Original drawing in Indian ink on drawing paper, created by Hergé in 1956.
Size of drawing: H 12.1 cm x W 11.18 cm.
Sheet size: H 12.9 cm x W 12.2 cm
Includes a certificate of authenticity issued by the comité d'authentification des Œuvres Hergé (Authentication Committee for Hergé Works) in 2014 under the reference 2014/48.
This drawing was created by Hergé for the Journal Tintin and published on 2 January 1957. The drawing and supporting message strongly underlines Hergé’s fear of a “War between the peoples” (“Guerre entre les peuples”)
“May 1957 in particular be a year with no war.
Without war between families, and, above all, without war between nations...”
(“Que 1957 soit surtout une année sans guerre.
Sans guerre entre les familles, et, surtout, sans guerre entre les peuples...”)
(see the illustration published in Chronologie d’une Œuvre, by Philippe Goddin, Éditions Moulinsart, page 136 of Volume 6).
What is the origin of this original artwork?
Hergé refers to the then current events, in particular the Suez Crisis and the threat of a new world war. The Suez Canal is a waterway located in Egypt, of key commercial importance on a global scale, as was recently demonstrated when the container ship Ever Given blocked the canal. This area is of such strategic importance that it almost sparked a Third World War. The Suez Crisis began in 1956 when Egyptian President Nasser, with the support of the Soviet Union, seized the canal (then under foreign ownership), triggering an international crisis. By doing so, Egypt controlled two-thirds of the oil supplied to Europe. Israeli, French and British troops landed in Egypt, with the involvement of both the USA and the USSR. The world was on the brink of World War III, perhaps even a nuclear war. Eventually, Egypt emerged victorious and the British, French and Israeli governments withdrew their troops in December 1956 and early 1957.
The tension did not disappear immediately, of course.
This is why Hergé expressed his wish for world peace in January 1957.
In this original drawing of Tintin and Snowy, Hergé’s graphic genius is expressed by combining several symbols of peace, each bearing a universal meaning:
- Snowy carries an olive branch in his mouth, a timeless symbol of world peace.
- Tintin carries a sprig of holly, a mistletoe and two spruce branches, symbols of Christmas and world peace.
- The Dove of Peace sits on Tintin’s shoulder, lending a universal dimension to this drawing, very much like Picasso’s or Magritte’s illustrations of the Doves of Peace.
This lot is complemented with a copy of the rare 1957 greeting card, made the same year as the artwork, known as “Tintin and the Spruce Branch,” exceptionally signed “Hergé et Hergée” in black ink. The design for the greeting card, sent by the author to his friends and family, is somewhat different from the original drawing in this lot: Tintin is holding a genuine spruce branch and Snowy has a bone in his mouth.
Card size (card in 2 parts): H 11.5 cm x W 14.4 cm.
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- Original artwork
- No. of items
- Dessin original "Tintin et l'affaire Suez" + Carte de Vœux 1957 signée Hergé - No Reserve Price
- Year oldest item
- Very fine