1962 Topps Mars Attacks Original Artwork for Card #51 - Crushing the Martians

Sold For: $26,438

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1646

Item Year: 1962

Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

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The Mars Attacks set issued by Topps needs no introduction. The artwork has been ingrained into the consciousness of our Popular Culture, and has had a lasting impact not only on the youth of the early 1960s, but on all generations since. Collectors have long appreciated the cards as the most significant and classic nonsport issue of the era. The extraordinary artwork, created by Norm Saunders, distinguishes this set as the most highly regarded of all nonsport Topps card issues. Presented is the original artwork to card #51, entitled "Crushing the Martians." Any original Mars Attacks artwork is an incredible find, but this example features a particularly memorable scene of chaos and carnage that is ideal in that it characterizes the set. In this scene, the Martians are attacking on foot and being crushed and bombed by army tanks. Dead Martians lie on the ground amidst flames. Included, framing the left and appearing to practically jump out of the painting, is one of the largest Martian portraits of the entire set, and this is only one of three prominent still-living Martians featured on this card fighting a battle with Earthlings, causing unimagined destruction and bloodshed. Of special note, of great importance but generally not recognized by collectors unless pointed out, is the fact that only thirteen of the fifty-five artworks that comprise the set even feature a Martian. This example is one of the best of those select and most important few. All Mars Attacks original artworks are masterpieces. The excessively graphic, violent image on this card makes it one of the set's most horrifying cards (and we mean that as a good thing). This is an ideal Mars Attacks artwork. All original Mars Attacks artworks are, of course, extremely rare. Theoretically all exist, but only a few examples have ever come to the marketplace. Auction records for original Mars Attacks paintings exceed $20,000. Robert Edward Auctions has been fortunate to offer a total of five Mars Attacks original artworks over the years. In 2004, we sold the painting for card #25 for $37,375. In 2006, we had the privilege of offering three Mars Attacks artworks (for cards numbers 5, 23, and 42), which sold for $29,000, $19,720, and $20,880, respectively. In 2009, we sold the original artwork to the iconic card #1 "The Invasion Begins" for $82,250. The offered example has been locked away in a major private collection for decades. It has never before been offered at auction. It is a privilege to be able to offer any original Mars Attacks artwork, but all the more so to offer such a tremendous and prime example, which so effectively represents and captures the spirit of the set. The artwork (5.5 x 3.75 inches) has normal production-related remnants on the reverse and is otherwise is in Near Mint to Mint condition. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$15,000+. SOLD FOR $26,438

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