HERGÉ (Georges Remi) 1907-1983 – Le Lotus Bleu – art sale January 2021
© Courtesy of Acturial.
Online sales are widely expected to confirm the huge appetite for memorabilia from Tintin, whose adventures have entertained people of all ages since the 1930s.
The world record to date for comic art was set up in 2014 when a double-sided ink drawing that served as the inner cover for Tintin volumes published from 1937 to 1958 sold for 2.65 million euros (then 3.6 million US dollars) .
The small painting, which will be offered on Thursday and measures a square of 34 cm, shows Tim and his dog Snowy emerging from a porcelain glass in front of a threatening representation of a Chinese dragon.
It was for that Cover of « The Blue Lotus » intended for 1936 but was deemed too expensive by the publisher to be reproduced. Ultimately, the auction house Artcurial used a simplified version of the same scene.
The volume, the fifth in the Tintin series, is considered a milestone in Herge’s development of the character with its more dynamic and realistic storylines alongside his meticulous artwork.The auction house estimates that it will be sold for 2.2 to 2.8 million euros despite clear signs of folding. The sale was originally planned for November.
In 2016, an original drawing from Tintin « Explorers on the Moon » sold for 1.55 million euros, a record for a single comic page.
Herge, a Belgian with real name George Remi, sold around 230 million Tintin albums up to his death in 1983.
According to the owners – heirs of the Tintin publishing house Louis Casterman – Herge gave the drawing, which was for sale on Thursday Casterman’s son, who kept it folded up in a drawer.
Other experts have questioned this, claiming the drawing may have been folded by Herge himself when he mailed it to his publishers.
» The theory that it was a gift for a child is strange, « said Benoit Peeters, a Herge expert who wrote a biography of the author, to the French daily Le Monde in September.
» When Herge sketches or drawings various He always dedicated it, let alone his editor’s son, « said Peeters.
» Most likely Herge never asked for it, so it was given to Casterman’s son. «
Nick Rodwell, the British husband of Herge’s second wife and rights holder Fanny Vlamynck, said the work rightly belongs in the Belgian Herge Museum.
For Philippe Goddin, a former Secretary General of the Herge Foundation (now Studios Herge), Casterman’s claim is that Painting was a gift, « very suspicious ».
« But the castermans didn’t go wrong by putting the painting up for sale. They believed the legend their father passed on, « he told AFP.