Die-hard Tintin fans could hardly control their excitement as the auction of the original drawings and objects belonging to Belgian cartoonist Hergé, creator of "Tintin," fetched more than €1.8 million in Paris on Saturday.
Artcurial, one of the leading auction houses in France, announced that the Tintin memorabilia, total 856 in number, has been sold at €1,873,396 (($2,480,095), crossing the €1 million mark, the AFP has reported.
One of the star-attractions during the auction was an original gouache and watercolour drawing of a battle scene from "The Secret of the Unicorn." Estimated to be sold between €35,000 and €40,000, the gouache, which depicts Sir Francis Haddock fighting Red Rackham's pirates, eventually sold for an astounding €168,900.
Recently, the comic strip "The Secret of the Unicorn" was adapted for the big screen on 3D format by Steven Spielberg, as the first part of the trilogy on "The Adventures of Tintin."
Among other items, Hergé's original drawing for another Tintin adventure, "Flight 714 to Sydney," was auctioned at €90,100, about three times the original price of €25,000 and €35,000.
A special edition of the "Explorers on the Moon," signed by Hergé and six astronauts who had made the journey to the Moon, fetched €100,000.
Estimated between €10,000 and €15,000, a handmade greeting card by Hergé featuring a drawing of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy perched on the famous red-and-white rocket from the moon adventures fetched €40,000.
Hergé, real name Georges Prosper Remi, debuted Tintin, a young reporter for the Le XXe Siecle, to the comic world on January 10, 1929 as he featured in the "Tintin in the Land of Soviets" in the Le Petit Vingtieme.
The illustrated-comic adventure strip, penned by Hergé till 1983, is one of the most sought-after memorabilia along with comic book items.
Last year, during a Paris auction of Hergé drawings and sculptures, an original Hergé gouache called "Tintin and the Sea Shells," priced at €70,000 and made in 1947, depicting Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy wandering on a beach littered with huge sea shells, was sold for €131,250.
Meanwhile, an original Hergé painting for the cover of the first Tintin album "Tintin en Amérique" (Tintin in America), made in 1932 and estimated at about €280, 000, became the highest comic book art ever sold in the world for a record €764, 200. The title was previously held by Enki Bilal, whose painting titled "Bleu sang," sold in March 2007 for €177, 000.