On Sunday January 10, 2021, the original illustration for Ian Miller’s Showcase version of Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire from Magic’s upcoming set Kaldheim was sold via auction on the MTG Art Market for $27,000. It is Miller’s first Magic artwork in nearly 25 years.

Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire by Ian Miller, pen and ink on watercolor paper, 17.7” x 15.7”

Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire by Ian Miller is a work of pen and ink on watercolor paper measuring just under 16 inches by 18 inches. It was commissioned for the Showcase series of Magic’s newest Norse-inspired set, Kaldheim, marks Miller’s return to the game after a nearly 25 year hiatus. His last published card was for the Weatherlight expansion which released in 1997.

The original artwork was offered via auction on the MTG Art Market on Facebook, with Guy Coulson acting as agent for the artist for the first time. Coulson works with a handful of UK-based artists, and if his name looks familiar, it’s because he handles the majority (if not all) of John Avon’s original art sales and merchandising.

The opening bid ask for Varragoth was $5,000 and was met immediately. From there the illustration climbed to $10,000 where it would remain until the closing hours of the auction. With less than the thirty minutes to go, a $12,000 bid was placed. Inside ten minutes came another, and it was now $13,000. Over the next thirty minutes, two private bidders would fight tooth and nail, until only one buyer remained at a final price realized of $27,000.

I was able to ask Miller how he felt after the auction via email. He said:

“I am needless to say astonished by the outcome. When Guy Coulson suggested I auction it off after its release, I hoped for a reasonable return but never one in this category. In short I’m very jolly.”

“It does turn the world on its head a wee bit, but I suppose there is magic where magic be?”

Fine art giclee prints are now available from the artist’s UK retailer Alison Eldred, and can be found here. They are limited to an edition of fifty. There was also mention in the original auction thread of preliminary work coming available once it’s located by the artist. As of the writing of this piece, it has yet to be unearthed. Stay tuned.

About the Artist:

This is the 25th published Magic card for the legendary fantasy artist Ian Miller, marking his return to the game after more than two decades. His prior card catalog includes the legendary Taniwha, the almighty Brushwagg, and the Ankh of Mishra. He has illustrated for some of the largest names in the fantasy and gaming genre over the last forty years, including Games Workshop, Wizards of the Coast, and innumerable book and magazine publishers. He currently resides in the UK, and even at age 74, shows no signs of slowing down.

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