The Jim Henson Company will donate an original Maquette from The Dark Crystal for auction at Sotheby’s “An Evening in Lhasa” on December 7, 1999, in New York. The Maquette, which is signed at the base by renowned British fantasy artist Brian Froud, is accompanied be a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and Brian Henson, President and CEO, The Jim Henson Company.
All proceeds from the auction to benefit Tibet House, of which His Holiness The Dalai Lama is Patron. Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Philip Glass will emcee the event. “The Maquette is of one of the characters called “Mystics,”” says Lisa
Henson. “Which is fitting for this evening dedicated to Tibet House.” Cheryl Henson adds, “This is a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire an original art piece from The Jim Henson Company and we are delighted to make it possible through this extraordinary event.”
This Maquette of a Mystic’s head was sculpted personally by Brian Froud as
the “original concept design” for the production of The Dark Crystal in 1978. It is an exceptional example of fantasy art, drawn from a fully realized
fictional world. There is a high level of detail, particularly in the raised,
patterned “skin.” The Mystics, gentle, wise, meditative creatures, are the fruit of the fertile imaginations of puppetry master Jim Henson and fantasy artist Brian Froud. Created for the film, which was released in 1982, they provide a
strong contrast to the evil Skeksis, who do their best to destroy the last
Gelflings. The many-armed Mystics are deeply spiritual and live in harmony
with the other inhabitants of their world.
Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, THE DARK CRYSTAL was not only a
deeply personal project for Mr. Henson but was groundbreaking in a period that
brought other elaborate fantasy films to the screen. It carried the art of
puppetry to a point of such technical sophistication and radical advances that
the word puppetry seemed insufficient to describe how the many characters were
brought into being.
Also being auctioned is an autographed copy of “The World of the Dark
Crystal” (Hardcover) and “The Dark Crystal” VHS. This extraordinary book is one
of the definitive works on the film. Out of print for many years, this book
is much sought after by collectors. It includes extensive artwork of the
characters from the film, and is signed by Brian Froud. This work provides a
thorough background on the richly developed world of the movie, and
includes production sketches and background story for the film not found
anywhere else. Also unavailable for many years, the classic fantasy film has
recently been re-released in a stunning special edition on DVD that no fan of fantasy films should miss.