Potter & Potter Auctions, a Chicago auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, vintage toys, and magicana, is holding a Disney auction on July 30, 2021, starting at 10 a.m. CDT.
The auction’s first session (lots #1-489) will focus on Disneyana from the 20th century onward, including cast member uniforms and costumes, maps, collectibles, artwork, and the most extensive offering of Disney attraction posters at auction to date. The second session (lots #490+) will feature non-Disney collectibles from categories including music, movies, sports, and history.
“After the strong results of our previous Disneyana sale, this year’s offering is one we have been highly anticipating — as have our bidders,” said Gabe Fajuri, president at Potter & Potter Auctions. “The original ride vehicles and park-used signs and costumes are always popular. I expect there to be considerable competition for the rarities in this auction come the day of the sale, both in-person and online.”
Many of the top lots in the Disney auction feature original park-used items. These include a Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion framed Stretching Portrait from the 2000s (estimated at $50,000 – $80,000). The 117×35 canvas “proof of concept” piece used at several Disney events and in a traveling exhibition is based on Marc Davis’s original artwork featuring “Constance Hatchaway.” Another unique item is a Disneyland Haunted Mansion “13th Hour” ghost hand shadow from the 1970s (estimated at $6,000 – $8,000). This mechanical wheel was mounted behind ride vehicles with a light to create the iconic shadow effect on the attraction’s grandfather clock.
Estimated at $40,000 – $60,000 is a Walt Disney World Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride “Ratty” vehicle from 1971. The original, partially-restored car “Number 24” measures 46″ tall, 70″ long, and 47″ wide, and was used to take guests through the ride and features two steering wheels.
Another rare lot features Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Figaro automatons (estimated at $10,000 – $20,000). The figures recreate the scene from Disney’s 1940 film when Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Figaro celebrate Pinocchio becoming a real boy and were originally part of a Disneyland window display set on Main Street U.S.A. during the 1968 holiday season.
Posters advertising Disney attractions are also expected to be popular, including a Matterhorn poster for the legacy attraction’s bobsled rides (estimated at $8,000 – $12,000) produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1959 and designed by Paul Hartley; a 1969 Haunted Mansion/New Orleans Square Disneyland poster designed by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis (estimated at $10,000 – $15,000) featuring the hitchhiking ghosts in front of the Mansion and signed by Marc Davis; and a poster promoting the debut of Disneyland’s Monorail in 1961 designed by Paul Hartley (estimated at $8,000 – $10,000) that’s especially notable for its unique metallic grey paint.
“Nothing captures the early days of Disneyland and the creativity and artistry that the park embodied in its early years than the gorgeous, oversize attraction posters advertising all of the park’s classic features,” Fajuri said. “From the Haunted Mansion to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and beyond, the bright colors and bold designs truly capture an era of wonder and amazement that embody the Disney ethos. This is perhaps the largest offering of vintage Disney attraction posters to date, and we are thrilled to be bringing these images to the market.”
The auction’s park-used signage and wall art will interest collectors worldwide, including an original, hand-painted plywood “Slow” sign from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (estimated at $2,000 – $3,000), a rarity from the 1950s. Also for sale is a Walt Disney World Mickey’s Toontown Fair/Tomorrowland double-sided Mickey-shaped sign from the 2000s (estimated at $800 – $1,200), which was used on the walkway from Toontown to Tomorrowland (and removed when Toontown closed in 2011) with the Toontown Fair logo on one side and Tomorrowland logo on the other.
Fans of Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort will want to bid on a 29 ¼ x 60 ½” luau night wall painting from the 2000s (estimated at $700 – $1,000), a Tom Thordarson work (featuring several hidden Mickeys) that was commissioned by Imagineer Wing Chao and custom made for exclusive use in the resort.
Park-worn cast member costumes and accessories on offer through this include a rare early Disneyland cast member pin numbered 6194 (estimated at $1,000 – $2,000) dating from the 1950s with a unique oval design and a Disneyland costume from the 1980s (estimated at $900 – $1,200) worn by cast members who ran the Davy Crockett Canoes on the Rivers of America.
Also represented in this sale is a collection of important Disney ephemera like a 12×10 framed Magician Mickey animation model sheet (estimated at $200 – $400) produced for the use of animators at Walt Disney Studios during the production of the 1937 classic animated short (includes a certificate of authenticity); a 27½x18 framed Walt Disney autograph display (estimated at $800 – $1,200) with a clipped signature, a photo, and a plaque (includes a certificate of authenticity); and a c. 1955 Disneyland adult admission ticket (estimated at $600 – $800), which is one of the first passes issued by the park — and among the rarest.
The auction’s rare contemporary Disney collectibles include a limited-edition Scrooge McDuck “Hands Off My Playthings” bronze sculpture by Carol Barks (estimated at $6,000 – $8,000) that features the miserly duck protecting a pile of gold coins with his cane and a signed and numbered Jessica Rabbit bronze statue by Henry Alvarez (estimated at $1,500 – $2,500).
The auction will be held online and live-streamed, with a limited number of in-person bidders allowed in the gallery based on current Illinois public health attendance guidelines.
Click here for more information about the Disney auction.