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    Description

    The Sinking of the Lusitania Signed Production Cel (Winsor McCay, 1918). "The man who fired the shot was decorated by the Kaiser! And yet they tell us to not hate the Hun!" This is the ending passage shown on screen after a mother and child drown in this silent animated film by Winsor McCay. Here is a rare hand-painted production cel of the mortally wounded Lusitania. It can be seen around the 7:27 mark into the film. The Sinking of the Lusitania is one of the earliest dramatic works done in animation. It re-creates the never-photographed 1915 sinking of the British Liner RMS Lusitania, in a 12-minute animated film. William Randolph Hearst downplayed this event as he was opposed to World War I. Winsor McCay used his own money and time to make this film, which highlights the events of a German submarine torpedoing and sinking this ship. A total of 128 Americans died among the 1,198 killed. Mr. McCay was outraged, and this film is one of the first World War Propaganda film efforts. It took 22 months to complete. The Lusitania left New York on May 1, 1915. It was struck by two torpedoes from a German U-39 submarine on May 7 and is reported to have sunk in 15 minutes. This film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2017. The black and white full nitrate cel features a massive image of the ship with smoke, in extraordinary detail. Inked on the cel is "This is one of my original drawings Winsor McCay." Production numbers can be seen on bottom border of cel. Matted with an opening of 9.5" x 7.5", and framed with Plexiglas for an overall size of 15" x 13". This is a museum quality historic piece. It sat in the Geppi Pop Culture Museum in Baltimore, MD for 12 years. One of the rarest pieces of Winsor McCay animation art we have come across. Rare to see the entire ship in cel! Frame is sold as-is, cel is in Very Good condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2018
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
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    I have done a preliminary analysis and the total of the hammer prices was $67,550. With BP, the final figure was $80,722.25. That is against the total insurance value of $34,785 or 2.32 x ‘pre-auction estimate’. Incredible, really, so a big thanks.
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    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
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