Tintin artwork sells for $1.61m

PARIS • The original artwork for the last two pages of the Tintin comic book King Ottokar's Sceptre sold for a total of €1.046 million (S$1.61 million) at auction last Saturday in Paris.

"This is only the second time a Tintin plate has exceeded a million euros," Mr Eric Leroy, comic book expert at French auction house Artcurial, said.

A double-page plate also from King Ottokar's Sceptre sold for more than €1.5 million at Sotheby's in Paris in October.

Artcurial had estimated Saturday's lot would fetch between €600,000 and €800,000, before fees.

"Over a million euros, this is an excellent result," said Mr Leroy.

"Herge's universe still conquers," he added, referring to the cartoonist behind the famous comic.

The work in blue watercolour, gouache and ink was bought on the phone "by a European collector, a long-time fan", he said.

Published in 1939, King Ottokar's Sceptre is the eighth instalment of the adventures of the intrepid boy reporter by the Belgian artist Herge.

Intended by Herge as criticism of Nazi Germany, Tintin helps thwart a plot to overthrow the king of a fictional Central European country which is threatened by an aggressive neighbour.

Tintin works are becoming increasingly popular with collectors.

An ink drawing for the cover pages of the Tintin books published from 1937 to 1958 was sold for €2.65 million by Artcurial in 2014, a world record.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2016, with the headline 'Tintin artwork sells for $1.61m'. Print Edition | Subscribe