Art of Playboy's 'golden age' headlines Heritage's fall New York auction

See our article: The best pieces of Playboy collectible memorabilia

The Comic Art of Playboy: Over Five Decades of Illustration and Cartoons sale will offer more than 85 paintings, illustrations and cartoons that graced the legendary men's magazine.

The auction is led by pieces like Alberto Vargas "Darling, It's My Hat I Want Your Opinion On," (Vargas Girl Playboy Pin-Up from April 1963) estimated at $30,000-plus.

Heritage Auctions' sale takes place on October 22-23 in New York at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion.

"This is one of our largest and most impressively varied sales to date," said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions, "including not only continued highlights from the Charles Martignette Estate, but also a separate catalog devoted entirely to the Playboy offerings."

The incredibly rich selection from Playboy - truly one of the top venues for the best illustrators and cartoonists of the second half of the 20th century - features virtually every great name to appear in the iconic magazine's pages.

Alberto Vargas Darling Its My Hat I Want Your Opinion On
Alberto Vargas's 'Darling, It's My Hat I Want Your Opinion On'

They are represented by absolutely choice examples coming directly from Playboy's archives and selected especially for this auction in New York.

"We're honoured to be presenting this great selection of artwork from the famed publication," said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration Art at Heritage.

"We're particularly excited by the three beautiful complete Little Annie Fanny stories - created by Harvey Kurtzman and a host of the greatest artists to ever work in the comic medium - to note just one of the principal highlights."

The most highly anticipated of the three Little Annie Fanny stories is likely to be Little Annie Fanny: Lost At Sea, a complete five-page story, from Playboy, September 1964, then re-published on pages 71-79 of Playboy: Classic Cartoons (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2000).

It carries an estimate of $10,000-plus. The Playboy offerings even include an original comic drawing by Hugh Hefner himself; "Martini?", from the Christmas party humour pictorial, Playboy cartoon illustration, January 1954, that is expected to bring $2,000-plus.

This Little Annie Fanny comic strip will also appear in the auction

As collectors are keenly aware, one of the strongest segments of the Illustration market continues to be pin-up art, and, following on the heels of its record-setting Gil Elvgren result in May of this year, the auction house is offering a particularly great grouping by the undisputed master.

These will include Up in Central Park, 1950 (estimated at $30,000-plus) and Fire Belle (Always Ready), 1956 (estimated at $50,000-plus), one of Elvgren's most famous and well known paintings.

"This is a very exciting discovery, indeed," said Hignite. "Christy is one of the biggest, most collectible names in the hobby and you rarely see newly discovered works of his. This is a rare opportunity to acquire an important painting by this figural master."

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