The original artwork for the last two pages of the Tintin comic book ‘King Ottokar’s Sceptre’ sold for a total of €1.046 million ($1.2 million) at an auction in Paris. “This is only the second time a Tintin plate has exceeded a million euros,” Eric Leroy, comic book expert at French auction house Artcurial, said. A double page plate — also from King Ottokar’s Sceptre — sold for more than €1.5 million at Sotheby’s in Paris in October.
Artcurial had estimated yesterday’s lot would fetch between €600,000 and €800,000 before fees. “Over a million euros, this is an excellent result,” said Leroy. “Herge’s universe still conquers,” added Leroy, referring to the cartoonist behind the famous comic.
The work in blue watercolour, gouache and ink was bought on the phone “by a European collector — a long-time fan”, said Leroy.
Published in 1939, King Ottokar’s Sceptre is the eighth instalment of the adventures of the intrepid boy reporter by the Belgian artist Herge. Intended by Herge as a criticism of Nazi Germany, Tintin helps thwart a plot to overthrow the king of a fictional Central European country which is threatened by an aggressive neighbour.
Tintin works are becoming increasingly popular with collectors. An ink drawing for the cover pages of the Tintin books published from 1937 to 1958 was sold for €2.65 million by Artcurial in 2014 — a world record.