A single 12-panel page of Herge’s original Tintin artwork for Coke en Stoke (retitled The Red Sea Sharks for English readers) will star at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on June 2.
The page is hand drawn, with the speech bubbles for each character left blank. It’s expected to sell for around $720,000-960,000.
This was the 19th outing for the eponymous boy detective and his trusty canine sidekick Snowy. It was originally serialised in Tintin magazine from 1956 to 1958 and released in a single volume later that year.
The record for a page of Herge’s original Tintin artwork is $1.6m, set for a page from fan favourite Explorers on the Moon. However, that piece had an almost identical estimate to the present lot when it was offered at auction in 2016. Given the rarity of these pages, buyers will almost certainly clash.
This will be the house’s first sale dedicated entirely to European comic book art. Original works by names like Herge and Asterix illustrator Albert Uderzo have grown dramatically in value over the last couple of years. With the vast majority of sales taking place in France, this event marks a rare opportunity for American investors. The event will also be simulcast to the company’s European rooms in the Netherlands.
Jim Halperin, co-founder of Heritage Auctions, said: “Our team at Heritage Auctions Europe has procured an offering of exceptional depth and breadth.
“This is just the start of what we expect will be regular auctions devoted to this growing and powerful category.”
The sale will also feature a full page colour illustration for another Tintin story, Red Rackham’s Treasure. It’s valued at $54,000-60,000.
The work shows principal characters Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock and is hand-drawn in India ink and painted in watercolour. It appears in the pop-up version of the book, published by Hallmark in 1970.
If this had been a cover, we could expect a much higher estimate. The cover to Tintin in America sold for $1.6m in 2012.