Since its creation in 2005 prompted by François Tajan and Eric Leroy, the Comic Book department has achieved the title of world leader in the speciality. All aspects of the comic book genre are represented: original strips, illustrations and rare objects.
Collectors are quick to praise the substantive work conducted by Artcurial to help bring forward comic book collecting on the international art market.
Exceptional figures punctuate the sales, with in particular the records obtained for Hergé: 1st page of the Adventures of Tintin, €2.6 M (May 2014); original strip from On a marché sur la Lune, €1.5 M (November 2016). The Sceptre d’Ottokar strip from the Renaud collection, sold €1 M (April 2016), and the collection of 20 drawings for the Carte Neige, which reached €1.5 M (November 2016).
The great classics of Franco-Belgium comics are obviously present: Jean Graton, Michel Vaillant, €40,800 (November 2016); Maurice Tillieux, Gil Jourdan, €39,000 (April 2017); André Franquin, Modeste et Pompon, €30,963 (April 2016); Jean-Claude Mézières, Valérian, €26,650 (April 2017); Yves Chaland, Bob Fish, €24,244 (November 2016); Jacques Tardi, Nestor Burma, €23,606 (April 2016).
Artcurial has also set world records for several authors: Hugo Pratt, Corto Maltese - Les Éthiopiques, €391,800 (November 2014); André Franquin, Gaston Lagaffe cover, €24,025 (March 2010); Moebius, Le garage hérmetique, €278,960 (October 2015).
To promote the ninth art amongst new enthusiasts particularly interested in graphic arts and European culture, two sales were held in Hong Kong in 2015 and 2016. An off-text of the Lotus Bleue, a favourite of the Adventures of Tintin, was purchased for €1,107,196 by an Asian collector (October 2015); a pencilled strip of Coke en stock reaches €223,307 (October 2016).
The Department also contributes to the market’s international development. One recalls the Enki Bilal - oxymoron exhibition (New York, Beijing, Berlin and Paris) in 2009; the Inbox, installation from the same artist, at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, at the Cini Foundation. In 2016, Enki Bilal presents a new series of paintings, Inbox Hybridization [in love], in partnership with the Japanese subsidiary of Chanel, at the prestigious Chanel Nexus Hall in Tokyo. To mark the 57th Venice Biennale, Artcurial joins forces with the artist yet again to present Ve(s)tige/Ve(r)tige, an installation at the archaeological museum of Venice, San Marco Square.
For its legendary Monaco Auction Week in Monte Carlo, which took place from 15th to 21st July, Artcurial brought the week's sales at the Hôtel Hermitage to a magnificent close, dedicated to Jewellery, Watches, Hermès & Luxury Bags, Comic Strips and Monaco Sculptures. Numerous records were set and attracting international collectors.
Artcurial beats the world record for an original comic book board with The Blue Lotus by Hergé! On Thursday 14th January, Artcurial offered this exceptional work at auction, never seen before on the market: the project by Hergé for the cover of the original edition of The Blue Lotus, a 1936 album of Tintin. The work was sold for €3.2 M, also becoming Hergé’s new world record.
The charity sale for the benefit of the Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris - Hôpitaux de France totalled €390,000 on 26 May.
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