Published: July 18, 2000
NEW YORK CITY – Illustration House’s Peanuts Mania auction, an absentee event featuring original artwork by the late Charles M. Schulz, turned out to be a benchmark sale for the firm. One hundred percent of the 41 lots found buyers for a gross of $100,815.
“When it comes to Schulz collectors, they’re like Linus and his security blanket. You can bury it and spin ’em around, and they still hold on, determined to get what they came for,” says Fred Taraba, the director of the auction. That claim was supported by Taraba’s experience executing the phone bids for the sale. The deadline for bids was 3 pm on June 16, but Taraba was actively processing the “call-back” service (used when a participant’s left bids have been exceeded) for five more hours before the last bid remained unchallenged.
The top lot of the sale was a Peanuts Sunday comic strip from March 1956, in which Linus and Lucy argue about Robin Hood and William Tell. While the piece carried a high estimate of $8,000, it was sold for $15,620. The other Peanuts Sunday strip in the sale also bettered it high estimate, bringing in $11,880.
High prices were also paid for many of the small sketches and advertising pieces Schulz did for Dolly Madison Cakes and Butternut Bread, prices warranted by the inclusion of Peanuts characters toting classic props or caught in classic situations. A small drawing of Snoopy dreaming of donuts brought $6,710, and a pen and ink of Snoopy and Charlie Brown leaning on each other was sold for $2,090.
Prices quoted include a ten percent buyers premium.
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