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Columbia Pictures one-sheet for the 1929 short 'Barnyard Battles,' which sold for $18,000 ($21,780 with buyer’s premium) at Van Eaton.

Disney theme park items performed beyond expectations at Van Eaton

STUDIO CITY, Calif. — Anticipated high lots underperformed and surprise lots overperformed wildly at Van Eaton GalleriesDisney Studio and Disney Parks Live Auction on March 2. The sale’s overall outcome demonstrated the ongoing demand for official Disney memorabilia, and it seems that the more obscure it is, the better. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

Many of the top-estimated lots merely hit their low estimates, such as the Mary Blair concept painting for It’s A Small World at Disneyland, which realized $20,000 ($24,200 with buyer’s premium). In a rare instance, a Disneyland Haunted Mansion stretching portrait, estimated at $100,000-$150,000, passed.

Probably to the surprise of Van Eaton, the top lot was an early 2000s metal Disneyland resort transportation sign identifying a back of house shuttle stop that transported cast members from the entrance at Harbor Pointe to various other stops. Estimated at $300-$500, it hammered for a whopping $22,500 ($27,225 with buyer’s premium).

An original Columbia Pictures one-sheet for Barnyard Battles, a 1929 film short featuring Mickey Mouse, also exceeded its $9,000-$12,000 estimate by hammering for $18,000 ($21,780 with buyer’s premium). Van Eaton notes that pre-United Artists Disney posters are scarce, and this example is believed to be from 1930, after animator and director Ub Iwerks, whose name would normally appear on early Disney posters, left Disney.

A large-format (34 by 36in) area closure sign featuring Tinker Bell also blew out expectations. Annual Cleaning and Pixie Dusting was estimated at $300-$500 but sold for an outstanding $6,000 ($7,260 with buyer’s premium).

Robert Olszewski (b. 1945-) is a renowned miniaturist who has worked for Walt Disney Company, the Franklin Mint, Goebel, and many others. A collector commissioned a scale model of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean building complex with incredible detail and an illuminated ‘interior view’ showing the bride auction and ship battle scenes. Once again moderately estimated at $300-$500, it hammered for $6,500 ($7,865 with buyer’s premium).