Original painting by Norm Saunders used for the production of card #12 in the 1962 Topps "Mars Attacks" set, titled "Death In The Cockpit." In this scene, a Martian flying saucer is pictured shooting atomic beams at a fighter jet, resulting in a fiery demise for the pilot. Like nearly all of the original artworks from the "Mars Attacks" set, this example includes additional image area which was cropped out by Topps on the issued card. Original "Mars Attacks" artworks are, of course, by their singular nature and the fact that there are only fifty-five cards in the set, extremely rare. Theoretically all fifty-five original paintings exist, but only slightly more than half have ever surfaced. (Incredibly, nearly all of the other examples that have come to auction in the past ten years have been offered by Robert Edward Auctions!) The images from the "Mars Attacks" set have been ingrained into our popular culture, and have had a lasting impact not only on the youth of the early 1960s, but on all generations since. Every painting in the set is a classic. As such we always consider it a special privilege to handle any original "Mars Attacks" artwork. This particular example has been locked away in a major private collection for decades and has never before been offered at public auction. The artwork (5.25 x 3.5 inches) has normal production-related remnants on the reverse (including the card number) as well as paper residue, and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).
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