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Auction History Result

Lot #: v453f WINGS pre-production concept art '27 battlefield!

Date Sold 12/17/2005
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.
Appears in Vintage Hollywood Posters 9

The image at right appears in the auction catalog we published as shown above and was sold long ago and we do NOT have it available for purchase.

An Original Vintage Pre-Production Concept Artwork (measures 21 1/2" x 29 3/4") (Learn More)

Wings, the 1927 William A. Wellman silent/talking World War I (WWI) military airplane aviation romantic thriller melodrama ("To those young warriors of the sky whose wings are folded about them forever in this motion picture is reverently dedicated."; "Story by John Monk Saunders"; winner of the Best Picture Academy Award) starring Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen, Arlette Marchal, Gary Cooper (in one of his first major roles!), Jobyna Ralston, El Brendel, Richard Tucker, and Roscoe Karns. Note that Arlette Marchal was a French actress who had some success in American silent films. She was fourth billed when this movie was first released in 1927, but likely she had great trouble speaking English, because when the movie had dialogue added in 1929, she was no longer billed at all! Also note that Clara Bow was the most famous "flapper girl" of the mid to late 1920s (she became known as "The It Girl" after the character she played based on the popular novel by Elinor Glyn). She had a major role in Wings, and was Paramount's biggest star at that time. But she had a notorious private life and seemingly "settled down" when she married cowboy star Rex Bell in 1931 (she had two children and she retired from movies), but sadly in 1949 she went into a mental institution after a failed suicide attempt (she had had psychiatric issues for quite some time) and she was released but never returned to her family, and lived alone until her death in 1965.
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
Artist: Al Herman
Important Added Info: Note that this is a very rare example of pre-production concept artwork created for the winner of the very first Academy Award Oscar given for Best Picture, "Wings". There is very little pre-production artwork surviving for ANY major movie of the 1920s and 1930s, as the people in charge of it considered it disposable, and once the movie was finished, so was much of the artwork created for it! We are selling on eBay six different pieces of pre-production concept artwork from "Wings", as six separate items. Each of the six pieces of artwork were created on pieces of "VADUN" illustration board, purchased from the "Duncan, Vail Company" of Los Angeles (each of the boards are identified as such on the back. Each of the boards has an original artwork image on the front of a different set area to be used in the movie. In the bottom right corner of each piece of artwork is the name of the particular set illustrated in the artwork, the name of the movie (Wings), and the location of the movie (San Antonio, Texas), and a production number and a set number. All of the six original pieces of artwork were drawn by Al Herman, who signed five of his originals. There is an ink pad stamp in the opposite corner of each original (in the blank border) that reads "Sam Jaffe". These six pieces of artwork were discovered in the early 1990s, and were auctioned at the Camden Auction House in Los Angeles, California. Many people tried to buy at least one of them, but they are all purchased by a single buyer, and they were consigned to us by the man who purchased them in that auction. It will likely be many years before any of these are again offered for sale, as they are certain to go to advanced collectors, who are unlikely to re-offer them for sale. Note that the specific concept artwork offered in this auction is for the "Village & Battlefield", meaning that it depicts a village situated right next to a battlefield.

Condition: good to very good. There is uneven darkening of the illustration board, likely caused by exposure to the elements over many years. It is noticeable, but not very distracting, and you can see every bit of the art, even through the darkened areas. There is a strip of residue down the left 1/4" of the board, and 1" of unevenly darkened area down the left side next to that. There is tiny surface paper loss in two of the corners. Other than the above, this artwork has survived in reasonably nice condition, especially considering that so little pre-production concept art has survived at all!
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