Patrick Nagel Classics Claim Top Lot Honors in $1.6+ Million Illustration Art Auction at Heritage

nagel copy.jpgDALLAS - Two original canvas works by Patrick Nagel took top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ $1.6+ million April 26 Illustration Art Auction in Dallas. Nagel’s Female in Profile, sold for $87,500 while his Seductive Portrait ended at $75,000. The two works set the pace for a high-end selection of pin-up art and original pulp cover art from the 1930s and 1940s.

“The demand for Pre-War Illustration art is very high right now and it was wonderful to see early pulp cover art double and triple pre-auction expectations,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “Of course, pin-up art by master artists remain solid sellers.”

Classic pin-up paintings by Gil Elvgren dominated auction’s high end as Roxanne, 1960, a much-reproduced original painting sold for $68,750 and Charming (Charming Trick), a Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, from 1961, sold for $62,500. The fun Ticklish Situation, 1957, sold for $60,000 and his Stepping Out, 1953, ended at $55,000.

A delightful ink on board original by Al Hirschfeld titled Carnegie Hall, 100th Anniversary, 1991 - simply packed with 19 distinctive caricatures of musicians, including The Beatles - sold for $57,500.

The Sommelier, 1965, by LeRoy Neiman made its auction debut at $52,500 and Boxing Match, Buster Mathis, a 1966 oil on panel, sold for $18,750

Original cover art from a variety of 1930s and 1940s pulp magazines saw interest from multiple bidders.  Lost City of Mars, Astounding Stories pulp magazine cover, February 1934, sold for $37,500 and the pulse-pounding Enigma of the Talkative Wraith, a painting by Norman Saunders published on the cover of both the May 1942 edition of 10 Story Detective Magazine and the September 1949 edition of Ten Detective Aces Magazine, sold for $28,750. The Corpse that Murdered, Saunders’ original cover art for the June 1938 edition of Secret Agent X Magazine, sold for $25,000.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

·         Worth Cultivating (A Nice Crop), Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, 1952, by Elvgren: Realize: $47,500.

·         Stretch by Patrick Nagel: Realized: $35,000.

·         Rolf Armstrong’s Figured to Win, 1941, a pastel Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration: Realized: $25,000.

·         Please Don't Peek Until I Finish Dressing, a September 1962 Playboy interior illustration by master Alberto Vargas: Realized: $18,750.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of approximately $900 million, and over 950,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

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