Disneyland memorabilia fetches $1.7 million at two-day auction

Original animatronic bird from Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room sells for $153,400 at auction

An extensive private collection of Disneyland memorabilia that went on the auction block over the weekend generated sales of more than $1.7 million by the time the final gavel had come down, with an animatronic bird from the Enchanted Tiki Room fetching the most at $153,400 and a drinking skeleton prop from the Pirates of the Caribbean proving second-most popular with a final bid of $129,800.

Both of those bids (like the other figures here, the amount given is the final "hammer price," which includes fees paid to the auction house) exceeded pre-auction estimates of $20,000 to $30,000 for the tiki bird and $60,000 to $80,000 for the drinking skeleton.

The Story of Disneyland auction, organized by Van Eaton Galleries, took place on Saturday and Sunday with bids submitted either online via icollector.com and in person in a tented parking lot behind the galleries' Sherman Oaks storefront. 

Other pieces of Disneyana fetching top dollar included a 1965 Pirates of the Caribbean concept painting by animator Marc Davis ($70,800), a 1954 concept drawing of Disney's Tomorrowland by Bruce Bushman ($55,460) and two items that each sold for $47,200 -- a Pirates of the Caribbean glass E-ticket sign from 1967 and the 1986 H.R. Russell original artwork from the Captain EO attraction poster.

The impressive collection, which spanned four decades of Disneyland history (with a few pieces from Walt Disney World thrown in for good measure) had been amassed by a single collector who, according to gallery owner Mike Van Eaton, wished to remain anonymous. That collector now starts the week some $1.4 million richer (give or take a few dollars -- the buyer's premium for paying cash was 18%, purchasers using a credit card paid 21%).

Even though the nearly 1,000-piece collection, which included posters, signs, costumes and furniture, has been snapped up by myriad collectors, there is one place the Story of Disneyland collection can be found all in one place -- a 295-page lavishly illustrated collection catalog being sold through the galleries' website. 

For the low-down on high bids, follow me at  @ARTschorn

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