Tintin auction fetches $2.4m
Photo: Front page of the comic The adventures of Tintin - Tintin au Tibet signed by the author Herge (R) and the Dalai Lama (R bottom). (AFP: Joel Saget)
A Paris auction of items related to Herge's comic book reporter Tintin, whose adventures have been adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg, fetched more than 1.8 million euros ($2.4 million) on Saturday.
The 856 lots up for grabs were equally divided between recent objects and older material, including some very rare items. In all, 85 per cent of the items sold in a packed hall.
One of the most sought-after objects was an original gouache and watercolour drawing of a battle scene from The Secret of the Unicorn; estimated at between 35,000 and 40,000 euros, it finally sold for 168,900 euros ($231,352).
Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin saw its worldwide premiere in Belgium in October and later in other parts of Europe to generally positive reviews and strong business. It opens in North America in December.
An original drawing for another Tintin adventure, Flight 714 to Sydney, fetched 90,100 euros ($123,415), about three times the initial estimate of between 25,000 and 35,000 euros.
A special edition of the adventure Explorers on the Moon, signed not just by Herge but by six astronauts to have made the journey to the Moon, fetched 100,000 euros ($136,000) - around 10 times more than originally expected.
Even a handmade greeting card by Herge, featuring a drawing of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy perched on the famous red-and-white rocket from the moon adventures, fetched 40,000 euros ($54,000). It had been estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000 euros.
The Tintin adventures were written and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983 by Georges Prosper Remi, whose pen name Herge is the French pronunciation of his initials reversed: RG.
Herge memorabilia are among the most sought-after comic book items. A Paris auction of Tintin drawings and sculptures last year brought in just over one million euros.
A single illustration fetched 764,200 euros ($1.04 million) at another Paris auction in 2008, a world record in the field of comic books.