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Eye-popping Pulp and Fantasy Art Lead the way in August Illustration Art Auction at Heritage Auction Galleries

Varga Girl, Esquire Calendar Illustration by Alberto Vargas, 1946

Varga Girl, Esquire Calendar Illustration by Alberto Vargas, 1946

Selections from the John McLaughlin Estate compliment the ongoing treasure trove of Charles Martignette

Selections from the estate of passionate art collector, book dealer and comic book aficionado John McLaughlin, whose holdings in pulp and fantasy art are legendary, make up the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ Aug. 17 Signature® Illustration Art Auction, with some of the rarest and absolute finest examples of their kind in existence making their way to auction.

“One look at the covers from this collection by H.J. Ward (The Evil Flame, Spicy Mystery Stories pulp cover, August 1936, estimate $30,000+), Margaret Brundage (A Rival from the Grave, Weird Tales cover, January 1936 , estimate: $50,000+) and Frank R. Paul (The Robot Aliens, Wonder Stories pulp cover, February 1935, estimate: $20,000+) in this auction, to cite only three examples, will tell you all you need to know about the A+ quality of art from the Estate of John McLaughlin,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage. “Savvy pulp art collectors have been waiting for highlights from his estate to appear on the market. It doesn’t get much better than this.”

It is the consensus among the Illustration Art specialists at Heritage that the August auction represents the strongest offering yet of both pulp magazine and hard-boiled paperback cover art, in a Heritage Illustration Art event. Among the masterworks offered here are two covers by James Avati, Louisville Saturday, paperback cover, 1958 and A Place Called Estherville, paperback book cover, 1957, both of which are expected to bring $4,000+.

Also among the pulp offers is Walter M. Baumhofer’s Doc Savage cover, February 1935, estimated at $8,000+; Rudolph Belarski’s Male Ward, paperback cover, estimated at $4,000+; John Coughlin’s haunting Detective Story magazine cover, May 1929, which is expected to realize $1,200+; Rafael De Soto’s Satan’s Seven Swordsmen, The Spider cover, October 1941, seen bringing $4,000+; Robert Fuqua’s Revolt of the Robots, Fantastic Adventures pulp illustration, First issue, May 1930, with a pre-auction estimate of $8,000+ and Robert McGinnis’s So Rich, So Lovely, and So Dead, paperback cover, 1961, expected to easily exceed its $2,000+ estimate, among the many examples.

“As always, our latest sale is stocked with a treasure trove of illustration masterworks across the spectrum,” said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration Art at Heritage. “We have examples from the wide-ranging sub-genres of classic illustration, slick magazine, pin up and glamour art to compliment the sublime pulp and paperback offerings.”

Selections from the epic Charles Martignette estate continue with this auction, as advanced collectors have rightly come to expect and the depth and quality of this legendary grouping are well represented. Martignette co-wrote the seminal book on the glamour art field, The Great American Pin-Up, and works by many of the talents spotlighted in his monograph are offered here.

These Pin-Up legends include The Winner (A Fair Catch), Brown and Bigelow illustration, 1957, by Gil Elvgren (Estimate: $30,000+); Varga Girl, Esquire calendar illustration, February 1946, by Alberto Vargas (Estimate: $20,000+); Rolf Armstrong’s stunning American Sunday Magazine cover, November 17, 1912 (Estimate: $3,000+); George Petty’s Blue Kerchief, Esquire calendar illustration, December 1956 (Estimate: $8,000+); Earl Moran’s pastel on board Scooping the Beach (Estimate: $8,000+); Patrick Nagel’s mixed media Girl Seated on a TV (estimate: $3,000-$5,000) and a major consignment of never-before-seen pin-up calendar art, highlighted by a impressive selection by the rarely seen-at-auction artist Peter Darro.

From the realm of classic illustration Heritage consignors are offering museum-worthy works by such hall-of-famers as Norman Rockwell’s Robert E. Lee Graduate (Estimate: $12,000+); J. C. Leyendecker’s 1906 A Real Happy New Year (estimate: $30,000+); Harold Anderson’s Mother and Daughter (Estimate: $7,000+); Dean Cornwell’s Not for Glory, Nor Yet for Gold, Goodyear ad illustration, c. 1944 (Estimate: $15,000+) and many more.

Also of special note in this auction is the “Art of Rock & Roll” section, featuring the collection of Peter Golding, British fashion designer and musician. Peter has been collecting rock art from both sides of the Atlantic since the 1960s, and his collection forms the core of this important grouping. The counter-culture of the post-World War II era is brilliantly illuminated in the revolutionary poster and album cover artworks by such music world visionaries as Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Garry Grimshaw, and the work they did for musicians like the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, and more.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Varga Girl, Esquire Calendar Illustration by Alberto Vargas, 1946

Varga Girl, Esquire Calendar Illustration by Alberto Vargas, 1946

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