Heritage Auctions in New York City witnessed a bid which was five times the pre sales estimate and the most surprising part was that the art work in question was the original 1952 cover art for the best-selling children’s book, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Everyone was a child once and we should not under estimate children’s books. The cover art drawn by legendary children’s illustrator Garth Williams sold for $155,350 more than five times the pre-sale estimate and a world’s record for any of Williams’ art.
The buyer was an anonymous New York collector and it was not evident what his plans were about the art work which he must have wanted very desperately. White’s story of Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the Spider and Fern, the young girl who tries to save Wilbur from the slaughterhouse, has enchanted generations of children. There was another illustration from the book that brought in $95,600.
The late artist’s family had brought in 42 of William’s original illustrations for Charlotte’s Web to the auction, and they brought a combined total of $780,245. Barry Sandoval, one of the Directors at Heritage was very happy with the response to the Charlotte’s Web art. We knew the response will exceed our estimates but the response was simply breathtaking.