Uncover the magic of Disney's Golden Era: Rare animation artifacts take center stage

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, June 21, 2024

Uncover the magic of Disney's Golden Era: Rare animation artifacts take center stage
Original space-themed concept art for ‘It’s a Small World,’ designed by Mary Blair.

BOSTON, MASS.- RR Auction's June Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale boasts over 900 lots, highlighted by a special animation section of 200+ pieces of original production drawings, animation cels, and concept paintings from Disney classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland.

Highlights include Mary Blair's concept painting for The Song of the South which captures the essence of the film's Southern setting and the charm of its characters. In this stunning piece, Blair depicts Br'er Fox leading Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Bear down a fence-lined road, surrounded by vibrant flowers in full bloom. The painting pays homage to the classic folktale as told by Joel Chandler Harris in his 'Uncle Remus' stories. Blair's expert use of tempera brings the scene to life, with a blazing orange sunset dominating the sky. This original concept painting, executed for Walt Disney Studios in 1946, showcases Blair's talent for creating captivating and evocative visuals. The artwork stands as a testament to Blair's contribution to the visual development of The Song of the South. (Estimate: $8,000+)

Eyvind Earle's panoramic concept painting for Sleeping Beauty, created for Walt Disney Studios in 1959, is a testament to his incredible artistic vision. The painting showcases the film's enchanting castle on a cliff in the distance, as seen from a serene forest clearing. Earle's meticulous attention to detail is evident in the depiction of thick-trunked trees, delicate ferns, and rocky outcrops dominating the foreground. Executed in gouache on artist's board, the painting bears Earle's signature in the lower right corner, adding to its artistic value. As Sleeping Beauty's production designer, Earle enjoyed creative freedom in designing the film's settings and selecting colors. His distinctive style is apparent throughout the movie, making a lasting impression on viewers. (Estimate: $15,000+)

And the concept painting by Marc Davis for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland captures the essence of the iconic attraction. Created in 1966, the painting features a skeleton pirate in a rowboat, proudly displaying the 'Jolly Roger' flag. The attention to detail is remarkable, with a jug of rum resting at the pirate's feet and a parrot perched atop an anchor. Executed in watercolor on heavyweight art paper, this rare piece bears Marc Davis' signature in pencil. Known as one of Disney's Nine Old Men, Davis made significant contributions to Disney animation, including classic films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Cinderella. As a member of Disney's Imagineering team, he brought his whimsical storytelling and character concepts to life in beloved attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Davis's legacy extends beyond theme park attractions, as he is also celebrated as the creative mind behind iconic animated characters like Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, and Tinker Bell. This concept painting showcases Davis's talent for creating dark and dramatic scenes that have become integral to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride's enduring charm. (Estimate: $6,000+)

Other top lots include a remarkable illustrated letter by Edouard Manet. This extraordinary illustrated autograph letter, signed by Manet in July 1880, showcases his artistic talent and personal connection with the recipient, the wife of his friend Jules Guillemet. The three-page letter in French features original watercolor illustrations of fashionable French accessories such as little bags or "pochettes." Manet asks her to choose a model, promising to bring it to her from Paris. The letter also expresses Manet's disappointment at being let down on Tuesday and concludes with a pen-and-ink portrait of Jules Guillemet, traced from a self-portrait by Guillemet himself. The letter is tipped in within a volume titled "Manet Recuil," which includes several works on Manet, demonstrating the artist's profound interest in fashion and its significance in modern life. The volume contains three studies on Manet, including his first biography, original etchings, photogravures, and portraits. (Estimate: $100,000+)

An exceedingly rare Fyodor Dostoevsky signed photograph. This incredibly rare signed photograph of Fyodor Dostoevsky holds immense historical and literary significance. The cabinet photo, features a captivating oval portrait of Dostoevsky taken by Constantin Shapiro. It bears a bold ink inscription on the reverse, addressed to his brother, architect Andrey Dostoevsky. The inscription, dated October 12, 1879, translates to "For my dear brother Andrey from his brother Fyodor." As an extreme rarity, it stands as the first Dostoevsky-signed photograph ever offered. Notably, this particular inscription is absent from the comprehensive 1990 census of Dostoevsky's inscriptions. The fact that it is dedicated to his brother, Andrey Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, adds an extraordinary layer of significance, as Andrey's memoirs provide valuable insights into Fyodor's early life. (Estimate: $60,000+)

A manuscript on penicillin by Alexander Fleming, a remarkable draft penned by Fleming himself just a month before he was awarded the Nobel Prize. This 10-page manuscript, "Pacific Broadcast," was used during an interview with Joe Bolton of the Office of War Information for a Voice of America broadcast near the end of World War II. Fleming discusses the discovery and use of penicillin, its limitations, methods of administration, and its effectiveness against various infections. The manuscript, filled with corrections and emendations, provides insights into penicillin's early understanding and practical applications. Fleming's groundbreaking work on penicillin revolutionized medicine and earned him a well-deserved place in history as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. (Estimate: $50,000+)

And significant letters by Mohandas Gandhi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nikola Tesla, John F. Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale by RR Auction began on May 19 and will conclude on June 14. For further information about the Auction and other historical items, please visit www.rrauction.com.

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