Patrick Nagel, Gil Elvgren Top Sellers in $1.7-Million Illustration Art Auction at Heritage

joan copy.jpgDALLAS, Texas (May 15, 2017) - Four pieces by two famed illustration artists, Patrick Nagel and Gil Elvgren, set the pace for Heritage Auctions’ $1.7 million May 12 Illustration Art Auction as nearly 900 bidders vied for original and concept artwork. The auction exceeded its estimate by 61 percent with a sell-through rate of 99 percent by value and 96 percent by lot. Nagel’s Seductive Female in Profile sold for $125,000 and while his original Joan Collins, #411, 1982 sold for $100,000, each more than doubled their respective pre-auction estimate.

Recognized by many as one of the best pin-up artists in history, Gil Elvgren’s Fire Belle (Always Ready), 1956 sold for $112,500 and his eye-catching Cover, Girl!, 1965 sold for $100,000, doubling its pre-auction estimate. There was also sizeable interest in the pin-up art of Alberto Vargas whose Portrait of Carol Ohmart, 1956 sold for $40,000, double its estimate and the illustration story-telling artwork of Hy (Henry) Hintermeister whose  Rocket Pad Keep Out sold for $37,500, triple its pre-auction estimate and a record for the artist at auction..

"Once again the interest and demand for Pre-War Illustration art is very high from the likes of Nagel and Elvgren. Calendar, book cover and interior illustration artwork exceeded our expectation realizing double, triple or more above pre-auction estimates," said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “Overall the interest in illustration art continues to remain high across the board.”

A New Yorker magazine cartoon by Charles Samuel Addams Skier, New Yorker magazine cartoon, January 15, 1949, sold for $27,500, well over its $6,000-8,000 estimate; while the Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration Bait for Trapping a Man, Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, June 1957 by Earl Moran captured $23,750 over its $3,000-5,000 estimate.

Book cover artwork was also of high interest as Roger Hane’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, book cover, 1970 sold for $26,250, five times its low estimate and Robert McGinnis The Corpse that Came Calling, paperback cover, 1964 sold for $21,250 nearly seven times its estimate. A landmark illustration by artist Barbara Remington which was used for a trio of Ballantine Book covers for J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings, paperback cover study, 1965 sold for $17,500.

Magazine cover artwork from the 1940s saw interest as Peter Driben’s Pin-Up in a Bikini, Beauty Parade magazine cover, October 1947 sold for $21,250 setting a record for the artist at auction and early pin-up artist Enoch Bolles’ Steady Work, Judge magazine cover, October 31, 1914 which also realized $21,250. Interior illustration pieces were popular with bidders as Vargas’ Please Don't Peek Until I Finish Dressing, Playboy interior illustration, September 1962 sold for $27,500 and Garth Williams’ He Let Go of the Wheel for a Second and Did a Little Dance on the Slopping Deck, Stuart Little interior illustration, 1945 sold for $18,750.

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