Tintin Cover Art to Go on Sale for Nearly $3 Million at Brussels Fair

Photo: courtesy AFP.

An original cover illustration of Tintin by famed Belgian cartoonist Georges Rémi (better known by his pen name Hergé) will go on sale next week for €2.5 million ($2.854 million) at the Brussels Antiques and Art Fair (BRAFA), reports the AFP.

Titled Shooting Star, the work provided the cover art for the 1942 “Tintin et L’etoile Mysterieuse” (Tintin and the Shooting Star), the tenth volume in the series the Adventures of Tintin. The drawing features the image of Tintin with his dog Snowy looking at a giant mushroom while standing on a meteorite that fell in the ocean. The work is being sold by Huberty & Breyne, a Brussels-based gallery that specializes in bande-dessinée, or comic art.

Long recognized in Francophone countries as the “ninth art,” there has been an increased interest in comic art as an investment. Hergé’s original Tintin art has done well before. His auction record is currently held by a Tintin drawing that sold for €2.519 million ($3.434 million) last May at Artcurial in Paris, also setting a new record for a piece of comic art. Hergé’s previous auction record was set by another piece of cover art, Tintin in America, which sold for €1.3 million in 2012, also at Artcurial.

“Twenty-five years ago when you went to a comic strip creator like Tardi… to buy a cover, they would look at you oddly as if to say ‘and who on earth is interested in that,'” said Alain Huberty, part-owner of Huberty & Breyne, told the AFP. “The price is determined first by the name and then by the quality. An exceptional piece can command an exceptional price, as the Tintin sales show.”

The Shooting Star cover  is one of five still owned by private collectors, with a majority of work held by the Hergé family foundation established after the cartoonist’s death in 1983.

The BRAFA is on view January 24–February 1, 2015.

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