Magic: The Gathering has been the game that defined a generation since its debut 25 years ago, and now fans of the Wizards of the Coast trading card game can get their hands on some unique art pieces. Currently at Hake’s Auctions in Auction #225, there’s a number of original artworks from and inspired by the cards.
There’s a handful of original pieces from illustrator Kaja Foglio that are worth noting. One of Foglio’s artworks in the auction is a mixed media piece that seems to take inspiration from both the “Shahrazad” and “Bird Maiden” cards. This piece features a woman displaying a tattoo on her upper arm, with the tattoo itself being the Bird Maiden. This artwork comes with a handwritten letter that explains Foglio’s technique and what goes into a card’s creation. There’s also an artboard that features lead pencil preliminary artwork for the “Renewal” card, from the 1995 Homelands set. This sketch also comes with a handwritten note that reads, “Here is an old sketch that I never used, I can’t believe that I found one!” The other Foglio piece of note is an unpublished piece of a mischievous sprite, done in watercolors. This artwork is clearly in the artist’s signature style, but was not used for any Magic card.
Nelson DeCastro, known professionally as just Nelson, also has a number of original art pieces at Hake’s. These would be the original airbrush painting card artworks for “Shoreline Raider,” “Cinder Shade,” and “Weird Harvest.” All three date to 2002 and are from either the Onslaught or Invasion expansions. Worth noting with “Weird Harvest” is that, though Nelson finished the artwork, it was ultimately not chosen or published by Wizards of the Coast.
There’s also a stunning piece of Magic original card art by Greg Hildebrandt, for the “Kumano’s Pupils” card from the 2004 Champions of Kamigawa set. Hildebrandt is perhaps best known for working with his brother on film posters (including Star Wars), Marvel and DC comics, and Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations. This particular piece for Magic shows two young warriors training in the mountains, and has been signed by Hildebrandt in the lower-left corner.
The auction closes on November 13-15, 2018, so interested collectors and Magic fans should look to get their bids in soon.