The much loved Adventures of Tintin franchise has attracted collectors for over half a century, and a recent auction at Artcurial, Paris, suggests the comic series is in no danger of losing its appeal. An original drawing from the Explorers on the Moon edition sold for a record-breaking €1.55 million (HKD$12.16 million).
Originally estimated to sell for between €700,000 and €900,000, the 50cm x 35cm drawing in Chinese ink is considered one of Hergé’s – the Belgium cartoonist and Tintin creator – most significant pieces from the postwar period. Depicting the comic’s eponymous boy-hero, his dog Snowy and Captain Haddock walking on the moon, the artwork is considered as iconic as other Tintin greats, such as Tintin in Tibet.
Artcurial’s comics expert, Eric Leroy, described the sale as “an exceptional price for an exceptional piece”; the sale set a record price for a single cartoon. It still wasn’t quite enough to beat Hergé’s previous record, though – a double page ink drawing that sat inside the front cover of all Tintin adventures between 1937 and 1958 that sold for €2.65 million to a private American buyer three years ago.
The recent sale highlights the growing popularity of cartoon art at auction houses. Industry experts say that prices have increased tenfold in the past decade alone.