This original art piece by Mathieu Lauffray went for an unanticipated final price when the hammer fell at Heritage Auctions; which was more than four times its pre-auction estimated amount. It was consigned from the artist's personal collection, and was the first time this piece had ever been auctioned. Heritage Auctions International Comic Art Director Olivier Delflas had the following to say about the result:
"Mathieu Lauffray's original art was the cover lot for this event, and with good reason," said Olivier Delflas. "It is an extraordinarily powerful image from the cover of one of the comics tied to the most popular film franchise of all time. His passion for this assignment was rewarded through feedback from a number of important sources, including Lucasfilm."
Delflas' assessment as to why Lauffray's original art went for such a high value is likely only part of the story. The other part of the story involves the desirability of the comic that the cover was rendered for. Heir to the Empire #1 is one of the most sought after Star Wars comics in the galaxy because it showcases the first appearance of Grand Admiral Thrawn in comic books, who also happens to be on the cover (see "'Star Wars' Collectible Comic Prices Head to Another Galaxy!"). With the new Ahsoka series, which is likely to feature Thrawn, on its way to Disney+ (see "Disney Drops 10 'Star Wars' Project Announcements at Investor Day"), this original art piece could actually exceed its eye-opening six-figure realized price when it is put up on the block the next time.
Click on Gallery below for full-size images!