French heroine Nikopol battles Hergé's Tintin at Paris comics sale
'Museum quality' art from Enki Bilal's iconic Nikopol Trilogy is for sale alongside Hergé's boy reporter
Two very different European comic book icons are auctioning alongside each other at Artcurial's Books, Comic Books and Autographs sale on November 13.
The last time artwork from The Nikopol Trilogy went under the hammer, Artcurial described it as a "unique event". The piece eventually sold for €25,000 ($32,210) above its €17,000 ($21,671) pre-sale estimate.
Expectations are even higher for this ink and gouache colour plate (pictured below), number 49, from the second part of Yugoslavia-born artist Enki Bilal's revered Trilogy.
The artwork is signed on the front and back, dedicated, and described as a "Museum piece" in Artcurial's lot notes.
"Magnificent," reads the auctioneer's description. "One of the finest boards on the album. It is in this board that we learn the feelings of heroine Nikopol against Jill Bioskop ("I think I've fallen in love with you at this time ...")."
Bilal's Trilogy follows the story of Alcide Nikopol, who returns to a future France to find it under post-nuclear Fascist rule. It famously took the artist more than a decade to complete. The 45 x 33.3 cm artwork from 1986, entitled Women's Trap, is estimated at €50,000-60,000.
Also appearing is France's favourite Belgian boy reporter, Hergé's Tintin, who last drew bids of €300,000 at Artcurial with another "Museum Piece", 1939's Le Sceptre D'Ottokar (King Ottokar's Sceptre).
Following that success, collectors on the look-out for an entry-level alternative investment will have a chance to invest in Tintin's legacy at the November auction.
A signed copy of Tintin and the Picaros, #23 and dated "20/06/1976", is for sale with a €7,000-8,000 estimate.
Dedicated to "Stéphane Janssen and all his family, with my faithful friendship," by Hergé himself in black ink, the sublime album is limited to 100 copies, in mint condition with perfect yellow cloth, and is likely to exceed its pre-sale estimate.
Arcurial's sale will be held at Briest-Poulain-F.Tajan, Paris. Watch this space for more news on the event.
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