He's the perhaps the most famous cartoon miser but images of Scrooge McDuck could fetch a pretty penny at auction. Heritage Auctions is selling 10 paintings by Uncle Scrooge creator Carl Barks from the collection of Baltimore radio executive Kerby Confer which could fetch a total of over $700,000.
"It's been common knowledge in the hobby for years that Kerby Confer owned most of the best Barks paintings, which is why they've been off the market so long," said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations of the Comics category at Heritage. The large oil paintings were first sold in the 1970s. Barks died in 2000.
Confer first became interested in the Scottish duck as a young child growing up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Later his career as an owner and operator of radio stations gave him the means to acquire these pieces. Confer is an experienced collector and seller, in 2005 his block of four "Inverted Jenny" stamps sold for $2.9 million. "The joy of owning the Inverted Jenny when you put it in a safe deposit box and it sits there for years, it's like 'whoopee,'" he said in a press release, "but when you walk into a room and you see Scrooge McDuck diving off a diving board into his money and you get a giggle, I just can't describe what the difference is."
The auction takes place on August 6 in Dallas, Texas but internet bidding is already underway. The oil painting shown above "An Embarrassment of Riches" was created in 1983. At 25" x 20" it is the second largest one Barks ever produced. The "money bin" paintings of Uncle Scrooge are the most popular, perhaps because the fantasy of unlimited wealth.This painting was also one of Bark's favorites because he enjoyed the richness of the color and painting the light coming in through the window. This painting was created to be made into a lithograph by Another Rainbow Publishing. Current internet bidding on this painting stands at $28,000.