Tintin cover art fetches a record sum: $1.6 million
PARIS - A rare 1932 cover illustration of “Tintin in America” by Herge, the artist who dreamed up the boy reporter, fetched a record 1.3 million euros ($1.6 million) at an auction in Paris. Auctioneer Artcurial said the buyer wished to remain anonymous.
The previous owner, another Tintin collector, had bought it for 764,218 euros in 2008, the previous record.
While Artcurial had refrained from guessing how much they expected it to fetch prior to the sale, a spokesman said they had secretly hoped to break the one million euro mark.
Belgian comic book artist Herge painted the Indian ink and guache color cover for the first edition of the book, which initially appeared in 1934.
One of only five such works of cover art remaining by Herge, it shows the young adventurer dressed as a cowboy sitting on a rock, his dog Snowy at his side, as three Indians, two wielding axes, creep up behind him.
The sale Saturday was part of a larger sale of Tintin-related memorabilia. Over 700 items were up for auction, of which some 85 percent found buyers, the spokesman said, adding the sale grossed over 3.3 million euros.
In February, a Belgian court refused to ban the sale of “Tintin in the Congo,” rejecting a complaint from a Congolese man, Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, that it was filled with racist stereotypes about Africans.
Herge himself, real name Georges Remi (1907-1983), who revised some of the scenes for later editions, justified the book by saying it was merely a reflection of the naive views of the time.
Last year, film director Steven Spielberg released a 3-D film, “Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn,” which won the Best Animated Feature Film at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in January. There are plans for a sequel.