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Mary Blair ‘It’s a Small World’ Piece Helps Heritage to Record $2M Auction

Mary Blair - Alice in Wonderland
Mary Blair - Alice in Wonderland

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Mary Blair ‘It’s a Small World’ Piece Helps Heritage to Record $2M Auction

Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas has reported a big winning bid for the castle façade concept art for the “It’s a Small World” Disneyland attraction. Setting the all-time record for the house’s highest grossing Animation Art auction, the sale surpassed $2 million over the June 15-16 event.

The painting 1964 by legendary artist Mary Blair secured a $66,000 winning bid against a $10,000 estimate. This sum also set a new world artist auction record for Blair’s work, surpassing the $60,000 record set by Heritage in 2018.

An important group of rare art from Lady and Tramp also proved popular in an auction successfully featuring art from every major animation studio, including Hanna-Barbera Productions, Warner Bros., artwork by the legendary Bill Melendez, MGM and more, with strong sale results across the board.

“This $2+ million sale puts us firmly at the top of Animation Art auctions,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation at Heritage. “We work all year long to bring collectors the very best lots.”

Among Blair’s most iconic artwork, generating top bids this sale was a Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept/Color Key Painting, completed in 1950, which sold for $38,400. An Alice and Flowers Concept Painting for Alice in Wonderland sold for $31,200, a surfers concept painting for “It’s a Small World” ended at $28,800, and paintings for key scenes in the 1950 film Cinderella and a serene concept painting for the feature film So Dear to My Heart sold for $22,800 and $21,600, respectively.

Additional concept paintings for Disney classics commanding big price tags included Gustaf Tenggren’s painting for Bambi, sold for $31,200, and an Eyvind Earle painting for Sleeping Beauty, featuring a beautiful Princess Aurora, sold for $24,000.

Hand-painted cels from fan favorite productions brought several bids:

  • A production/color model cels and key master pan background for 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sold for $32,400.
  • Cels from beloved Peanuts holiday programs generated multiple bids as a pair of 1965 production cels from A Charlie Brown Christmas, by master animator Bill Melendez, sold for $18,600.
  • Two highly desirable production cels featuring Snoopy depicted as the WWI Red Baron flying ace from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown sold for $16,800.
  • A 1933 production cel and key master background for the iconic Mickey Mouse film The Mad Doctor sold for $14,400.
  • Winsor McCay’s 1914 animation drawing of Gertie the dinosaur, an important piece of inked production artwork from the early landmark animated short, sold for $13,200.

Additional highlights from the auction include, but are not limited to:

  • An embellished portrait print of the for “Quicksand” Stretching Room from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion sold for $28,800.
  • A poster for Disneyland’s “Santa Fe Railroad” park attraction from 1958 ended at $15,000.
  • A circa 1960s original maquette used to design the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction brought $11,400.

Heritage Auctions’ next Animation Art Auction is scheduled for Dec. 14. Consignments are welcomed until Oct. 31 and bidding will open around Nov. 24.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Mickey Mouse - The Mad Doctor

Mickey Mouse – The Mad Doctor

Mary Blair - It's a Small World

Mary Blair – It’s a Small World

Mary Blair - Cinderella Castle

Mary Blair – Cinderella Castle

Gustaf Tenggren - Bambi

Gustaf Tenggren – Bambi

Mary Blair - Alice in Wonderland

Mary Blair – Alice in Wonderland

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