Through two signature animation art auctions and an event at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park, Heritage’s Animation Art Department had their best year ever. During 2017, Heritage reached total sales of $3,919,080, breaking their previous record by 38%.
“It was an exciting year for Animation Art at Heritage Auctions,” Heritage Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “The year began with the historic ‘75 Years of America’s First Theme Park – Knott’s Berry Farm Auction’ held right at the historic park, which drew a record turnout. That was followed by two Animation Art Signature sales, the ‘Art of Fantasia’ auction in July and the ‘Animation Birthday Celebration’ auction, each of which set new records, thanks to artwork from the hands of such artists as Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, Chuck Jones and Tim Burton, to name a few.”
Their biggest animation art seller in 2017 was the Carl Barks “Family Portrait” Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks painting #73-15 with handwritten letter that hammered for $68,712. The piece depicts Donald Duck with Uncle Scrooge, Daisy, the triplets, and others.
The “Night on Bald Mountain” concept painting from Fantasia by Kay Nielsen realized $59,750. This rare Nielsen piece depicts the Chernabog with bats, skeletons, and flames surrounding Bald Mountain.
Another significant Disney sale was the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag and Snow White production cel Courvoisier setup that sold for $33,460. In addition, the Mary Blair “It’s a Small World” Disneyland painting that was held by Walt Disney on Wonderful World of Color, closed at $27,485.
Key sales included A Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown and Christmas tree production cel for $21,510, “The Band Concert” Good Housekeeping illustrations by Tom Wood for $20,315, Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle master hand-painted production background with production cel setup for $19,120, and Rocky and His Friends production cel setup and key master background for $16,730.
The Knott’s Berry Farm sale realized $790,000 across 228 lots. The top lot of the event was a Henry H. Cross “Baldwin Wagon Train Under Attack” ghost town painting that sold for over 40 times the estimate, clearing $71,700. Other high value items in the sale were the 1940 Jennie K Locomotive that sold for $40,630 and a 1904 Caille Brothers double slot machine that brought $38,240.