at 10:00 UTC | closing Thursday 10th September 2020 at 18:01 UTC and will be visible at the following link: https://www.catawiki.com/a/383985

Marc Harrison, category manager Books, Manuscripts & Cartography at Catawiki: “For me, books connect you with history. There is a particularly strong connection to the Constitutiones. I can imagine Pius VI sat in the Vatican, studying Clementine’s work.  What better way to own a piece of history?”

Category
Courtesy of RR Auction

Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield's Cast-Signed Script of Gone With the Wind. Estimate: $3,000+

Boston — With more than 1,200 items up for bidding, RR Auction's September sale features an abundance of signed Hollywood photographs, plus a nice selection of awards, props, and costumes.

Highlights include; a James Dean document dealing with Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. The two-page contract for Dean's most celebrated films: Rebel Without a Cause and Giant, April 2, 1955. Warner Bros. document sent to James Dean, notifying him that they have extended his term of employment for the completion of Rebel Without a Cause, and the production of his last film, Giant.

At the time Dean signed this contract, shooting had just begun on Rebel Without a Cause: the movie was in production from March 28 to May 25, 1955. Portraying Jim Stark in the classic coming-of-age film, Dean exemplified teenage angst and was recognized by Jack Warner as a rising star. At Warner's behest, what began as a black-and-white B-movie became a full-color blockbuster. The production of Giant began shortly after Rebel Without a Cause wrapped, with Dean playing a ranch hand who strikes oil in Texas. Killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955—before the production of Giant was completed—he would not live to see either premiere. While Rebel Without a Cause is now recognized as his most iconic role, it was his appearance as Jett Rink in Giant that earned him the first posthumous Academy Award nomination. (Estimate: $10,000+)

Unique Gone With the Wind autographs, among them, is a Margaret Mitchell historic 18-page signed document, dated July 30, 1936. The agreement between Mitchell and Selznick International Pictures, in which the author affirms that she has unencumbered ownership "to certain original literary and dramatic writings and material known as 'Gone With the Wind,'" and assigns the motion picture and broadcasting rights to Selznick for $50,000. Signed at the conclusion in full by Mitchell, who also initials three pages, "M. M. M." Countersigned by Selznick International's treasurer John Wharton, who also adds his initials three times. (Estimate: $15,000+)

Also, a remarkable presentation script for Gone With the Wind prepared by producer David O. Selznick circa 1958-1961 and given to Mayor William Hartsfield of Atlanta. (Estimate: $3,000+)

And a great Bruce Lee document. The one-page partly-printed signed document in English and Chinese, signed by Bruce Lee using his hand-drawn signature symbol and red chop stamp, dated January 30, 1968. Colorful and ornate certificate from Lee's Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute. (Estimate: $12,000+)

Other highlights in the sale are rare and extraordinary autographs of Emily Dickinson, Isaac Newton, The Beatles, John Law, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Abraham Lincoln. A fantastic archive of Alexander McQueen material rounds out the impressive sale.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts featuring Hollywood from RR Auction began on August 21 and will conclude September 9. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

RR Auction is a globally recognized and trusted auction house specializing in historical autographs and artifacts. Join us as we make history selling history in September 2020.

Category
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Dallas, TX – There has never been anything like The Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project. And it’s reasonably safe to say there will never be anything like it ever again.

This is not the hyperbole of a media release. It is just bald-faced fact.

Never again is someone likely to spend almost two decades chasing down low-grade, beat-up copies of The Most Important Comic Books Ever Published. Then slice apart each valuable issue, page by page. Then laminate each one of those pages in specially made UV-resistant Mylar. Then reconstruct each disassembled issue in special binders stored in custom-made aluminum-and-resin cases so that readers can safely flip through these storied comic books for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

“I’m a member of Mensa and a PhD,” says the collection’s creator and caretaker, John Sindall, who also spent five years in U.S. Air Force Intelligence and served for years as a Harvard University academic advisor. “And any time I am told you can’t do something, I’ve got to do it.”

The Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, a centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art event taking place Sept. 10-13, consists of some 250 Golden and Silver Age comics spread across 72 sleeved binders. Therein you will find laminated copies of a library’s worth of key titles published since from the 1930s through the ’60s.

