"Hungry Hobos" unique Disney film thought lost has found a new home

Entertainment Memorabilia including Animation Art
14 Dec 2011
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Bonhams is pleased to announce a stellar result for the December 14 auction of Entertainment Memorabilia in Los Angeles. The sale celebrated the role of the visual arts in the making of film, and included the only known copy of the Disney film "Hungry Hobos" and two rare and important collections of original production art from the 1950s-1970s, in addition to several works of art by Frank Sinatra and Disney artists Eyvind Earle and Campbell Grant.

Highlighting the sale was the only known copy of the Disney film "Hungry Hobos," which was previously recorded as lost, sold for $31,250. The film was re-discovered in a social history film archive in the UK. The film features Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, a prototype for Mickey Mouse, and Peg Leg Pete.

As well, a group of paintings by singer, actor and entertainer Frank Sinatra was prominently featured within the winter auction. Sinatra began painting in the 1970s, focusing primarily on clowns. He later developed his own style, shifting from representational canvases to abstract art. Works of note by Sinatra included a large, colourful abstract, 1990s (est. $5,000-7,000, sold for $32,500); a mountainous landscape painting (est. $4,000-6,000, sold for $17,500) and a surreal depiction of the Palm Springs desert (est. $4,000-6,000, sold for $15,625). The painting is a lovely example showing the influence of Robert Mangold on Sinatra's work.

Further pieces of original artwork offered in the December sale included a group of pen and ink tracing paper sketches by Mentor Huebner for "Planet of the Apes" (1968) (est. $3,000-5,000, sold for $31,250) and a group of storyboard and design sketches by John L. Jensen who worked for director Cecil B. DeMille for decades. This material offered by Bonhams provides a glimpse into their close working relationship.

In addition to vibrant costume studies, drawings and paintings of major characters from such movies as "The Ten Commandments," 1956 (lot 4111 sold for $31,250 and lot 4117 sold for $22,500) and "The Alamo," 1960 (lot 4104 sold for $4,375), Jensen also produced important concept designs, such as his eerie depiction of the plague of frogs descending upon the land and Cleopatra being presented as a slave to Marc Antony from "Antony and Cleopatra," 1972 (lot 4107 sold for $4,000).

Another significant collection of production art hailed from the Disney Studios of the 1960s and 1970s, and featured rare "Mary Poppins" (1964) production artwork by famed designer Peter Ellenshaw, including two views of the Bank's house at 17 Cherry Tree Lane (lot 4128 sold for $28,750, lot 4130 sold for $22,500 and lot 4129 sold for $20,000). Present also was original artwork from fellow production designer Jim Schaeffing and included concept paintings of Mary Poppins and Burt riding off on carousel horses from the "Jolly Holliday" animation sequence and Uncle Albert's floating tea party (lot 4122 and 4123 each sold for $11,250).

Within the animation section of the auction was a Charles Schulz "Peanuts" Sunday page depicting the beloved characters of Lucy and Peppermint Patty (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $25,000), a preliminary watercolour drawing from "Fantasia" (1940) from the Estate of Campbell Grant (est. $1,500-2,000, sold for $4,750) and two concept drawings from the 1959 classic children's film "Sleeping Beauty" by Disney artist Eyvind Earle.

The Disney Studio hired Earle in 1951. Within two years, he became the colour stylist and inspirational artist for Sleeping Beauty. His artistic style, derived from mediaeval tapestries based on paintings by Durer and Breughal, had a large impact on the look of the characters and backgrounds. The watercolour on board pieces featured in the winter auction depict the evil Maleficent as a dragon behind the castle walls (est. $7,000-9,000, sold for $8,125) and standing on the balcony beneath an arch of the castle with the sun setting in the background (est. $7,000-9,000, sold for $8,125).

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


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. By the end of 2009, Bonhams had become UK market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas.For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.

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