A rare 1932 cover illustration of Tintin in America by famed Belgian artist Herge, has set a record for the sale of comic book art, fetching $1.6 million at Paris auction house Artcurial. The same artwork, drawn with Indian ink and gouache, set the previous record when it sold in 2008 for $973,000.
Tintin in America is the third volume of the Tintin adventure books and collects the serials that ran in the newspaper supplement Le petit vingtieme. Only five such covers are known to exist, including two which are in the hands of private collectors. The buyer at Artcurial Saturday was anonymous, and cloaked in an additional level of anonymity because he represented by a friend.
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 ($4.1 million). Another piece of art, sketches from the the 1968 book Flight 714 to Sydney, sold for over $100,000. One of the highlights was the sale of an edition of Explorers on the Moon, signed by Herge as well as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, which hammered to a $42,000 price.