The Original Collectors Series: Cape Coral, FL
“My sister, Jutta LeVasseur, was born in Germany, where there is a long tradition of elaborately decorated Easter eggs. She started working at Disney’s Epcot Center in 1982, right when it opened its doors, but was painting eggs long before then. Her art career began when she was discovered by a supervisor, and then she studied under renowned Disney animator Don “Ducky” Williams. She became so popular that Disney set aside a studio nook overlooking the Epcot World Showcase lagoon for her to work in, which was a great honor.
Jutta’s eggs were mostly riffs on Disney characters, but were still based on the old German tradition. Her work was meticulous, and each egg took an enormous amount of time from start to finish, sometimes taking over four weeks to complete. These eggs were and still are highly sought-after by Disney collectors. Jutta succumbed to cancer in July 2012, shortly after celebrating her 30th anniversary at Disney, but her name plate remains on the shelf above her empty desk, in tribute to her memory.
Alongside Jutta’s love for Disney was her love for The Lord of the Rings. Her passion began in high school, when she read the works of J.R.R. Tolkien repeatedly. Later, she collected anything and everything from all three movies: posters, trading cards, signed manuscripts from the actors, jewelry, autographs, books, maps, and more.” – Kirsten Stefanski Spencer, sister of Jutta
Collector's Edition of "The Book of Lost Tales" by J.R.R. Tolkien
"The Lord of the Rings" Table Light-Up Sign
Disney Pin Collection
Collector's Edition of "Tales From The Perilous Realm" by J.R.R. Tolkien
Disney Ambassador Program Pin
Lord of the Rings "Legolas" Ken Doll
"The Lord of The Rings" Eye of Sauron Fossil Wristwatch with Holder
Illustrated Lord of the Rings Book Set
2001 Walt Disney Disneyana "Family Reunion" Convention Figurine
Vintage Donald Duck Disneyana 1995 Figurine
2000 Diseyana Convention Goofy Ceramic
Disney World Easter Parade Program Signed by Animator Don Williams
1996 Christopher Radko Disney's "Tinker Bell" Blown Glass Ornament
35th Anniversary Replica of Original Barbie
"Solo in the Spotlight" Special Reproduction Barbie
Sterling Headdress of Galadriel Noble Collection
1992 "Silken Flame" Porcelain Barbie Doll
Collection of Signed Lord of the Rings Giclee Stills
Limited Edition Epcot 25th Anniversary Pin
Signed First Edition "The Art of The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
Signed First Limited Edition "The Art of The Lion King" Book
2001 Giuseppe Armani "Cruella" Limited Edition Signed Statue
Signed by Don Williams Little Mermaid "Disney Magic" Theme
"Lord of the Rings" Legolas Framed Poster
"Lucy Does a TV Commercial" Barbie Doll
1999 Limited Edition "Vera Wang" Barbie
Limited Edition Spiegel "Shopping Chic" Barbie Doll
1994 "Gone With The Wind" Character Barbie
Legolas Resin Action Figure
"Lord of the Rings" Elven Knife of Strider Display Plaque
Breyer Molding Co. Horse Figure
Breyer Molding Co. Bay Horse Figure
Vintage German Hand-carved Beeswax Plaque
The Lord of the Rings Gandalf's Sword Replica and Scabbard
Hand-Painted Ostrich Egg
Which Disney character or movie was Jutta’s favorite?
She loved all of them, but particularly Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney himself. The evolution of Mickey through time travel fascinated her, and Walt’s motto “If you can dream it, you can achieve it” was always an inspiration to her. If she had to pick a favorite film, probable “Fantasia” and later “The Lion King.”
Jutta worked at Disney for 30 years. What did she like about working there?
Jutta loved the fellowship and gaiety, the interaction with people and the love for her German heritage. Her favorite place at Epcot was the German Pavilion, and before she became a Disney artist, she worked in the wine shop selling German wines. You can see her love for her German ancestry in some of the furniture in the sale, too.
There are several Barbies in the sale—how did she get interested in those?
She received her first Barbie doll as a present when she and my parents migrated from Germany to the United States. She liked keeping up with Barbie’s changing fashions and evolutions.
There are lot of horse figures in the sale. Was she particularly enamored of horses?
We used to live in a rural community on Long Island, and right up the road there was a farmer who had two ponies. Whenever she could, she would go to the farm and the farmer would let her ride a pony home. She’d bring them apples, carrots, and sugar cubes, and developed such a friendship with them.