Tintin auction in Paris fetches €1.8 million
A Paris auction of items related to Hergé's comic book reporter Tintin, whose adventures have been adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg, fetched more than €1.8 million on Saturday.
Auctioneers Arcturial said the sale, including costs, had brought in €1,873,396 ($2,480,095) -- far more than the one million euros expected.
The 856 lots up for grabs were equally divided between recent objects and older material, including some very rare items, said Arcturial. In all, 85 percent of the items sold in a packed hall.
One of the most sought-after objects was an original gouache and watercolour drawing of a battle scene from "The Secret of the Unicorn"; estimated at between €35,000 and €40,000, it finally sold for €168,900.
Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," saw its worldwide premiere in Belgium in October and later in other parts of Europe to generally positive reviews and strong business. It opens in North America in December.
An original drawing for another Tintin adventure, "Flight 714 to Sydney," fetched €90,100, about three times the initial estimate of between €25,000 and €35,000.
And a special edition of the adventure "Explorers on the Moon", signed not just by Hergé but by six astronauts to have made the journey to the Moon, fetched €100,000 -- around 10 times more than originally expected.
Even a handmade greeting card by Hergé, featuring a drawing of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy perched on the famous red-and-white rocket from the moon adventures, fetched €40,000. It had been estimated at between €10,000 and €15,000.
The Tintin adventures were written and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983 by Georges Prosper Remi, whose pen name Hergé is the French pronunciation of his initials reversed: RG.
Hergé memorabilia are among the most sought-after comic book items. A Paris auction of Tintin drawings and sculptures last year brought in just over a million euros.
And a single illustration fetched €764,200 at another Paris auction in 2008, a world record in the field of comic books.