YORK, Pa. – Original pen-and-ink artwork for a pair of Sunday comic pages, dated March 7, 1937, led the lineup of 2,307 premium lots, at Hake’s Jan. 31 auction, selling for $51,750 (including 15 percent buyer’s premium).
The lot consisted of a Mickey Mouse strip by Floyd Gottfredson and an Al Taliaferro-drawn Silly Symphonies strip featuring Donald Duck, each measuring 17 inches by 27 inches.
Another important example of original art was the 9½-inch by 12-inch sheet of animation paper with 16 pencil sketches of a long-billed Donald Duck. The sheet was marked “Wise Little Hen,” referring to the 1934 Disney Silly Symphony cartoon in which the irascible duck in sailor’s jacket and hat made his animation debut. The lot sold for $34,500.
Art of another form, a 27-inch by 41-inch linen-mounted poster for the Oct. 17, 1927, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon Great Guns also well exceeded expectations, settling at $23,000. The desirable Disney poster features Oswald in a World War I doughboy’s helmet, preparing to fire off a miniature cannon.
A rare circa 1931 celluloid and tin Mickey Mouse on Scooter wind-up toy, with its even rarer pictorial box, took $37,041.73 at the final gavel. Manufactured by Nifty and distributed by George Borgfeldt & Co., the Japanese-made toy with a Walt E. Disney copyright was described in Hake’s catalog as “the rarest boxed Mickey mechanical toy we’ve offered in four decades.”
Of the character bisques offered, top honors went to a German-made set of five figurines based on the very early Winsor McKay comic strip Little Nemo, which ran in the New York Herald and William Randolph Hearst’s New York American in the second decade of the 20th century. The set of bisques, with movable arms and detailing to replicate the distinctive features of characters Little Nemo, Princess, Flip, Doctor Pill and Imp, was pictured in the May 1914 issue of the toy trade publication Playthings. In its day, the set probably had a wholesale price equaling today’s typical pocket change. In Hakes’ January 2008 sale, the complete set, with provenance from the Gary Selmonsky collection, brought $22,412.10.
For more information, call 866-404-9800, or go online to www.hakes.com.