Part of a Heritage (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) auction in Dallas, it dates from 1930 and was produced by Hergé (Georges Remi) for the work known in English as Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.
It was also the first of his illustrations to make it onto the front cover of Le Petit Vingtième, the publication in which his work had started to appear in serial form in the previous year.
Heritage had been hoping for rather more, estimating it at $1.3m and upwards.
The saleroom would certainly not have been disappointed by the sum paid for a very different sort of work in its May 15-16 comics and comic art sale.
Used as the cover illustration for a 1969 issue of Eerie magazine and featured on many posters and prints since that time, Egyptian Queen is the work of an acknowledged master of fantasy and science-fiction art, Frank Frazetta (1928-2010).
It was sold in Chicago for $4.32m (£3.4m), far exceeding the record set last May for another of Frazetta’s artworks, Death Dealer 6.
The painting offered this summer, which had remained with Frazetta’s family since its creation, also set a record for any item sold by Heritage.