An illustration project by Hergé for the cover of the album “Le Lotus bleu” was sold for nearly 3.4 million francs.
Posted today at 17:41
World record beaten for an original comic book! Decidedly, Tintin and Hergé are popular. Auctioned in Paris by the house Artcurial, a cover project for the original edition of the “Blue Lotus” was sold for 3.175 million euros (approximately 3.4 million francs). The previous record in this area, already held by Hergé with the design of the first cover pages of Tintin’s albums (2.51 million euros in May 2014) is shattered.
Made in India ink, gouache and watercolor, this exceptional piece, considered one of the most beautiful images created by Hergé, resembles the initial cover of the “Blue Lotus” published in 1936. But it is not the same. Too expensive to reproduce at the time because of the colorization technique used, the four-color process, it was refused by the publisher Casterman. Some details distinguish it from the original, in particular the background of the image and the black line surrounding the characters.
Sometimes presented as missing from radar for nearly huitante Years ago, this sumptuous illustration was used in particular for a silkscreen printed on the occasion of Tchang’s return to Brussels in 1981. In 1989, the same drawing was shown at the great “Hergé designer” exhibition, notably in Paris. It has also been reproduced in the work “Chronologie d’Hergé” by specialist Philippe Goddin.
Covetousness and controversy
Less rare than’announced, this drawing has nonetheless aroused envy … and controversy. According to Artcurial, this cover project would have been offered by Hergé to Jean-Paul Casterman, the young son of the publisher Louis Casterman. The child would have kept it in a drawer, which explains the folds visible on the document. “Legend!” affirm them havings-Hergé’s right by contesting the origin of the’artwork. Last year, Briton Nick Rodwell, director of the Moulinsart company and husband of Fanny, Hergé’s second wife, unsuccessfully demanded that the drawing join the Hergé museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
These behind-the-scenes movements did not prevent three collectors from bidding frantically over the phone. Which of them won the bet? The secret remains well kept. Among the potential buyers, “Paris Match” recently spoke of the American filmmaker George Lucas. But also the French banker residing in Geneva, Benjamin de Rothschild.
Posted today at 17:41