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Widow Says Gallery Owes $3M for Rare Disney Collection

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (CN) - A publisher's widow claims a gallery owes her more than $3 million for her husband's collection of rare Disney artifacts, including works by Carl Barks, the top Donald Duck cartoonist and creator of Scrooge McDuck.

Maryland-based Diamond International Galleries bought the "Bruce Hamilton Collection" for $4.2 million in 2006, but the company stopped making payments more than two years ago, Helen Ann Hamilton claims in Federal Court.

Hamilton's trust sued Diamond International and its owner, Steve Geppi, for breach of contract, demanding just over $3 million.

Bruce Hamilton produced a series of limited edition Carl Barks items in the 1980s and 1990s, including bone china figurines based on Barks' designs. The collection includes nearly 6,700 "Carl Barks signatures," along with vintage comics, books, movie posters and original art, according to court documents.

Steve Calrow, who helped broker the sale, said Barks has a worldwide following as the "No. 1 Donald Duck story writer and artist" and the creator of Scrooge McDuck.

Hamilton had a licensing agreement with Disney to create limited edition lithographs, figurines, books and other items, Calrow said.

The Helen Hamilton Revocable Trust is represented by Kenneth Peace of Braun Siler in Scottsdale.

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