There are a few items of British comic art in this week’s Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, closing on Thursday – and there’s some terrific art rarities by European artists, including Moebius, on offer elsewhere on the European site, too.
A highlight surely has to be another dramatic page by Wayne England, commissioned by Games Workshop back in 2004, according to the seller. His art rarely seems to surface at auction, and the originals look much better than they appeared in some issues of Warhammer Monthly or Inferno.
Wayne, who died in February 2016, was an incredible artist whose work regularly appeared in role-playing games, wargaming rulebooks and magazines and was used on cards for collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering. If you want to see more of his work, there’s a Facebook group created as a tribute here, by Mark Aronowitz, and a group focused on sales of his work here.
Promoted in this auction, artist Enrique Badia Romero is offering one of his Modesty Blaise newspaper strip artworks (No. 8048), with bidding already at over €100.
Curated by Louis Gerard, art by European artists such as Stéphane Dubois, Hermann, Pierre Lacroix, Félix Meynet, Alec Severin, and Carol Voges, is also on offer.
As is now usual, if you’re checking out this Catawiki International Comic Art Auction, then you may want to dig around elsewhere on this labyrinthine site, too, as fellow downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf spotted a smashing page from the European strip, Storm, on offer, by Don Lawrence.
The art is part of a separate “Exclusive Comics Auction” curated by Jacques Pels that also includes art from Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner, some fabulous Blake and Mortimer and Tintin figures, and an extremely rare copy of Moebius: Starwatcher edition, with a beautiful print of a joint project by Moebius and Liberatore, signed by both artists; and an original “Starwatcher” drawing by Moebius, too, rapidly racing toward €500 in bidding.
But the fiercest bidding appears to be for an elaborate pre-war O.I. drawing by Tintin creator Hergé, published in Le Petit Vingtième no. 40 (dated 5th October 1939), with a preliminary study in pencil of on the back of the inked drawing for the cover of Le Petit Vingtième no. 39, featuring Tintin. Bidding on that is already at €2000!
Potential Additional International Auction Costs
This advice box was last updated on Friday 6th May 2022
The UK’s departure from the European Union means there may be additional import duties on sales.
Prior to Brexit, the effective rate of UK tax on imports of art was 5%, which is lower than most other European countries. An owner could previously import an artwork to the UK from outside the EU and was then free to transport it to other EU countries, where the import tax rates may be higher, without incurring any further import-related tax charges. If the owner then wished to bring the artwork back to the UK, there would also have been no further tax charge.
The Guardian previously reported that online orders up to £135 are now supposed to have the UK’s prevailing VAT rate added at the point of sale by the EU retailer, which has to have registered with HM Revenue & Customs.
While buying from European sellers carries the sting of larger costs, the auction house Catawiki does now endeavour to provide an estimate of those in its lot descriptions.
Unfortunately, many smaller EU-based retailers have decided that the paperwork of collecting UK VAT is not worth the hassle and as a result will no longer supply UK consumers. It has also meant that some British sellers will no longer export to Europe.