Contained in these binders are dozens of No. 1’s, among them Captain America, Batman, The Avengers, Green Lantern, X-Men, Fantastic Four. Hundreds of first appearances, including those of Captain Marvel, Iron Man, the Justice Society of America, the Martian Manhunter. Countless origin stories. And some of the most significant titles published, including 1947’s All-Negro Comics No. 1, whose creator Orrin Cromwell Evans hired only Black writers and artists.

Some of the titles aren’t entirely comprised of original pages; if some copies were incomplete, Sindall filled in the blanks with reproduced pages. The end result is an A-to-Z history lesson, from Action to Zip. There’s Superman No. 1, one of the most famous titles of all time, and Crime SuspenStories No. 22, easily one of the most infamous. The Q-Collection jumps from 1936’s The Comics Magazine No. 1, which contained the first appearance of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Dr. Mystic, to 1972’s All-Star Western No. 10, which marked the debut of Jonah Hex.

And there’s almost everything in between, with each comic presented, as close as possible, as it was meant to be read – from cover to cover, ads and all. Better still, these surviving pieces are now so well protected they can be read by anyone anywhere – in a shower, even – without risk of damage.

“This is an awesome opportunity to own a gigantic collection of some of the most sought-after comic books in the world,” says Jeremy Shorr, owner of Dallas’ award-winning Titan Comics shop. “The fact that they're totally readable only makes this collection that much more desirable, in my opinion.  This collection should be the centerpiece of a museum's collection.”

Which is precisely where Sindall hopes this collection one day lands, now that he has taken it to market for the very first time. “Or,” he says, “an individual who will eventually pass it along to a library or museum.”

The Q-Collection began taking shape in 2001, when Sindall acquired a crumbling copy of 1939’s New York World’s Fair Comics. Sindall says a comics restorationist told him the copy could not be saved – or ever read again. The pulp was turning to dust, and Sindall was told to stash the historic comic and forget all about it. Instead, Sindall set about to find a way to protect and preserve these comics, lest they all crumble apart and wind up swept into history’s ashbin.

At that point Sindall began selling and trading his slabbed, graded Golden Age comics to acquire key pieces for what became The Q-Collection. For a crumbling copy of Superman No. 1, Sindall says, he traded away 22 slabbed copies of Golden Age firsts; for Batman No. 1, he parted with 16 slabbed No. 1’s dating back to comicdom’s earliest days.

Spread throughout the binders, too, are 460 “bonus” items tied to comic history, from trading cards to fan-club membership certificates to advertisements. There are even original covers and single pages from some of comic collecting’s harder-to-find titles.

“It’s overwhelming, because it’s such an unusual idea in the comic hobby to take these books and cut them apart and laminate them,” says Aaron White, Heritage Auctions’ Comics Consignment Director. “That’s not something you would even imagine doing as a comics collector. But as John likes to say, your great-great-great-great-grandkids could read a Superman No. 1, and that’s compelling. That’s an outside-of-the-box way to think about it. And we could always use more of that.”

To complete this collection, this labor of love, Sindall assembled a 26-member advisory committee; some members told him what to collect, while others helped him track down copies of rarities thought lost or inaccessible. That panel included no less than legendary science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison, Marvel Comics’ head of U.K. operations Dez Skinn (often called “the British Stan Lee”) and Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman comics.

“We created a reading collection, not something stuck inside a slab,” Sindall says. “If you want to read Wonder Woman No. 1, you can do it page by page. I did this so other people can read these comics and enjoy them, as we did when we were kids. I didn’t do this selfishly. I did this only so these comics could be enjoyed 100 or 1,000 years from now.”

Category
Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Edward Gorey's "Tattooed Man and Associate."

Los Angeles – Three Edward Gorey original art pieces will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 27, 2020.

Tattooed Man and Associate

This Edward Gorey original artwork, rendered in pen, ink and watercolor is informally titled ''Tattooed Man and Associate.’’ This charming, somewhat absurdist artwork by Gorey was likely completed in the early 1950s, showing a man covered in swirly tattoos speaking to his companion in the library, with amusing touches such as the man holding a miniature person or statue, and a chamber pot next to the reclined reader.

Tales of Good and Evil

The original artwork was done for the cover of Nicolai Gogol's short story collection, "Tales of Good and Evil," unpublished but closely matching the final cover, with slightly different colors on the lady's dress and man's coat. This was completed by Gorey circa 1956, at which time Gorey worked as an illustrator for Doubleday Anchor. This artwork beautifully exemplifies Gorey's Victorian-Gothic sensibility.

