One of the largest collections of art from Peter Pan ever brought to market, including masterpieces by David Hall and Mary Blair, plus a large offering of art, photos, books, and more signed by Walt Disney are in Heritage’s June 19-21, 2020, Animation Art Auction.
“This sale has as broad a range of material as any animated art auction has had,” Animated Art Director Jim Lentz said. “There are items from virtually every classic animated film, and by all of the best artists. The choices range from one of the largest collections of rare production cels, animation drawings, concept art, backgrounds and storyboards from Peter Pan. There literally is something for collectors of all tastes in this sale.”
The Peter Pan offerings include 73 lots led by a Captain Hook production cel and key master background and a Peter and Wendy on the Jolly Roger concept painting by David Hall. Other Peter Pan lots include Blair’s “Neverland Lagoon” original concept/color key painting and Hall’s Tinker Bell early concept painting.
An assortment of 25 lots of items hand-signed by Walt Disney, who was not known for signing a lot of autographs, are offered. Disney-signed lots in this auction include artwork, checks, photos, books, an insurance card, and World War II ephemera.
Disney-signed lots include a two-page letter to stockholders, which is hand-typed on Walt Disney Productions stationery dated June 14, 1941, with a Fantasia logo on first page, and large Walt Disney signature on the second page. This is one of the oldest and most important known Disney-signed letters.
Additional Disney-signed lots are a Fantasia “Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria” Courvoisier concept art from the final segment of the movie, Peter Pan Captain Hook production cel and key master background of the pirate smoking his double cigar, a Mickey Mouse 25th Birthday Portrait print, and a Walt Disney’s Fantasia first edition book.
Among the top lots in the sale is a Pinocchio preliminary concept painting by Gustaf Tenggren, that ultimately became the design of the backgrounds and the overall look of the film. This lot is a preliminary concept painting that shows Pinocchio’s village at night, with the only visible activity in Gepetto’s workshop.
The auction includes over 40 pieces by Mary Blair, who was considered Walt Disney’s favorite artist and was inducted in 1991 into the Disney Legends group. Highlights are Blair and Eyvind Earle’s Peter Pan concept art group of two, Blair’s Cinderella concept/color key original art and a concept painting, and Alice in Wonderland Alice with flowers and birds concept painting.
Art from Peanuts makes up 58 lots, bringing together one of the largest collections of single cel pan progressions of both Snoopy and Charlie Brown – some have up to 15 images in the setup. They include “A Charlie Brown Christmas” nine-character production cel from the skating scene, “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” World War I Flying Ace production cel sequence of 9 with pan master background, and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” multi-character production cel.
Art by Don “Ducky” Williams, a 37-year senior character artist at Walt Disney World resort, includes the “Walt Disney World’s 35th Birthday” published illustration with over 30 Disney characters, “Walt Disney and Friends” illustration, and “The Art of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell” illustration.
The sale features five lots from the Disney Store that opened in March 1987 in Glendale, California, and grew into a worldwide chain that boasted 749 stores at its peak in 1997. Among the highlights store displays of the Seven Dwarfs, Pluto and Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck and Pete.
Film director and artist Tim Burton is represented with 30 lots, led by The Nightmare Before Christmas giclée suite in case limited edition #266/315, a Jack Skellington limited edition charger bowl by Brenda White prototype, a Zero limited edition charger bowl by Brenda White prototype, and “The Art of Time Burton” character drawing original art.
Included in the auction are 48 lots from one of the best production art selections ever assembled from The Simpsons, the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series, in terms of both seasons and number of episodes. Among those are 27 lots by Bill Plympton, the artist whose contributions include the “couch gag” that appears in the opening of each episode. Highlights from the show are the couch gag production cel and key master background setup, Bart and Lisa signed production cel with Matt Groening sketch, and Bill Plympton season 19 DVD box set animation drawings sequence of three and a sequence of five.
The auction also includes cartoon lots from Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes, and MGM; classic films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty; and Disney Renaissance films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast.