A rejected cover for Tintin adventure ‘The Blue Lotus’ sells for record $3.9 million

A rare painting of Tintin by Belgian cartoonist Hergé sold for a record 3.9 million dollars at Parisian auction house Artcurial last month.

The 1936 illustration, intended for the cover of Hergé’s fifth Tintin book, “The Blue Lotus,” shows the young hero hiding with his dog, Snowy, in a porcelain jar.

It was eventually rejected as a cover because it would have been too expensive to reproduce, the auction house said in a press release ahead of the sale.

The Blue Lotus was expected to sell for between 2.7 and 3.4 million dollars, but ultimately went for 3.9 million dollars including fees — a world auction record both for a work by Hergé and for an original comic strip work.

Eric Leroy, comic strip expert at Artcurial, said, “This painting is so rare because it has never been on the private market before. It has been shown in Hergé’s museum and in the 1988 exhibition of the Tintin comic book series, but never privately before now.”

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