When You Wish Upon a Star: Rare Preliminary Watercolor from Pinocchio on the Auction Block at Bonhams & Butterfields

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • May 19, 2010

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A Gustaf Tenggren preliminary watercolor from "Pinocchio" 1940, watercolor on paper.
Bonhams & Butterfields

Bonhams & Butterfields' Entertainment Memorabilia auction on June 13, 2010 will include a wide range of collectible items related to our popular culture including a rare preliminary watercolor from the Oscar-winning® Walt Disney film Pinocchio, 1940, by famed children's book and cartoon illustrator Gustaf Tenggren.  The painting depicts a scene from the animated classic where Pinocchio runs into Gideon and J. Worthington Foulfellow on a cobbled narrow Bavarian street.  In this watercolor, the puppet's two acquaintances are depicted as well as a quaint village with diminutive houses, which feature carved details. 

After joining Disney Studios in 1936, Tenggren worked on preliminary paintings for several classic films such as Snow White and Pinocchio.  His style was very reminiscent of illustrators Gustave Dore and Arthur Rackham.  For Pinocchio, Tenggren painted street scenes of charming villages with narrow streets, petite houses, street lamps and townspeople going about their daily chores.  Many of these paintings were inspired by a small Bavarian medieval town by the name of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.  Rare to auction, the watercolor is expected to bring $30,000-40,000.

The illustrated auction catalog is online now at www.bonhams.com/us and the printed catalogue will be available in a couple of days. 

Preview: June 11-12, 2010, Los Angeles

Auction: June 13, 2010, 10:00am

Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby, jannelle.grigsby@bonhams.com, (310) 567-7990

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