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At the Earth’s Core – $90,000 (£75,000) at Heritage.

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Some 30 collectors at the Heritage (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) sale in Dallas bid on an oil painting by James Allen St John that in 1922 provided the dust jacket for the first book form edition of the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ tales of the subterranean world of Pellucidar.

Made for At the Earth’s Core, a tale first published in All-Story Weekly in 1914, it realised $90,000 (£75,000).

Executed in watercolours and gouache, the original cover artwork for the winter 1930 issue of Science Wonder Quarterly, Frank R Paul’s illustration for an RH Romans story, The Moon Conquerors, nearly tripled expectations in selling at $70,000 (£58,335).

In this unusual tale the driving force behind a first trip to the moon is not a man but the ‘beautiful genius’, Dorothy Brewster.

Cutting edge

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Foundation’s Edge – $55,000 (£45,835) at Heritage.

Among more recent artworks to make a big impact, at $55,000 (£45,835), was a painting by Michael Whelan used as the cover illustration for a 1983 paperback edition of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge.

Published over 30 years after the original Foundation trilogy, this fourth book is said to have been the result of years of pressure by fans and editors, though Asimov admitted that the fee offered by the publisher was also a contributing factor.