Authenticated Disney Cels In Good Condition Are Valuable Collectibles

Posted: February 07, 1993

Question: What's the value of our painting on celluloid from the 1941 Walt Disney animated film Dumbo? The back of the frame says it is "one of a select few that have been released to art collectors. The remainder have been destroyed. Of this series, only 22 are available."

Answer: Vintage Disney cels are popular collectibles and can bring high prices, but it's impossible to value one without examining it, both to authenticate the image and check its condition, said dealer Stewart Reisbord of Cartoon Carnival, 2 Rabbit Run, Wallingford, Pa. 19086 (phone 215-566-4343).

Because the earth-tone paints used on Dumbo cels are very fragile, many of those surviving have so deteriorated that they fetch only around $500, according to Reisbord. However, if it's in excellent condition and a desirable image, yours could be worth thousands of dollars. At a December animation-art auction at Sotheby's in New York, a particularly engaging 1941 cel of Dumbo flying over a field, projected to sell for $8,000 to $10,000, soared to $17,700.

If your cel still had its original "key master background" from the movie, the watercolor drawing on heavy paper against which many cels were filmed, it could fetch up to $20,000, according to Reisbord.

The record for a Disney cel is the reported $450,000 private sale of an early black-and-white image of Mickey Mouse from the 1930s Disney short ''Orphans Benefit."

Q: How much is my child's set of Quimper pottery worth? The blue plate, mug and pitcher, each decorated with a different bird in dark blue, red and yellow, were purchased in France in 1927. They're all marked "Henriot Quimper France" and are in good condition.

A: Your three pieces of miniature Quimper pottery together are worth around $125 to $150, said French folk-pottery dealer Millicent S. Mali, author of French Faience "Fantaisie et Populaire" of the 19th and 20th Centuries ($28 postpaid from the author, Box 377, East Greenwich, R.I. 02818). They probably were new in 1927, since the Henriot factory began using the described mark in 1922. Your plate, pitcher and mug likely were sold as individual pieces, not a set, because there's a different bird on each, Mali said.

Pottery was first made in Quimper, a town in Brittany in northwestern France, in the late 17th century. Early wares, strongly influenced by products

from Nevers, Rouen and Moustiers, were decorated with intricate patterns of polychrome-stylized flowers and leaves, or in a Chinese-inspired blue-and- white palette. By the 19th century, decorative motifs normally associated with Quimper became popular: primary colors, concentric border-banding in blue and yellow glaze, and quaint images of people in traditional Breton dress. Pieces from the 1880s to the 1920s are abundant at antique shows.

Write to the Solis-Cohens, Box 304, Flourtown, Pa. 19031-0304. Include a description and clear photo of your collectible or antique. Send a self- addressed, stamped envelope if you wish your photo to be returned.

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