Alphabet Postcards

The complete set of 13 illustrated postcards, hand-drawn and watercolored by Gorey under his pseudonym Dogear Wryde, and includes the illustrated envelope entitled ''Dogewar Wryde Postcards / Interpretive Series,’’ along with the signed limited edition card noting this set as #27 of the limited edition of 50. Gorey completed this whimsical set in 1979, each showing his booted lizard interpreting words beginning with the letter ''I'', such as Insouciance, Inquisitiveness and Indigestion.

Additional information on the Gorey’s art can be found at https://natedsanders.com/Edward_Gorey_Original_Limited_Edition_Set_of_His_F-LOT58472.aspx.

Category
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Dallas, TX – Sixteen years ago, Heritage Auctions sold a highly graded copy of Chamber of Chills No. 19 for $126.50 – in retrospect, an outright steal. In July of this year, the very same title, bearing a far lesser grade, realized $6,070.80 during Heritage’s summer Comics & Comics Art event. And in 2018, a far better copy of the 1953 book sold for almost twice that amount.

As prices escalated over the years, and with Chamber of Chills No. 19 threatening to overtake far more famous and familiar horror titles, collectors and prospectors flocked to the message boards. They debated, often at great length, what accounts for the marked increase in price and interest in this once-obscure issue published by Harvey, best known for its children’s comics such as Richie Rich and Little Dot.

And time and again, the answer has remained the same: That issue is so highly sought-after because of its cover by Lee Elias, the Englishman revered for his long-running work on Harvey’s Black Cat title and for co-creating the villain Eclipso during his stint at DC Comics in the 1960s.

A skeletal arm, clad in a tuxedo, raises a full snifter to toast a smiling blond-haired woman festooned in blood-red – bustier, necklace, lipstick. The cover’s text reveals the reason for the celebration: “Here’s looking at you darling on our … HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!” The woman holds a smoldering cigarette in her left hand. She smiles. And through the glass, it’s revealed that she, too, is dead. If not now, then soon.

The cover, which punk-rocker-turned-heavy-metal-man Glenn Danzig famously used as the artwork adorning the Misfits’ 1984 single “Die, Die My Darling,” has remained for decades tucked in a private collection. Only now is it finally coming to market for the first time:

Elias’ original cover art for Chamber of Chills No. 19 is one of the premier offerings found in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art event taking place Sept. 10-13 at Heritage’s world headquarters in Dallas and online at HA.com.

“Believe it or not, the same company that introduced Richie Rich in September 1953 published this the same month, and other horror comics, too,” says Heritage Auctions’ Vice President Barry Sandoval. “Some other horror covers are pretty brutal. But this one seemed to really speak to the time, to 1950s America. Everything was ‘perfect,’ and here’s this seedy image, this evil lurking just beneath the surface.”

Yet soon enough, covers like this one – terrifying, tantalizing, titillating – would vanish from the racks and newsstands thanks to Fredric Wertham, whose book Seduction of the Innocent, published only a year later, warned that comics were rotting the minds and morality of American youth. Senate hearings on the subject, and some cities’ bans on horror and crime comics, spooked the comics industry into self-censoring itself; thus, the creation of the Comics Code Authority, whose seal of approval meant the neutering of comics for decades to come.

Chamber of Chills No. 19 would stand among the last of its kind.

Its origin story actually pre-dated Elias’ involvement: The preliminary and concept sketches for Chamber of Chills No. 19’s cover were actually done in pencil by Harvey’s chief artist (and Richie Rich co-creator!) Warren Kremer, then turned over to Elias. The U.K.-born Elias brought life – and death – to the final work.

A decade ago Heritage Auctions sold Kremer’s sketches for $2,151.

With weeks to go before the Sept. 10-13 Comics & Comic Art event, Elias’ fully fleshed out original has already raced passed the $50,000 mark.

So, yes. To answer that question about what makes this comic so coveted: It’s the cover.

Category
Photography by Graham Haber, 2014

J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library, The Morgan Library & Museum.

New York – The Morgan Library & Museum is delighted to announce its public reopening beginning with a free opening weekend September 5and6, 2020 and advanced access for members September 2to 4, 2020. Advanced registration for the Member Preview will be available starting Friday, August 21st, 2020. All other tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 26th, 2020.Opening hours will be Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30am to 5pm with 10:30am to 11:30am on Wednesdays and Saturdays reserved for Members. The Morgan’s popular “Free Fridays” program will continue from 3pm to 5pm every Friday afternoon.

Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum, stated, “The Morgan Library & Museum is so pleased to reopen its doors to the resilient citizens of New York City and beyond. These past few months have encouraged us to look deep into our collections and programs, and have reaffirmed the value of art and literature as windows into our best selves and our shared humanity. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to engage with our collections of literature, music, photography, drawing, and more. We are confident that with vigilance, respect, and awareness of the new protocols for navigating the Morgan, we can continue to offer meaningful and uplifting experiences for all who visit as we continue to chart our way during these unprecedented times.”

The Morgan will reopen with rigorous new procedures in place that put the health of its visitors and staff first and that meet all relevant governmental health regulations. Safety measures include:

•Visitor capacity has been reduced to 25%
•Advanced timed ticket purchase or reservations are required
•Increased cleaning and disinfection
•A requirement that face coverings extending over a visitor’s nose and mouth must be worn at all times
•Social distancing will be upheld through signage, visitor paths, and staff training;
•Coat and bag check will be closed
•Hand sanitizer stations will be available for use throughout the campus
•All employees will undergo daily wellness checks

Flexible ticket rescheduling and rebooking as well as augmented online resources regarding exhibitions and collections will ensure that the measures taken to protect the well-being of staff and visitors are paired with a welcoming return to the galleries.

Museumgoers will have the opportunity to take a last look at Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect (closing September 13), The Book of Ruth: Medieval to Modern (closing October 4), and The Drawings of Al Taylor (closing September 13).

During the COVID-19 closure, the Morgan launched new online initiatives, talks, and programs, which will continue after the Morgan reopens its physical campus. The Morgan Connected, the Morgan’s online portal to its digital offerings, is updated weekly and provides details on the latest digital experiences developed for the Museums’ community, including virtual events, exhibitions, videos, collection items, digital facsimiles, blog posts, and more. To reserve tickets, learn more about what will be on view and online, understand which amenities are available and read more about our safety protocols, visitors are encouraged to visit www.themorgan.org.

Category
Courtesy of Swann Galleries

JEB, Audre Lorde in Her Home Study, Staten Island, NY, RC print, 1981, printed later. Sold for $3,250.

New York — The second iteration of Swann Galleries’ LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History sale on Thursday, August 13 was a resounding success. The auction bested last year’s results, totaling $1,023,375, hammering above the high estimate for the sale, and delivering stellar prices for desirable material. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

The high-point of the auction was the moment a highly anticipated graphite drawing by Tom of Finland came across the block. The work surpassed its estimate of $6,000 to $9,000, selling for $55,000, a record for the artist, after heated bidding on the phones and several online platforms.

Works by David Wojnarowicz formed the cornerstone of the sale with all 19 lots on offer finding buyers—each far surpassing their high estimates—and five of the lots making it into the top 20. The works came across the auction block through the artist’s brother, as well as the estate of friend and fellow bandmate Brian Butternick. Highlights from the selection included Untitled (Genet with Dog), a mixed-media collage influenced by the writings of Jean Genet ($27,500); Rimbaud in New York, a 1978-79 silver print from an early series by Wojnarowicz where the artist would photograph his friends wearing a mask of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud—who he felt a strong connection to ($23,750); the early 1970s Stoned Sketchbook, influenced by American cartoonist Robert Crumb ($18,750); and the maquette for the 1990 installation piece Lazaretto ($13,750).

Additional fine art works included pieces by Toyen, with Erotic Illustration from Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnost, pen and ink, 1932 ($26,000), and Surrealist Composition, watercolor with pen and ink, 1933 ($13,000); Hugh Steers works featured Catheter Kiss, oil on canvas, 1994 ($47,500), as well as Striped Spread, 1992, and Charity Couple I, 1990, two oil on canvas works ($12,350); and Richmond Barthé with Quo Vadis, cast bronze with dark brown patina, circa 1951 ($13,750).

Photographs on offer provided preeminent material from standout artists. Peter Hujar was present with Ethyl Eichelberger, silver print, 1981 ($40,000), and Robert Mapplethorpe found success with a 1971 mixed-media silver print with hand tinting ($27,500). All four Joan E. Biren (JEB) lots up for offer found buyers, with Audre Lorde in Her Home Study, Staten Island, NY, 1981, printed later, leading the selection at $3,250.

