June 7, 2012

Rare comic fetches record-breaking $1.6 million at auction


The cover of Tintin in America sold for $1.6 million at auction in Paris.

The cover of a rare Tintin book sold for a record-breaking €1.3 million ($1.6 million) at a recent auction in Paris, at the Artcurial auction house. Hand-drawn by Tintin’s creator, Belgian cartoonist Hergé, it’s from the book Tintin in America, one of the earlier works in the classic series that was turned into a film by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson last year and picked up the Golden Globe for animated feature film. Hergé began the series in 1929 with Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and wrote & illustrated 23 books before he passed away in 1983; the 24th and final book, Tintin and Alph-art, was unfinished and published posthumously, and represented a major shift from previous books in the series, both in style and substance.

Part of a larger auction of 700 pieces of Tintin memorabilia, the drawing broke a record that it had set itself in 2008—also at Artcurial—when it sold for €764,000. The winner of this recent auction remains anonymous, represented by a friend identified as Didier. The Indian ink & gouache drawing (created in 1932) that he’s won is one of only five such remaining works by Hergé, only two of which belong to private collectors. Other items up for auction included sketches of the iconic Tintin character and a copy of Explorers on the Moon signed by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.