First published Tintin cover art sells at auction for $1.12M

The first original cover art featuring Tintin, which sold for $1.12 million. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – The very first original cover art featuring the beloved comic character Tintin, Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, sold for more than $1.12 million by Heritage Auctions on Saturday, June 8, in a sale of European Comic Art.

The remarkable discovery is one of the few known privately owned cover illustrations signed by Hergé, and also the oldest. In addition, the 1930 artwork also is the first cover image featuring both Tintin and Snowy, his faithful canine companion.

Both the previous owner and the winning bidder do not wish to be identified at this time.

“Tintin is a seminal character, who has been loved and admired for generations the world over,” said Joe Mannarino, a director of comics and comic art at Heritage Auctions. “His popularity is as great now as it has ever been.”

The original cover art is 21 by 26 centimeters. It incorporates Hergé’s unique artistic style and his reflection on the political scope of the time depicting arguably the most popular comic character worldwide. The title character is shown carving a makeshift propeller for his plane from a tree trunk, under the watchful eye of a bandaged-but-attentive Snowy.

Hergé, born May 22, 1907 in Brussels, is considered the star of European comics. His success is global. His pseudonym “Hergé” is derived from reversing the initials “R” and “G” of his real name: Georges Remi. Most of Hergé’s existing original cover art featuring Tintin is the property of the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, near Brussels.

The special piece was sold on the first day of Heritage Auctions’ June 8-9 European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas.