Depicting Snoopy and his early dog house, complete with TV antenna, at top left, the framed ink and grey wash artwork shown above features early versions of the characters created by Charles Schulz for his famous Peanuts comic strips.
Sold for a premium-inclusive $288,000 (£218,180) in Dallas by Heritage Auctions in an animation arts sale that ended on December 11, it was used to advertise a booklet that in 1953-54 was made available to fans who wrote to their local paper, enclosing a self-addressed and stamped envelope.
In an earlier sale, one that concluded on November 19, a bid of $192,000 (£145,455) secured the oldest Peanuts strip that Heritage had ever offered. The famous daily strip had made its debut on October 2, 1950, and the one reproduced above appeared on November 17 that year.
There is no mistaking Snoopy, but who is the boy? It’s Shermy, one of the original Peanuts characters and Snoopy’s original owner.
Heritage’s catalogue notes to this lot revealed that Schulz’s first group of regular cartoons was a weekly series of one-panel jokes called Lil’ Folks in 1947. It was there that he first used the name Charlie Brown, although he applied it in four gags to three different boys as well as one buried in sand.