Gil Elvgren pin-ups to tempt bidders at $50,000?

A tantalising selection of works from Gil Elvgren, the great American pin-up artist, will provide a major draw in Heritage's Illustration Art sale on June 27-28.

Gil Elvren Skirting the Issue (Breezing Up)
One of several Gil Elvgren works from the Charles Mignette collection

The Beverly Hills auction will be dominated by Elvgren works, although he faces stiff competition from fellow master pin-up painter, Alberto Vargas, whose Glamour Pin-Up is expected at $50,000-70,000. The sale will also feature the Jerry Weist collection of sci-fi and fantasy art, which will showcase iconic works from greats of the genre.

The two Elvgren pieces providing the greatest excitement are Skirting the Issue (Breezing Up), a classic depiction of a pin-up girl riding a motorcycle, and Up in the Air (Whooooooosh!), which draws inspiration from Marilyn Monroe's famous Seven Year Itch moment. Both are estimated to sell for $30,000-50,000.

The majority of works in the sale, including the Elvgrens are taken from the Charles Mignette estate, which has been cited by Heritage as the "single greatest illustration art collection ever offered". Before his death in 2008, Martignette had amassed more than 4,300 pieces of art, which are now valued at over $20m.

"He was at the very forefront of collecting this type of material. He was very quirky, very eccentric, but he was also very clever. What he ended up with was the very best examples," commented Heritage's Edward Jaster.

The auction will also see a brilliant collection of Where the Wild Things Are sketches, which can expect heightened interest following the death of their beloved creator, Maurice Sendak, in May this year. The highest estimate of the series goes to a sketch of Max and the Wild Thing, which has been valued at $3,000-5,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles currently has a range of illustrations for sale. This Charles Schulz Snoopy drawing provides a fantastic and unique collectible from one of the most popular comic strips of all time.



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