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Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event at Heritage Auctions
Earl Moran's glowing image, Marilyn - a gorgeous image of a young Norma Jean before she became Marilyn Monroe - was obviously the apple of many a collector's eye as heated bidding drove the final price to $83,650 and a record price for a Moran painting, practically doubling his previous record, and selling for more than seven times the $12,000 pre-auction estimate.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- The combination of California sunshine, the imminent approach of Valentine's Day and some of the most beautiful women ever painted proved an irresistible triumvirate to Illustration Art collectors at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills on Friday, Feb. 11 for the company's $4.132 million Signature(r) Illustration Art auction. All prices below reflect 19.5% Buyer's Premium.

"The market is as strong and the demand is just as high as ever," said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "We've seen nothing but positives since we began having these auctions in Beverly Hills. We love it."

The more than 1175 bidders who registered to bid on the 732 lots in the auction let barely any slip by, as the sale registered a near perfect sell-through rate of 99.8% by value and 98.36% by lot total.

"This auction marks the very center of The Martignette Estate," said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration Art at Heritage, "the single greatest Illustration Art collection ever sold at public auction, and there are no signs of a diminishing impact. It continues to stoke massive collector desire and to bring out great examples from established collections eager to sell beside it."

Earl Moran's glowing image, Marilyn - a gorgeous image of a young Norma Jean before she became Marilyn Monroe - was obviously the apple of many a collector's eye as heated bidding drove the final price to $83,650 and a record price for a Moran painting, practically doubling his previous record, and selling for more than seven times the $12,000 pre-auction estimate.

"We've seen prices and demand continue to climb for Moran's effervescent images," said Jaster. "Given the beauty of the subject, his amazing feel for light and the knowledge of who Marilyn would become, then it's not surprising that this painting soared to more than seven times its pre-auction estimate."

Gil Elvgren continued his reign as the undisputed king of the pin-up, with fully five of the top 10 lots in the auction coming from his gifted palette and accounting for more than $445,000 in value. The top Elvgren of the day came when his alluring 1960 oil painting Roxanne, figure 480 from Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous Pin-Ups by Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, brought $179,250.

Alberto Vargas is always an important draw in Heritage Illustration events, and the Feb. 11 auction featured several prime examples, including Vargas' Gold Carnation (Legacy Nude #9), an important pin-up drawing, considered by Vargas himself among the very best he ever did, painted for his wife Anna Mae at a low point in their lives after being fired by Esquire and before he began his long association with Playboy, brought $89,625.

In October of 2010 The Estate of Garth Williams made its auction debut, highlighted by the original drawings from Charlotte's Web, in which the cover drawing brought $155,350, establishing a record price for the great children's artist. The Beverly Hills auction contained the follow-up to the October 2010 auction, and did not disappoint as the Page 1 illustration from E.B. White's Stuart Little, The Arrival of Stuart Little, brought $65,725, more than 13 times its $5,000+ pre-auction estimate, and the iconic original cover art from Little House on the Prairie soared to $50, 788 amid fierce bidding.

Original Pulp and Paperback art continued performing at high levels, reflecting increased collector awareness of the brilliance of the artwork and the complexity of the subject. Hugh Joseph Ward's Spicy Adventure Stories, pulp cover, July 1935 was the top offering, bringing $33,460, and continuing the strong of strong prices realized for the artist. Original animation art was in demand in the auction, with Gustaf Tenggren's original promotional art for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937, taking the top spot as it finished the day at $59,750.

Mainstream illustration is always a significant draw in Heritage events and several important pieces had the full attention of collectors in Beverly Hills. Maxfield Parrish's sublime At Close of Day, 1941, was the top mainstream lot, finishing at $215,100, while the $71,700 price realized for Douglas Crockwell's Saturday Evening Post Cover, April 4, 1942, shattered the price record for the artist and Russell Sambrook's Puppy Love realized an impressive $23,900, also a record price realized for the artist.

Today's News

February 17, 2011

Exhibition of Pablo Picasso's Artistic Development in Paris on View at Van Gogh Museum

The Courtauld Gallery Presents Life, Legend, Landscape: Victorian Drawings and Watercolours

Egyptian Antiquities Authorities Say They Found Fourth Stolen Pharaonic Treasure

London's Natural History Museum: Earliest Human Skull-Cups Made in the UK

Akbar Padamsee Masterpiece From 1960 to Lead Sotheby's Indian Art Sale in New York

Exhibition of New Work by Michael Riedel on View at David Zwirner Gallery

Street Artist Banksy's Graffiti Lands in Los Angeles Ahead of Oscars Ceremony

Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event at Heritage Auctions

Scottish Splendour and Belgravia Elegance Meet at Christie's in March Sale

James Cohan Gallery Presents Second Solo Exhibition by Japanese-Born Artist Hiraki Sawa

Aspen Art Museum Presents Artist Mark Manders's Museum-Wide Parallel Occurrences

Alan Cristea Gallery Presents German Artist Christiane Baumgartner: Reel Time

Oscar-Nominated Costumes on View at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Group Raises $50,000 for RoboCop Statue in Detroit

Saint Louis Art Museum Files Federal Lawsuit to Keep a 3,200-Year-Old Mummy Mask

20th Century Decorative Art & Design Works Dazzle Christie's New York Auction

Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation Appoints Curator for its Forthcoming Edition

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

ARCOmadrid 2011: Newfound Optimism and Energy for the Contemporary Art Market

Heritage Auctions to Host Auction Benefitting the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection

Sotheby's will Offer The Robert Rubin Collection Of African Art at Auction in New York

Andy Warhol Self-Portrait Fetches $17 Million at Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

Hungarian Government Asks United States Court to Reject Looted Art Lawsuit

Contemporary Works of 60 African Artist from 15 Countries Across the Continent on Sale at Bonhams

National Portrait Gallery Presents the First Major Exhibition in Over 30 Years Devoted to E.O. Hoppé

Works from the Museum of Prints and Drawings Berlin, on Display at Kunstmuseum Bonn

Amon Carter Museum's Director of Education Named National Educator of the Year

Exhibition Explores the Influence of Music on Contempory Art in NY and Birth of "Remix Culture"

Private Collectors Make Fantastic Donations of Photographic Art to Moderna Museet

B.B. King Museum Announces New Executive Director

Someone Swipes Giant Cactus Statue from New Mexico Library

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