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465   Walt Disney  $500 $3384 $3723 16 You must login to place a bid.
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#465 - Walt Disney Estimate: $6,500+

Superlative early Disney portrait inscribed to his trusted attorney

Exquisite vintage glossy 7 x 9.25 photo of a youthful Walt Disney at his desk with drawings of Mickey Mouse spread out in front of him, wonderfully signed and inscribed in fountain pen to his studio's chief lawyer, "To my good friend Gunther Lessing, My best wishes always, Walt Disney.” Framed to an overall size of 7.75 x 9.75. In fine condition.

Accompanied by a neat sketch of Mickey Mouse spitting, accomplished in ink on an off-white 6.25 x 6.25 sheet by an unknown artist, captioned, "This is the proper position assumed when giving Bronx Cheer—further instructions may be obtained from the studios of Madame Dofy," and signed and inscribed below, "Gunther R. Lessing, Affectionately, Dofy, 8-27-34." Mounted and framed to an overall size of 10.75 x 11.

Both originate from the estate of Gunther R. Lessing, Disney's early and most important legal advisor. After being hired to represent Walt and Roy Disney in a 1929 case against predatory distributor Pat Powers, Lessing would remain an integral part of the studio's legal department for 35 years, rising to vice president and general counsel of Walt Disney Productions. One of his lasting early legal achievements was turning the 'Walt Disney' name into a trademark upon which the now-famous brand could be built. Between the simply marvelous early image and its significant association to a loyal member of his executive team, this may be the best signed Walt Disney portrait we've ever offered.

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