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French singer Renaud's collection up for auction including a double Tintin plate
HERGÉ (Georges Remi dit), Le Sceptre d’Ottokar, watercolour and China ink , double plate at the end of the album published in 1939 by Casterman, 39,5 x 60 cm (estimate: 600 000 – 800 000 € / 650 000 – 865 000 $) ©Hergé/Moulinsart 2016.

PARIS.- On April 30th, Artcurial’s Comic Strip department will auction a personal collection once belonging to the singer, Renaud. Amongst the works, a double plate by Hergé for Le Sceptre d’Ottokar, published in 1939 (estimation : 600 000 – 800 000 € / 650 000 – 865 000 $) will be on offer.

“It is a real pleasure to dedicate part of the sale to Renaud’s collection of original plates, albums and comic strips memories. Gathered together with passion, the singer now wants these objects to find a new home amongst other enthusiastic collectors who share a passion for the comic strips universe”, explains Eric Leroy, Comic Strip expert at Artcurial.

Renaud decided to part with over 100 original figurines and albums. The singer explains, “Even if it is truly fascinating to build a collection and hunt down rare works, it saddens me to see that once I have bought and read them, the comics accumulate, get dusty and slowly die.”

Renaud began his collection with ‘modern’ albums before discovering more ancient works at a Belgian bookstore. He decided to start collecting and gathered around 30 albums, key works from his childhood (Alix, Jerry Spring, Blake et Mortimer, Lucky Luke, and of course some Tintin and Spirou) but he soon became hooked on French-Belgium Comic Strips and in his own words, “I was a novice, I bought anything, in any old state and at any old price!”

His favourite albums and plates? “I like them all but I have a particularly weakness for the Hergé, Hergé, Jijé, Le Rallic and Calvo plates. Amongst the more modern works, I love the Manara,’Enki Bilal, Walter Minus and Yves Chaland plates. If I wanted to own just one, it would be Le Lotus Bleu or Tintin au Tibet plate”, replies Renaud.

The work, Le Sceptre d’Ottokar continues the mimesis evoked in Le Lotus bleu: Syldavie, a calm central-European kingdom is victim of an invasive attack by an aggressive neighbour, Bordurie.

Hergé is very careful with the distribution of roles; it can be noticed with the Dupond/t and their unlikely police adventures or even when the Castafiore appears with its booming voice. Hergé works like a Director and the plot thickens with several up and down moments making this saga more like an opera than a comic.

The last double page was acquired by Renaud directly from the Le Rallic widow. Hergé spent a few years during the war, living with her. “At the time, she sold it to me for 100 000 francs. It was the biggest cost out of my entire collection but I don’t regret a thing”, explains Renaud.

Throughout all the boxes, Hergé’s distinct drawing style, la ligne Claire, bring the characters and setting to life. This can be seen with the clumsiness of the Dupond/t, the seaplane, a key element of the plot not overlooking the last box which shows the coat of arms of King Ottokar. We can’t miss out on the discreet appearance of Tintin and his dog Milou, who wink at the reader. Renaud develops: “On this plate there aren’t many drawings of Tintin, it is mostly of the Dupond/t, but like many other readers I imagine, it felt like this wink was for me.”

Two other highlights from the sale of Renaud’s Comics trip collection which are worth mentioning are another work by Hergé, a plate from volume 4 of Quick et Flupke, Gamins de Bruxelles (estimation : 80 000 – 120 000 € / 86 500 – 130 000 $). One can see Flupke trying to box. For Renaud the two kids evoke “the poetry of street-life and childhood, Quick and Flupke are like the Robert Doisneau and Albert Lamoroisse of the comic world – the « petites canailles » of our childhood.”

The second major work is a drawing by Max Cabanes for Le temps des noyaux (estimation : 450 – 650 € / 490 – 700 $). This book published by Seuil in 1988 gathers texts of songs by Renaud. On the front cover, one can see Renaud and Gavroche from behind, sitting down on the top of the ‘Butte Montmartre”

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