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  Historic Animation Birthday Milestones Lead Heritage Auctions' 1,000-Lot Vintage Animation Art Sale

Carl Barks’ Family Portrait Already Eliciting Numerous Early Bids

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Nov. 30, 2017) – Animation collectors will have plenty from which to choose in Heritage Auctions’ Animation Art Auction Dec. 9-10 in Beverly Hills, California, which offers one of the largest and most diverse collections ever offered through Heritage Auctions. The event coincides with the 80th anniversary of Walt Disney’s 1937 masterpiece, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the 70th birthday of Scrooge McDuck with the art of Carl Barks, 60 years of the Hanna-Barbera Studios, the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book and 40 years of Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation.

Carl Barks “Family Portrait” Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with Handwritten Letter (Walt Disney, 1973) already has generated double-digit bids that have climbed beyond its pre-auction estimate of $35,000. The entire Duck family “posed” for the legendary Disney artist, with Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck (a Barks creation), Grandma Duck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander, and in front, Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. This famous unframed oils-on-Masonite painting (CB OIL 54) has appeared in several publications, including The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks and The Carl Barks Library Set VI. It includes the Barks code “73-15” and is dated “6/26/73” on the back. Included with the painting is the letter Banks wrote by hand to accompany the painting when it originally was sold in 1973. The letter discusses the inspiration for the painting (Four Color #450 “Duck Album”) and mentions raising prices up to $500-600, despite Barks’ concerns (that proved unfounded) that such a hike would dissuade potential buyers. This painting is one of two in which the ducks strike the same poses; the other is not in this auction.

When the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs prompted Disney to seek a new, larger studio location Burbank, California, he asked Kem Weber and his brother, Roy, to design the studio in the Art Deco style that was popular at the time. Weber became the main architect of the new Disney Studio that was built in 1940, and among the furniture it contained were a Kem Weber-Designed Disney Animation Desk and Eric Larson Pencil Tray (1939-40) and Airline Chair (circa 1934-35). The desk (est. $15,000+) was used in the original studio animation building when it opened in 1940, measures 72 inches wide, 31 inches deep and 50-1/2 inches high and includes a rare, wooden pencil tray that was owned and used by legendary Disney artist Eric Larson, who was one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men” and a 1989 Disney Legend inductee. The chair (est. $14,000-15,000), made of birch and ash with oil cloth, is spotlighted in the book California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way (MIT Press, 2011), which describes how the chair design was offered to several firms, each of which rejected the design, citing the poor consumer market of the depression. Weber established the Airline Chair Company to manufacture them, but only 200-300 were made, and the majority of those went to the Walt Disney Studio.

Mary Blair It’s A Small World Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1964), with a pre-auction estimate of $10,000+, prompted longtime Disney artist John Hench to declare, “Walt really had an enormous respect for Mary's taste. There were few people that he thought as much of. Nothing ever went wrong with her color styles. She was impeccable. No matter what she touched, it came out glowing.” This original gouache-on-paper painting of theSmall World façade in the “Fantasyland” section of Disneyland. This exact piece was held by Disney and shown on the Wonderful World of Colorepisode called Disneyland Around the Seasons, which can be found on YouTube. It was one of Disney's last appearances on the show, displaying new attractions at Disneyland. He holds this exact painting at approximately the 1:35 mark into the episode.

Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Character Design Concept Art Group of 4 (Walt Disney, 1977) is one of eight lots of Burton/Cauldron art in the auction and shows how Burton envisioned the Gurgi character. The lot includes four ink and artist markers drawings, with two on each of two pieces of paper that measure 11-1/2 inches wide by 15-1/2 inches high, and comes directly from the personal collection of longtime Disney artist and Black Cauldron producer Joe Hale.

An absolute rarity can be had in the form of DC and Marvel Underoos Illustration by Alex Toth (DC/Marvel/Fruit of the Loom, c. 1977-81). This original Alex Toth artwork (est. $2,500+) represents one of the rare occasions on which characters from both DC and Marvel appear simultaneously. The artwork, in ink on lightweight Strathmore board measuring 14 inches wide by 11 inches high, features Superman, Spider-Man, Batgirl, Hulk, Wonder Woman and Supergirl and is signed by the artist.

Other top lots in the auction are expected to include, but are not limited to:

·         A Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag with Apple and Snow White Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937): est. $15,000

·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs "Silly Song" Production Cel Setup with Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1937): est. $15,000+

·         A Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle Master Hand-Painted Production Background with Production Cel Setup (Walt Disney, 1959): est. $12,000+

·         A Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Evil Queen Production Cel Courvoisier Setup and Walt Disney Autograph (Walt Disney, 1937): est. $10,000+

·         A Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Studio Layout Drawing of All Seven Dwarfs by Shamus Culhane (Walt Disney, 1937): est. $10,000+

·         A Two-Gun Mickey Mickey Mouse Production Cel with Painted Production Background (Walt Disney, 1932-34): est. $10,000+

·         A Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Color Model Cel and Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1937): est. $10,000+ 

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

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Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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