Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs The Old Hag Production Cel and Key Master Background Setup animation (Walt Disney, 1937). Sold for $47,800 Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions
DALLAS —Heritage Auctions spring offering of classic cels, animation drawings, and related artworks continues to be the subject of discussing among animation art collectors. The animation art auction which included a selection from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bugs Bunny shorts realized a total of $1.7 million.
Topping the animation art auction is a Production Cel and Key Master Background Setup for the suspenseful moment before the Wicked Queen reveals herself as the Old Hag villain from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Cel which was used just before the witch drops her cloak and reveals how the magic potion revealed just how ugly she was inside sold for $47,800 after intense bidding from nine bidders. “It is absolutely memorable and I’m not surprised it sold for such a high price,” Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage Auctions said.
An exceptional rare black and white Production Cel and Background Setup of Mickey Mouse from the 1935 classic Two-Gun Mickey was another animation art that made exceptional price at the auction. This perhaps is one of the very few surviving black and white nitrate cels existing from the early years of Walt Disney’s studios, let alone come to auction. It sold for $41,825
Adding to the $1.7 million realized at the Heritage Auctions spring offering of animation art is a touching Production Cel Setup featuring Snow White surrounded by woodland creatures. The Cel setup is composed of several layers of hand-inked, hand-painted cels placed on a Master hand-painted production background. With interest from several animation art collectors, the cel sold for $29,875.
An iconic cel of the Wascally Wabbit as Brünnhilde and Elmer Fudd as Siegfried from the 1957 short What’s Opera, Doc? made a great showing at the animation art auction. The cartoon which was voted #1 in Jerry Beck’s 50 Greatest Cartoons book and the 12-field cel saw interest from 19 bidders and eventually sold for $26,680.
Commenting on the Lentz could not hide his excitement: “Animation is back”! he exclaimed adding that “This is one of the largest total dollar animation art auctions ever and by far the largest held in more than 15 years. These are truly historic results.”
The Heritage Auctions Animation art sale shows renewed interest in animation art collection. Fans and collectors not only showed their love for Golden age Warner Brother Bugs Bunny shorts but also art in general. The hope expressed by Heritage Auctions after the animation art sale is that the next auction of animation art will attract even more collectors and make record art auction prices.
Additional highlights from the Heritage Auctions Animation Art sale include, but are not limited by:
1. A Pinocchio Production Cel with Master Painted Background, depicting the little wooden puppet as a real boy: Realized: $23,900.
2.A Sleeping Beauty Maleficent Production Cel and Pan Master Production Background Setup by Eyvind Earle: Realized: $20,315.
3. A painting of Bugs Bunny by master animator Chuck Jones (circa 1989): Realized: $20,315. A comical Production Cel from The Little Mermaid: Realized: $15,535, against a $1,500 estimate.
4. A concept painting of Cinderella and the Prince Concept for Cinderella by illustrator Mary Blair: Realized: $10,157.
5. A rare, Key/Concept Art Group for 101 Dalmatians by Walt Peregory: Realized: $8,365.
6. A rare, Production Cel Setup depicting Barneyy Rubble and Fred Flintstone in Fred’s car, as used in The Flintstone’s October 26th, 1962 episode titled “The Buffalo Convention.” Realized: $5,258.