The Little Prince painting beats estimate by 118%

A watercolour painting by Antoine de Saint-Exupery from his classic novella The Little Prince has sold for $148,000.

The work beat an estimate of $67,854 by 118.1% in the May 31 sale at Artcurial in Paris.

Little Prince Exupery
Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince is one of the world's best selling children's books

It can be seen on page 87 of the book's first edition and has exceptional provenance, having formerly been in the collection of the author's wife, Consuelo Saint-Exupery.

The Little Prince was first printed in 1943 and swiftly became a publishing phenomenon. 

Exupery drew many of the people and places in the book from his own life. Over the years it has proven popular with both children and adults and has sold around 140m copies worldwide.

Guillaume Romaneix of Artcurial described the drawing to the Guardian: "This watercolour shows an iconic image of the young hero.

"He escapes into the night without a sound and walks alone in the dunes with his scarf blowing in the wind. He will soon disappear and the atmosphere is tense."

There have been some strong sales associated with The Little Prince in recent years.

In 2012, a previously unrecorded copy of Exupery's draft manuscript made $479,515 at Artcurial.

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