One of the Largest and Best Collections of Original Lady and the Tramp Artwork Coming to Auction

Walt Disney’s classic 1955 animated feature Lady and the Tramp has endured as a favorite among cartoon aficionados for being the sweetest and most romantic of all the Disney films up to that date. This is a love story unlike any other, yet it retains the time-honored plotline of the attraction of opposites – Lady is a refined, genteel family pet, a pedigreed Cocker Spaniel, while Tramp is a street-wise mongrel, a stray mutt with a happy-go-lucky disposition. Their love affair is threatened by unusual obstacles like stern Aunt Sarah and her pair of self-centered Siamese cats, Si and Am; by a pack of wild dogs, by the sheer fact that these two animals are from such different environments. Add to that Tramp’s reputation as a heartbreaker extraordinaire (as expressed by Peg, the female Pound Dog voiced by the great Peggy Lee, who sings the memorable song, “He’s a Tramp”). Yet, true love prevails.

Lady and the Tramp He's a Tramp Peg Production Cel with Painted Background (Walt Disney, 1955)Lady and the Tramp “He’s a Tramp” Peg Production Cel with Painted Background (Walt Disney, 1955)

 

It all comes together in the famous “Bella Notte” scene. At Tony’s Italian Restaurant, Tramp is welcomed as a usual back-alley guest the owner has taken a liking to. He’s given the nickname “Butch,” and is regularly fed scraps by Tony and his cook, Joe. Yet on one special moonlit night, “Butch” brings his new girlfriend with him, and the love-struck couple are treated to a deluxe spaghetti and meatball dinner, even getting serenaded by Tony and Joe. Then it happens – the scene that forever sticks in our minds – the dogs “kiss” as they share a strand of spaghetti, and Tramp pushes his meatball over to Lady with his nose. A happier, sweeter scene that this will be hard to find in any animated film, not to mention more than a few live action ones!

Lady and the Tramp Beautiful Night Limited Edition 1 of 1 Cel (Walt Disney, 1997)Lady and the Tramp “Beautiful Night” Limited Edition 1 of 1 Cel (Walt Disney, 1997)

 

Heritage Auctions has developed a reputation for ferreting out the very best original screen-used animation artwork since our first Signature Animation Art Auction in 2013, but we feel we’ve outdone ourselves this time around. Going directly to sources close to the animation business, as well as some of the largest private collections, we’ve uncovered what we feel is the finest-ever selection of original hand-inked, hand-painted production cels; the most beautiful and unusual production setups, and the crème-de la crème drawings from this landmark film. All of Lady and the Tramp’s large cast of colorful characters are well-represented in this sale. For fans of Disney Villains, we have a superb Si and Am production cel setup with a custom hand-painted background. Peg and the Pound Dogs are featured in several choice lots, including a great scene of the dogs in mid-song, as they give their rendition of “There’s No Place Like Home,” featuring Bull, Boris, Pedro, and Toughy howling their way through this standard. Hard-to-find cels and drawings of other dogs like Jock and Dachsie are here as well. There’s original early concept artwork by one of Disney’s most respected artists, Eyvind Earle, including his version of Lady and Tramp’s night in the park, after their dinner at Tony’s.

Eyvind Earle Lady and the Tramp Twilight in the Park ConceptColor Key Painting (Walt Disney, 1955)Eyvind Earle Lady and the Tramp Twilight in the Park Concept/Color Key Painting (Walt Disney, 1955)

 

Speaking of Tony, we’ve not forgotten to add one of the most iconic images of this pivotal character, as he sings and plays his accordion while the pups have their spaghetti. Even Joe is included, as he readies the pasta for this unforgettable meal. If “Bella Notte” is your favorite scene from Lady and the Tramp, we’ve got you covered!

Lady and the Tramp Lady Production Cel with Newborn Baby Background Layout Drawing Master Setup (Walt Disney, 1955)Lady and the Tramp Lady Production Cel with Newborn Baby Background Layout Drawing Master Setup (Walt Disney, 1955)

In Heritage Auctions’ June 15-16 Animation Art Auction there’s a little something for ever taste, and every budget, in this stellar selection of collectible images from this sweet, time-honored animated classic, so be sure to explore all we are offering.  It’s our feeling that this is one of the very best collections of rare one-of-a-kind production cels, animation drawings, storyboards, concept art, and Master/Key Master cel and background setups ever brought to auction!

Posted by David Tosh

David Tosh is a cataloger for the Animation Art department. He is also the author of Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters and editor of the Eisner Award-nominated Walt Kelly’s Fables and Funnies. His most recent book is Jumbo Mumbo.

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