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Article: Historic Auction: "The Little Prince" Drawing Shatters Records

Historic Auction: "The Little Prince" Drawing Shatters Records
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Historic Auction: "The Little Prince" Drawing Shatters Records

A noteworthy drawing of "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, featured in the original edition of the renowned story, recently achieved a record-breaking sale at a Christie's auction in London, securing an impressive sum of approximately $382,000.

This captivating watercolor, crafted by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, soared above expectations, fetching £302,400—ten times more than its initial estimate ranging from £25,000 to £35,000. Originally depicted on page 59 of the New York edition, the artwork portrays The Little Prince engaged in conversation with a snake in the vast Sahara Desert. Notably, this drawing had previously graced Sotheby's auction in 1989.
the little prince
Photo Creditnewsinfrance.com

Christie's, in their catalog, underscored the exceptional rarity and historical significance of drawings and watercolors in their final or nearly finalized versions, especially those reproduced in the first edition of "The Little Prince."

"The Little Prince" Legacy - Over 150 Million Copies Sold

Reflecting on a sale at Artcurial in Paris in June 2017, Christie's highlighted another successful transaction involving a watercolor featuring The Little Prince seated on a chair, gazing at the sun, which reached an impressive $320,000, taxes included. Additionally, an artwork portraying the hero lying in a rose garden garnered $246,000.

"The Little Prince," a literary classic translated worldwide for children, has become the most widely read work of fiction in history. According to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Foundation, the book has surpassed a monumental milestone, selling over 150 million copies globally in the last 80 years.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, exiled in the United States during World War II, was commissioned by his American publisher to pen a Christmas story, resulting in the creation of "The Little Prince." Tragically, he passed away in July 1944, just over a year after the French and English versions were published in New York. Consequently, he did not witness the unprecedented success of these literary masterpieces.

His illustrations featuring the iconic hero with blond hair, traversing between planets and encountering a diverse array of characters, significantly contributed to the enduring popularity of "The Little Prince."

"The Little Prince" Is A Masterpiece

"The Little Prince," penned by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, stands as a timeless masterpiece that transcends generations. Originally written during the author's wartime exile in the United States, the novella weaves a poignant narrative around a young prince hailing from a tiny asteroid called B-612. 

Narrated in a whimsical and philosophical tone, the story unfolds as the Little Prince embarks on interstellar travels, encountering a host of peculiar characters on different planets.

 Through these encounters, Saint-Exupéry imparts profound life lessons, exploring themes of love, friendship, and the human condition. The cherished tale, often classified as a children's book, resonates universally, captivating readers with its enchanting prose and evocative illustrations. 

"The Little Prince" has become a literary classic, translated into numerous languages and celebrated for its insightful reflections on the complexities of existence. Its enduring charm lies in the delicate balance between whimsy and wisdom, making it a perennial favorite for readers of all ages across the globe.

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