Bonhams Offers Rare Disney Animation Art

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Bonhams will hold an auction May 4-5 of entertainment memorabilia featuring items representing the best of traditional animation, as well as original vintage comic and cartoon artwork.

Walt Disney Studios’ preeminence in the field of animation is reflected in a broad selection of rare and unique Disneyana. The earliest item in the section is a 16mm print of Disney’s Poor Papa (1928) ($15,000-20,000), the very first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon and one of only three prints of the film known to exist.

Original artwork by some of the studio’s most influential artists include concept paintings by Eyvind Earle from Sleeping Beauty, depicting key images of the elegantly evil Maleficent ($9,000-12,000), and of the gallant Prince Philip dueling with Maleficent in dragon form ($8,000-12,000).

Several outstanding paintings by famed Disney designer Mary Blair include a study of Alice chatting with the Caterpillar, newly metamorphosed into a butterfly, in Alice in Wonderland ($8,000-12,000), and another capturing one of Disney’s greatest fairy tale moments, the Fairy Godmother magically turning a pumpkin into a coach in Cinderella ($7,000-9,000).

Bonhams also is offering two maquettes in this auction, one of the nefarious Stromboli from Pinocchio ($5,000-6,000) and one of a centaur from Fantasia ($4,000-6,000).

Bonhams is offering rare cels from Disney films, including one from the classic The Skeleton Dance (1929) ($500-700). From Disney’s first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs come cels of Snow White with one of her woodland friends ($5,000-7,000) and the charming Dopey ($2,000-3,000), along with numerous animation drawings from the film (estimates vary). Other quintessential Disney cels include Dumbo and Timothy Mouse from Dumbo ($5,000-7,000), along with Pinocchio with donkey ears ($3,000-4,000) and Jiminy Cricket ($2,500-3,000) from Pinocchio.

The fully illustrated online catalog for this auction is available online at www.bonhams.com/21643.

A Walt Disney Studios maquette from "Pinocchio" 1940, plaster with hand-painted details, stamped on rear of base WDP Height 8 3/4in Est. $5,000-6,000

A Walt Disney Studios maquette from “Pinocchio”
1940, plaster with hand-painted details, stamped on rear of base WDP
Height 8 3/4in
Est. $5,000-6,000
Image Courtesy of Bonhams

A Mary Blair concept painting from "Alice in Wonderland" 1951, tempera and watercolor on illustration board, framed.  8 x 16 1/2in within mat Est. $8,000-12,000

A Mary Blair concept painting from “Alice in Wonderland”
1951, tempera and watercolor on illustration board, framed.
8 x 16 1/2in within mat
Est. $8,000-12,000
Image Courtesy of Bonhams

A Walt Disney studios production celluloid from "Pinocchio" 1940, gouache on trimmed celluloid, matted and framed. 7 x 9 1/2in within mat Est. $9,000-12,000

A Walt Disney studios production celluloid from “Pinocchio”
1940, gouache on trimmed celluloid, matted and framed.
7 x 9 1/2in within mat
Est. $9,000-12,000
Image Courtesy of Bonhams

An early Walt Disney film of "Oswald the Rabbit" in "Poor Papa" 16 mm Kodak Safety Film silent, total running time is 5 minutes and 12 seconds.  Est. $15,000-20,000

An early Walt Disney film of “Oswald the Rabbit” in “Poor Papa”
16 mm Kodak Safety Film silent, total running time is 5 minutes and 12 seconds.
Est. $15,000-20,000
Image Courtesy of Bonhams