Herge Christmas card drawings to sell at Artcurial

A collection of 20 drawings for Christmas cards by Tintin creator Herge is selling at Artcurial in Paris. 

The illustrations are executed in Indian ink and feature some of the best loved characters in the franchise.

Herge Christmas cards
The Christmas cards were the first piece of Tintin merchandise

All are offered as individual lots, with each estimated to make $66,360-132,721. In all the set could bring in $2.2m on November 19.

Herge created the cards in 1942, shortly after his return to Nazi occupied Belgium. He had fled with his wife when the country was invaded on May 10, 1939 but returned soon after.

He went to work for Le Soir, which became a propaganda mouthpiece for the Nazis. Herge's work, on the other hand, remained resolutely apolitical during the war.

In 1945, many of his colleagues at the paper were tried as collaborators and sentenced to death. Herge escaped punishment as his work was considered entirely inoffensive.

These cards were released in 1943 and were the first piece of official Tintin merchandise ever sold.

Eric Leroy, comics expert at Artcurial, said: "These drawings are very rare because they are from the 1940s…

"The drawings had been given away by Herge to one of his friends who was a huge fan of Tintin. It has been in the same private collection since then…

"Today the market for Tintin and Herge originals is both international and popular.

"Tintin has been very important in the childhood of many children all over the word, children that are now grown-ups and that want to buy a part of their happy memories."

The record for a single piece of original Tintin artwork is $3.4m, set for an inside cover illustration at Artcurial in 2014.

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