Carl Barks Hands Off My Playthings

LOS ANGELES, CA - From the Sunset Strip to Abbey Road, International Fine Arts Auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields announced the record-breaking sale of a highly sought after Carl Barks "Money Bin" painting entitled Hands Off My Playthings today in Los Angeles. 1975, Oil with brush applied to gessoed masonite, signed by the artist on the lower left margin with the Walt Disney copyright line, this is the sixteenth painting done by Carl Barks in 1975, it is the 106th painting of his career for his Walt Disney paintings, and it is the ninth money-bin painting. An original and highly sought after Carl Barks "Money Bin" painting entitled Hands Off My Playthings sold for $204,000 - setting a world auction record for a comic painting.

Carl Barks, an unsung comic book hero, drew Donald Duck for decades while working for Disney Studios. His offered work featured depictions of timeless Disney characters Huey, Duey and Louie making a castle out of thousand dollar bills and gold coins while Donald admires himself while donning a crown and Scrooge throws a fit in the background. Dated 1975, the highly recognizable oil on masonite work is signed in the lower left. Barks commented publicly that this was his favorite "money bin" painting -- according to the auctioneers, it was one of the most compelling examples of Barks' paintings ever brought to public auction.

"It was a strong sale reflecting the continuing strength and interest in Hollywood memorabilia and animation" said Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia, "We are very pleased with today's result, and will continue to build on our reputation as a preeminent source for Entertainment Memorabilia in the marketplace."

Also on the block at Bonhams & Butterfields today was a fresh to market archive of Marilyn Monroe collectibles featuring a classic black & white headshot of the actress autographed in red ink. In the lower left corner the "Blonde Bombshell" wrote "To Diana & Joe Ellen / Love & Kisses / Marilyn Monroe;" the signees being the daughters of Second Unit Director Joseph E. Rickards, who worked with Monroe on the 1955 classic The Seven Year Itch. Initially estimated between $3,000-3,500, the lot sold for $14,400.

Additional highlights from the archive included: a limited edition suite of color and black and white photographs of the actress taken by David Conover in 1945 (sold for: $7,200); a set of her handwritten notes for the 1957 romantic comedy The Prince and the Showgirl (sold for: $4,800); a late 1950s-era typed and signed letter from noted playwright Arthur Miller, her husband at the time, regarding Marilyn's problems and his sadness at their temporary separation -- she was in Los Angeles and he was in New York (sold for: $3,900); a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) membership card belonging to the actress (sold for: $2,700) and the 1953 Marilyn Monroe issue of Playboy Magazine (sold for: $2,700).

Also on offer was a selection of vintage movie posters including property from the Louis Leithold Collection. Much of the collection was offered in large lots, according to Barrett, "perfect for the new collector or seasoned dealer." The offering featured an array of titles spanning the history of cinema -- from the silent era to the contemporary blockbuster. Select highlights from the offering include posters from noted films such as: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, La Dolce Vita, Citizen Kane, Bon Jour Tristesse, a variety of Western films. Prices realized include: a large collection of 1940s linen-backed one-sheets ($3,900); a collection of Brigitte Bardot posters ($840) and a linen backed one-sheet from the 1959 Marilyn Monroe classic comedy Some Like It Hot ($1,200).

Other highlights from the Entertainment Memorabilia sale include: a black wool Victorian-style knee-length coat worn by Spencer Tracy in the first scene of the 1941 classic film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (sold above the high estimate for $2,280); a complete set of Beatles signatures (sold for: $7,800); a massive collection of autographs featuring a "Who's Who" of mid-to-late 20th century movie stars (brought: $7,800); a Rex Harrison costume design sketch from the original 1967 Doctor Dolittle (brought $3,000);an inscribed black and white photograph of Cary Grant (sold for: $1,680); a Frank Sinatra geometric pattern shirt worn on his wedding day to Barbara Marx in 1976 (brought: $1,020); a rare Carl Barks -Artist Proof to An Embarrassment of Riches (sold for: $9,600); and a red, beige and gold majorette-style hat worn by Judy Garland in MGM's 1941 Ziegfeld Girl sold above estimate for $1,320.

Today, Bonhams is the third largest and fastest growing auction house in the world with a global network of offices and regional representatives providing sales advice and valuation services in 20 countries. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of more than 40 Bonhams specialist departments, go to

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Pause For Thought

Hofman on Art

"Art is to me the glorification of the human spirit, and as such it is the cultural documentation of the time in which it is produced."