Posted by D_Martin on December 30, 2010 at 11:12 PM CST
When it comes to high end collectibles, the modern interpretation of an artist proof is quite a bit different from a regular world artist proof. Before high end collectibles were even something we considered (since they didn't really exist before the late Nineties), the term referred to a print or an early cast created by or for an artist while he or she was still defining their print work or moulding process. This was done to insure that the final version of their work would meet their standards and serve as a prefect reflection of their creative vision. The intent was never to sell them, as they weren't the final vision realized to perfection.

These days an artist proof is usually a fully produced item made just before, during, or right after a production run reaches its edition size. Many companies use these pieces outside of their numbered production run for promotional purposes, while other companies will create a secondary numbering system and produce a series of "artists proofs" to sell at a premium. While the former seldom make it out to the collecting community and are sought after, the latter is a simple case of a company misleading their customers into paying more for a simple little sticker applied to the bottom of a product otherwise identical to the regular numbered edition. While it still isn't a frowned upon practice and some companies continue to do it, one can guess that the more the collecting community knows on this topic the more it will alienate the customers of the offending manufacturers.

The piece spotlighted in this edition of eBay Today is a little of the former, but mostly it is something that stands in a very rare third catagory...

The production version of the 19 1/2" 38 pound Chewbacca Bronze Statue was offered by Dark Horse Comics in the summer of 2000. The piece was designed by sculptor A. Wasil, and it saw a very limited production run of only 50 pieces. At the price of $3,600 each, the dynamic piece sold through long ago.

What makes this piece stand out is the Artist Proof identifier on the statue. Instead of a printed sticker or a hand written statement on the base, the five known Artist Proofs of the Bronze Chewbacca statue had the identifier etched into the base along with the Artist's name, and as we all know, in the world of Star Wars collecting, that makes it a totally unique piece... All five Artist Proofs are one of a kind.

I wish we could show you all five, but at least you can check out #2/5 by clicking the link below.


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