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Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event
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 18, 2011

The Belvedere in Vienna Dedicates Comprehensive Show to Austrian Artist Egon Schiele

The Museum of Modern Art Announces a Retrospective of Cindy Sherman for 2012

A Collector's Eye: Cranach to Pissarro Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Sylvester Stallone Opens Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presents "Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels"

Metro Pictures Presents Croatian Artist David Maljkovic's Latest Works "Recalling Frames"

Paris Photo Announces New Venue at the Grand Palais and Julien Frydman as Its New Director

Quinn's Auction Galleries to Present International Array of Fine and Decorative Art on March 5

Pobeda Gallery Presents "Face to Face" the First Exhibition of Georgian Photography in Moscow

First Major Exhibition in More Than Thirty Years to Examine Tipis of Plains Peoples

Stefano Cagol's Stockholm Syndrome (always with you) at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art

Alan Cristea Gallery Presents German Artist Christiane Baumgartner: Reel Time

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

Barnes Foundation Move Opponents Go Back to Court

Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia Presents the Exhibition "Dies Irae: Photographs by Paolo Pellegrin"

Moore College of Art & Design Receives Largest Endowment Gift In School's History

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

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

Phillips de Pury & Company's London Contemporary Art Evening Auction Totals $8,725,040

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