Walt Disney was without a doubt the greatest showman who ever lived, and his grand dream of a sparkling amusement park where families could gather was realized after most financiers and investors scoffed his brother Roy out of their offices. Disneyland was finally realized via the last-minute $500,000 help of the ABC television network when Walt committed to a live broadcast of the park’s opening on July 17, 1955, and a weekly television show hosted by Disney himself.
To help sell the project, Disney created a hand-painted map of the fabled theme park with artist Herb Ryman to assist in landing the initial financing to start building the Happiest Place On Earth. Van Eaton Galleries announced last week that the original copy of this legendary map sold to an anonymous Disney connoisseur and astute collector for $708,000.
Van Eaton Galleries' “Walt Disney’s Disneyland” auction was held on June 25, and the collection included a historic assortment of nearly 1,000 Disneyland artifacts dating from 1953 to the present. The catalog of these rare artifacts included original props, wardrobe, ride vehicles, artworks, photos, merchandise and souvenirs. Walt Disney’s first-ever presentation map of Disneyland was the gilded prize of the auction, and hopefully this unknown Disney enthusiast with deep pockets offers the historic document up for public display or traveling exhibition at some point in the future. Early pre-sale estimates set the final bid at closer to $1,000,000, so at $700K, some would consider that a steal!
“That an artifact like this, which is so deeply rooted in the creation of Disneyland, still exists today is astonishing,” said Mike Van Eaton, co-owner of Van Eaton Galleries.
(Via Geek Tyrant)