Fine books, manuscripts and ephemera lent a historical perspective to the sale. An 1882 autograph quotation by Oscar Wilde, reading: “The secret of life is in Art,” brought $15,600. The Pretty Women of Paris, an 1883 directory of female sex worker, many of whom were in same-sex relationships or did not adhere to binary gender expression, earned $5,750. Posters of note included Boris Vallejo’s The New St. Marks Baths, circa 1980, which earned $5,750 over a $400 to $600 estimate, and Donal Moffet’s He Kills Me, 1987, at $5,000.

Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann president, noted of the sale: “LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History auction was one of the most active auctions in Swann’s history. In addition to clients who left us with their order bids, collectors from around the world participated in the sale via telephone, and four separate online portals, including the increasingly popular Swann Galleries App. Bidding was competitive and intense throughout the entire 293 lot auction, so much so that the proceedings took seven and a half hours to complete. At the end of the sale the hammer price exceeded the pre-sale high estimate of the auction, with many of the items soaring well past their published estimates. It was exhausting and exhilarating. The auction was the product of all of Swann's departments working together and the combined teamwork clearly paid off. Not just because of the incredible results, but also because all of the wonderful words of encouragement and thanks we received from the collecting community, we are delighted to be able to announce that we are already planning our next LGBTQ+ auction for 2021!”

For the house’s most up-to-date auction schedule please visit seanngalleries.com.

Category
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Dallas, TX – In 1970, Frank Frazetta painted two versions of the cover for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars.

One he sent to the publishing house Doubleday, whose hardback version of the 1912 story – featuring the debuts of Confederate soldier John Carter and Martian princess Dejah Thoris – has become one of the most recognizable and influential covers in publishing history. And the other Frazetta made for himself immediately upon competition of the assignment. He was deeply proud of the piece and knew its return was unlikely. Better, he thought, to make another than lose this only child.

The paintings that Frazetta titled The Princess of Mars, each featuring John Carter brandishing a sword above his head and Dejah Thoris alongside him, were seemingly identical in almost every way. They look the same at first, second, even third glance. But there are alterations, at once small yet significant: In the version Frazetta kept for himself, “Dejah's stance is more upright, indicating her prowess and confidence and depicting a stronger woman,” notes Nadia Mannarino, Heritage Auctions’ New York City-based Senior Consignment Director for Comics & Comic Art.

“And the breast plate and jewelry in this painting are more ornate,” says Mannarino, who, alongside her husband Joe, began representing Frazetta in the 1980s. “And the moons are much more defined.”

Put plainly, says Heritage Auctions’ Vice President Barry Sandoval. “This is the rare case when the second version is even better than the published one.”

Decades ago, the Mannarinos helped auction off the Doubleday version through Christie’s. But the one he made and kept for himself – truly such a rare and extraordinary thing to do! –  has remained with Frazetta’s family for five decades. It has never before been to market. Not until now.

Frazetta’s personal version of his The Princess of Mars is a centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art event taking place Sept. 10-13, at Heritage’s world headquarters in Dallas and online at HA.com.

In recent years, Frazetta’s pieces have realized extraordinary sums. Only last year, Heritage Auctions sold his Egyptian Queen, from 1969, for $5.4 million. Others, too, have sold for seven figures, prices befitting the best known, most revered – and most-often imitated -- fantasy and science fiction artist of the 20th century.

The high expectations for Frazetta’s The Princess of Mars are warranted for another reason, too:

This is the piece upon which Tom Jung modeled the first Star Wars poster – the one with Luke Skywalker wielding a lightsaber, Princess Leia at his knee, Darth Vader’s helmet looming behind them like a sunset. The Princess of Mars is the piece upon which countless science fiction and fantasy artists built their careers. Its echo resounds five decades later like a shot just fired.

Frazetta rarely revisited his own work, and on those rare occasions when he did, he would dramatically and drastically revise the piece as not to repeat himself. But just as The Princess of Mars struck a chord with other artists, so, too, did it resonate with its maker.

“Frazetta recounted to us numerous times that he so loved the image and hated the fact that it would remain with the publisher that he executed ‘one for me’ at the same time,” Nadia says. “He also confided to us that he loved this second painting even more.”

“Frazetta has always been the man,” Sandoval says. “A colleague once joked that the evolution of the collector is: You start by collecting low-grade comic books. Then you only want high-grade books. Then you only want original art. Then, you only want Frazetta.”

Category