Disney’s original Pinocchio art may fetch $75,000 at auction
Boston: A remarkable one-of-a-kind set of 120 original Disney watercolour paintings which tells the story of Pinocchio may fetch $75,000 at an auction in the US.
The series of vivid and highly detailed paintings portray the memorable characters of the classic 1940 Disney movie, including Pinocchio, Geppetto, the Blue Fairy and others. The paintings were produced to make stickers that were included in boxes or tins of De Beukelaer cookies produced and sold in Belgium, which were collected by customers and pasted into a storybook album. Although done for Snow White and Dumbo, the original watercolours for those have never surfaced.
“In over 50 years of collecting, our animation experts have never seen another single painting, never mind an entire set,” Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction, said. “It’s an absolutely outstanding one-of-a-kind collection of incredibly detailed Pinocchio artwork which is of tremendous rarity,” Livingston said. The collection includes the complete De Beukelaer Pinocchio storybook which contains the stickers for which the artwork was used.
“The cards and stickers are quite rare just by themselves, but to find the original paintings is a miracle,” according to the online auction house. “It is virtually unheard of to have a complete set of original Disney artwork, and it is unknown whether the artwork for Snow White and Dumbo even survived World War II,” it said. The paintings were created by the top Disney artists in the UK, who had been handpicked by Walt Disney. All the art was painted to model using Disney model sheets and instructions coming from the Disney Publicity Department in Burbank, California.
The artwork then had to be approved by the studio, and, of course, Walt Disney himself. The artwork is on individual illustration boards, each measuring approximately 5x3.5 inches. The collection is estimated to fetch a price of $75,000. The “Fine Autographs and Artifacts” from RR Auction began on 17 November and will conclude on 6 December. It includes Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip production concept painting by Eyvind Earle. The painting, estimated to sell for an estimated $12,000, came to be the model for the cover design of the Sleeping Beauty “Big Golden Book”.