Rare Early Color Mickey Mouse Cel Comes to Auction

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An extremely rare cel from the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon is due to be auctioned off later this month.

The cell is from The Band Concert, a Mickey cartoon made by Disney studios in 1935. It is expected to fetch a winning bid in excess of $100,000 when Heritage Auctions puts it up for sale in a comics and comic art auction set for Feb. 24-25.

“This cel is, in many ways, the ultimate Mickey Mouse item a collector could ever hope to acquire,” said Barry Sandoval, director of operations of the comics category at Heritage. “The Band Concert was the very first theatrical Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, and has long been cherished by Disney fans worldwide.”

The cel comes to Heritage from the collection of Kerby Confer, a well-known Maryland radio executive who long has been known as one of the most serious collectors of original Disney material. Confer acquired the cel in 2001.

Heritage Auctions describes the cell as follows:

This charming and beautiful cel set-up shows Mickey and company at the beginning of the cartoon, greeting their audience. It’s the “pie-eye” Mickey at his best, and this incredible scene has never looked better. Professional restoration has been done by Ron Stark of S/R Laboratories. The image area measures approximately 12″ x 9.5″, professionally matted and framed to an overall size of 26.75″ x 22.75″. Please note that the areas of white visible in our image are not defects, but light reflected from the acetate, which has warped a little along the edges. The set-up looks fine in person.
This piece is thought to be the only production setup in existence from the first Mickey cartoon that features Mickey and the entire band. It was the cover lot for the December 4, 1985 Christie’s East auction. Between that time and its acquisition by Kerby Confer circa 2001 it reportedly changed hands more than once, commanding a six-figure sum each time.

The current bid for the item is $26,000. The live auction will take place on Friday, Feb. 25. For more information on the item and how to bid on it, visit Heritage Auctions at www.ha.com.

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    I could easily survive a near decade on $100,000.