BEVERLY HILLS — One of, if not the most famous image in all of Fantasy Art – Frank Frazetta’s instantly-recognizable 1973 classic Warrior with Ball and Chain, Flashing Swords No. 1, paperback cover – will be offered at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills, on May 6, as part of The Frank Collection of Sci-Fi Art, a sub-offering within the company’s Pin-Up & Glamour Illustration Art Auction.
“This is easily one of the top Frazetta paintings in private hands,” said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions, “and it’s also one of the largest Frazetta covers ever painted, at nearly two feet square.”
This stirring, savage and superb Frazetta masterwork first appeared on the cover of the sword and sorcery anthology Flashing Swords No. 1, edited by Lin Carter, published by Dell Books in 1973. It has since been reproduced many times in many forms, including on page 93 of Frank Frazetta: Book Three, Bantam Books, 1977, and page 185 of Legacy: Selected Paintings and Drawings of Frank Frazetta, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner, Underwood Books, 1999. Fans of the Dungeons & Dragons books will recognize it from its most recent use as the cover of the 2005 Wilderlands of High Fantasy paperback, White Wolf Publishing.
"That’s one of my better paintings,” Frazetta said, when asked about the piece’s upcoming auction. “I certainly had a lot of fun with that one."
There are many aficionados who feel this piece may have been originally created for the Lancer Conan series of the late 1960s — given its similarity to two other Lancer Conan cover paintings — but never used there.
“What we have is an incredible peak period, published cover painting featuring the ultimate subject matter by the master,” said Jaster. “What more can really be said about it? For Sci-Fi fans, it can’t get a whole lot better.”
For more information on Heritage Auctions, including their upcoming and past sales, visit www.ha.com.
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