Just a couple of months after the Perseverance Rover landing on Mars, Chesley Bonestell’s The Exploration of Mars book cover, Winged Rocket Ferry Orbits Mars Prior to Landing after 250-Day Flight, 1956 soared to $87,500, nearly three times its high pre-auction estimate. The offered image appeared on the cover of Wernher von Braun’s iconic book, The Exploration of Mars. The painting illustrates von Braun's design for the space ship that would allow humans to go where no man had gone before.
A second work by Bonestell, Mars as Seen from the Outer Satellite, Deimos, The Solar System interior book illustration, 1961, brought a winning bid of $41,250
The only album cover he ever painted during a long career as a commercial artist, Gary Norman’s Boston Don't Look Back album cover, 1978 soared to $81,250, more than 11 times its high pre-auction estimate. The album that reached the No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was among the first compact discs released upon the format’s debut in the early 1980s, Don’t Look Back featured Norman’s upside-down guitar/spaceship design that is as recognizable to some as the music in the album.
“I am totally blown away and very pleased with that – my heart is still pounding,” Norman said of the result. “That’s gonna be something I remember for the rest of my life. Looking back at Don’t Look Back, it’s quite amazing. Totally amazed.”
The auction included three video covers from the artist widely recognized as the preeminent designer of movie posters, John Alvin. Arguably his most instantly recognizable work came from the Star Wars films, the most successful movie franchise of all time. Alvin’s highlights in the sale included:
• John Alvin Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, International Video Cover, 1995 $62,500
• John Alvin Star Wars: A New Hope, International Video Cover, 1995 $37,500
• John Alvin Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, International Video Cover, 1995 $32,500
Other top lots in the auction included, but were not limited to:
Gil Elvgren Simone, 1967 $50,000
Gil Elvgren It Will Take More than One Evening Out..., 1969 $36,250
Alberto Vargas Bewitched (Jack of Hearts), Playing cards, circa 1953 $35,000
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