January 1, 2019 12:41 pm
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Art Archive & Biplane Filming miniature from King Kong

The Orville Goldner Production Art Archive and Biplane Filming miniature from King Kong. (RKO, 1933) Orville Goldner was a technician on King Kong and through his association with the crew obtained the following pieces which he later used as research material for his book, The Making of King Kong, co-authored with George Turner in 1975. Represented are master scene drawings and storyboards from legendary stop-motion animator Willis O”Brien”s unfinished 1931 feature film, Creation, about modern men encountering dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals on an island. RKO scrapped this film due to spiraling costs and the lack of a cohesive script, but despite producer Merian C. Cooper”s dislike for the film”s story, the special effects in the completed footage for Creation impressed Cooper and inspired him to hire O”Brien to create the effects in Cooper”s 1933 film, King Kong. Some of the dinosaur scenes planned for Creation were even rewritten and inserted into the King Kong script, and most of the dinosaur models O”Brien used in Kong had original been made for Creation. The shipwreck sequence in Kong”s companion production, The Most Dangerous Game, was reportedly salvaged from this movie. Included in the lot are the following pieces: 1. 1. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting a shipwreck on the rocks by Mario Larrinaga, dated 1930. Graphite and watercolor on board. Image measures approx. 18 ¼ in. x 22 in. (overall dimensions are 28 ¼ in. x 25 in.) 2. 2. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting a prehistoric jungle with Brontosaurus and people in the background by “O”B” (Willis O”Brien) and Mario Larrinaga. Graphite and watercolor on board. Image measures 24 in. x 18 ¼ in. (overall dimensions 30 in. x 24 ¾ in.) Lowe left border has notations for “Location No.” and “Scene No.” (both left blank”, and lower right border has a thumbnail sketch of the scene. 3. 3. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting an Arsinoitherium (double-horned dinosaur) in the jungle with people in the background by Mario Larrinaga and “O”B.” (Willis O”Brien). Graphite and watercolor on board. Image measures 22 ¼ in. x 18 ¼ in. (overall dimensions 28 ¼ in. x 24 ¾ in.) 4. 4. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting man being chased by a Triceratops by Ernest Smythe. Graphite and watercolor on board. Image measures 28 in. x 21 ½ in. (no border). The Triceratops sequence is a piece of test footage from Creation that still exists. This artwork was tipped to a larger board (has since been detached) revealing an unsigned pencil drawing depicting a giant sea serpent wrapped around a submarine (sketch is unfinished and exhibits some damage on the perimeter from having the Triceratops art glued on top). 5. 5. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting a Tyrannosaurus Rex in an ancient temple with peopl+B185e entering in the distance by “B.L. Crabbe” (Byron Crabbe). Accomplished in graphite on board. Image measures 22 in. x 18 in. (overall dimensions 25 in. x 21 in.). This key scene is storyboarded in the following listed piece. 6. 6. Storyboard from Creation depicting people entering and escaping the ancient temple while a Tyrannosaurus Rex fights a Stegosaur by Mario Larrinaga and Willis O”Brien, dated 1931. Accomplished in ink and watercolor on board. Measuring 37 in. x 28 in., the storyboard consists of four rows, each containing five panels (20 panels total, each measuring 5 ¾ in. x 5 in.). This highly detailed and colorful piece was part of a traveling exhibition entitled “Hollywood: Illusion and Reality” organized and sponsored by The Smithsonian Institute in 1986 and 1987. 7. 7. Master Scene Drawing from Creation depicting the group caught in river rapids by Mario Larrinaga, dated 1931. Graphite and watercolor on board. Image measures 24 in. x 18 in. (overall dimensions 30 in. x 24 ½ in.). 8. 8. Storyboard from Creation depicting a seaplane escape from the island as volcano erupts (unsigned, but credited to Mario Larrinaga and Willis O”Brien. Accomplished in ink and watercolor on board. Image measures 37 in. x 21 in., the storyboard consists of three rows, each measuring 5 ¾ in. x 5 in). 9. 9. Panoramic depiction of prehistoric jungle from Creation by Mario Larrinaga, dated 1930. Accomplished in charcoal. Image measures 31 in. x 11 3/8 in. (overall dimensions 32 in. x 19 in.). 10. 10. Master Scene Drawing from The Most Dangerous Game depicting a man approaching Zaroff ” s castle by Byron Crabbe. Charcoal on board. Image measures 21 in. x 15 in. (overall dimensions 30 in. x 19 ½ in.). This production was filmed simultaneously utilizing the same jungle set as King Kong. 11. 11. Master Scene Drawing from King Kong depicting Kong battling a giant serpent in cavern with Fay Wray in background by Mario Larrinaga, dated 1932. Graphite on board. Image measures 16 in. x 12 in. (overall dimensions 20 in. x 15 in.). This iconic image was reproduced on the cover of Goldner”s book, The Making of King Kong. 12. 12. Master Scene Drawing from King Kong depicting Kong battling the Tyrannosaurus Rex with Fay Wray in foreground by Byron Crabbe (unsigned). Graphite on board. Image measures 20 in. x 15 in. (overall dimensions 25 ½ in. x 20 in.). This is a key drawing by Crabbe used to illustrate the high drama of this iconic fight sequence and was used in various promotional materials for the film. 13. 13. Original Western Union Telegram wired to King Kong producer Merian C. Cooper, dated December 22, 1931 from Henry Cushier Raven, Curator of Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, N.Y. Cooper had requested the exact dimensions of a large bull gorilla in order to make Kong “the fiercest, most brutal, monstrous damned thing that has ever been seen”. This important telegram is Raven”s response that established the proportions though not the size, of Kong. Also included is a vintage 7 ¼ in. x 9 ½ in. photograph of Raven, plus the cover of Raven”s article published in The Journal of The American Museum of Natural History entitled “Gorilla: The Greatest of All Apes.” 14. 14. Original biplane filming miniature built for the climactic sequence atop the Empire State Building in King Kong. This finely crafted miniature model features a wingspan of 15 in. and a fuselage measuring 13 in. in length. The wings and fuselage are crafted of wood with metal detailing around the engine cowling, machine gun barrel and landing gear. Wire is used to mimic cabling on the craft. The two pilot torsos, replete with helmet and goggles, are hand carved from wood and feature articulating heads and arms. Of note, this miniature features the distinctive circular insignia depicting the Statue of Liberty with superimposed bird figure which is painted on both sides of the fuselage – the same insignia as seen on the live action Curtiss 02C-2 and Navy NY aircraft. The scope and importance of this archive cannot be overstated. In essence, it represents the genesis of the legendary King Kong which would become one of the greatest milestones in film history, advancing the art of filmmaking and spawning countless “beauty and the beast” spinoffs ever since its release in 1933. Interested bidders are strongly recommended to preview this amazing lot in person.

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