A stunning collection of original Tintin Christmas card illustrations could fetch more than $2.5 million at an auction in Paris next month.
The set of 20 China ink drawings was produced by Hergé in 1942, during a period in which he created many of Tintin’s greatest adventures such as The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.
The ‘cartes neige’ series was one of the first attempts to market the character of Tintin to a wider audience. Hergé produced the illustrations for a set of colour Christmas and New Year greetings cards, each featuring winter scenes such as Tintin and Snowy sledging, skiing and decorating a Christmas tree.
The rare line illustrations will now be offered in Artcurial’s dedicated ‘The World of Hergé’ sale, where they’re expected to sell for €60,000 – €120,000 ($65,940 – $131,875) each, for a combined estimated total of €1.2 – €2.4 million ($1.31 – $2.63 million).
"It is particularly rare to find original Hergé creations from the 1940s, very few are up for auction nowadays," said Eric Leroy, Comic Strip expert at Artcurial.
"These twenty drawings have been carefully preserved within a private collection. Once again, we are thrilled to be able to offer original Tintin drawings at auction to French and international collectors."
Earlier in 2016, Artcurial sold a double-page spread of artwork from the 1939 Tintin album King Ottokar’s Sceptre for €1,046,320 ($1,192,792) – marking just the second time an original Tintin plate had exceeded the €1 million mark.
The auction takes place in Paris on November 16, and coincides with a major exhibition celebrating the life and career of Hergé, which runs at the Grand Palais from September 28 until January 15, 2017.