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Golden Age Disney animation studio furniture to auction in California

A sale of rare Disney memorabilia in California will let collectors step back in time next month, with original furniture from the Golden Age of the animation studio.
Van Eaton Galleries’ ‘Collecting Disney’ sale will offer a complete set of furniture from the office of a Disney animator, created by Kem Weber, the famed industrial designer and architect who designed the company’s Burbank animation studio in 1940.

Original Disney animator’s and chairs have been highly sought-after for years, but it’s believed the auction marks first time a complete set of office furniture has been offered for sale together.

The set includes an animator’s desk and animator’s disk, a closet, desk lamp, desk chair, floor lamp, trash can, ashtray and an example of Weber’s iconic ‘Airline Chair’. The highly rare chair, first produced in 1934, is one of 300 examples custom-built for the Disney studio, with just a handful remaining to this day.

As a remarkable ‘time capsule’ from Disney’s Golden Age, the museum-quality set of furniture is expected to sell for $60,000-$80,000.

Another standout lot from the sale is a rare pair of matched Mickey and Minnie Mouse store displays, made by Old King Coles Inc. circa 1935. The electric displays are presented in restored and fully-working order, and come with a valuation of $50,000-$75,000.

The auction also includes a number of rare early Disney toys, such as a hand-stitched 18" Charlotte Clark Mickey doll signed by Walt Disney himself, circa 1932, estimated at $25,000-$50,000; and a handmade prototype Pinocchio doll, also made circa 1940 by Charlotte Clark, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

The sale features a wealth of original concept artwork, storyboards and animation cels.

Leading this section is a complete set of bound storyboards for the unproduced 1940 project ‘Inspector Bones; The Case of the Missing Circus’. Created by Otto Englander and Dun Roman, the storyboards were approved and initialled by Walt Disney, and are expected to sell for $40,000-$50,000.

Further highlights include a concept painting for Disney’s 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea; Carl Stalling’s hand-written score for the 1930 short Minnie’s Yoo-Hoo; an original program for the 1937 world premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; and original production cels and key backgrounds for Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book.

The 700-lot auction takes place on June 18.

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