YORK, Pa. — Original comic book art continues to solidify its position alongside fine art in the collectors’ market, with the latest evidence coming on day two of Pop Culture Rarities Auction. Hake on July 26 and 27. Among the highlights of the $2.7 million sale was a selection of six consecutive lots of original concept art created in the late 1970s for a project star wars daily cartoon. Drawn by legendary comic artist Al Williamson (1931-2020) as part of a series of twelve comics, the works never saw publication.
“Six of the artworks were gifted to George Lucas, while the other six were given to Star Wars marketing genius Charles Lippincott (1939-2020),” explained Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions. “For more than forty years, Mr. Lippincott’s six works of art remained in his family until they were entrusted to Hake’s by his widow earlier this year.” Offered consecutively, the six lots sold for $171,505, against expectations that they would reach $100,000 combined. Winter added, “It was a great result, and the shipper was thrilled, which is how we ultimately define ‘success.’
One of the most sought-after original comic book artworks in the sale was the Gil Kane/Dick Giordano seven-panel art for page 27 of Marvel Premiere #15, published in May 1974. This issue saw the debut of the popular Marvel martial artist/superhero Iron Fist. Exceeding its high estimate, the pen work sold for $20,350. Likewise, the original art by Al Plastino for the home page (Page 1) of Superman #184 (DC Comics, February 1966), was bid at $15,055 against an estimate of $5,000-$10,000.
A world auction record for any Mego toy production has been set by a very rare 8-inch Green Goblin action figure from The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes range. Copyrighted by Marvel in 1975 and released by Mego in 1977, it was rated AFA 80+ NM, archival case, and was the only example rated in the AFA Population Report. It was listed at auction with an estimate of $10,000 to $20,000, but after 20 bids, Spider-Man’s nemesis triumphantly landed in record territory with a final price of $76,700.
There was strong interest in political memorabilia, with a number of items smashing their pre-sale estimates. Top-selling buttons included a 5-inch easel-backed actual photo portrait button of John W. Davis, West Virginia’s favorite son and dark horse candidate for the 1924 Democratic presidential nomination. this guy were produced, probably because there was a lack of enthusiasm for Davis’ candidacy, but he won his party’s nomination on the 103rd ballot of the convention and ended up running against Calvin Coolidge, who won the election. The Davis button sold for $37,760 against an estimate of $10,000 to $20,000.
At 5/8 inches in diameter, the smallest James M Cox and Franklin Delano Roosevelt jugate button from the 1920 U.S. Presidential Election – an alleged maker’s sample – fetched $34,785 against an estimate of $10,000-20 $000. An unusual entry with the signatures of two prominent US presidents on a single item, an 1802 framed ship’s passport issued to the Brig Rosanna of New York was signed by President Thomas Jefferson and then-Secretary of State James Madison. Estimated between $2,000 and $5,000, it had a smooth run up to $15,705.
The story of America’s favorite pastime grows richer each time a new memory of the great Negro League is revealed. At its July auction, Hake’s was very proud to present an exceptionally rare original panoramic photograph of the Philadelphia Royal Giants ball club from 1926-27. Representing approximately half of the club’s players, it included three future members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame: Willie Foster, Turkey Stearnes and Bullet Rogan. Text printed below the image stated that the team had won the Los Angeles Winter League Championship from San Jose in March 1927. This gem of a photo, measuring 9 ¾ by 4 inches, exceeded its estimate from $5,000 to $10,000 to go home to $18,210.
The insatiable desire for Star War rarities is always well served at Hake’s auction. Highlights from their July event included a loose 1977 Kenner action figure of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi with a telescopic double saber, AFA 90 NM+/Mint, which sold for $27,260 ($10,000 – $20,000); a set of 3 Kenner special action figures from 1978, AFA 85 NM+, featuring the “bad guys” Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Death Squad Commander, which sold within the estimate for $15,135 ; and Kenner’s 1977 display with “3 new action figures” – Sand People, Death Star Commander and Jawa – which was rated AFA 85 NM+, fetched $13,100 ($2,000-$5,000).
A very rare, high-quality Japanese Batman figure from 1966, standing 4 7/8 inches tall and retaining its original cardboard box and packaging, was only the second of its kind to clear the auction block at Hake’s. In 2014, an unboxed copy in slightly inferior condition sold for $4,520. Hake’s July 27 session more than doubled its high estimate and hit a record high of $10,490. Also worth mentioning is an Ideal The Amazing Spider-Man high quality soft vinyl puppet with a colorful pictorial header. Protected by Marvel Comics Group in 1966, it arrived at Hake’s as new store stock and claimed a record price of $8,630, more than four times its high estimate.
To discuss consignment at Hake’s, contact Kelly McClain, Senior Consignment Manager, by emailing email@example.com or calling toll-free 866-404-9800, ext. 1636. Visit Hake’s online at www.hakes.com.