Bidding has closed on Hake’s Americana & Collectibles’ Auction #224, turning in another exceptional performance with a total of $1.9 million in sales. This was the second auction of Hake’s 51st year and marks 11 out of the last 12 auctions to clear $1 million. The auction contained 2,370 lots of historical and pop culture memorabilia, which opened on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 and ended this week on Tuesday through Thursday, July 10-12.
“This auction total went well beyond our expectations, proving once again that the collecting market is thriving and we have the best customers around,” Hake’s President Alex Winter said. “Last year was very successful, marking our best year yet with a combined total of $3.9 million over three auctions. Combined with the last auction, we’re at $4.2 million for 2018 – which is a record for us and we still have one more to go!”
Winter also said that the last three auctions have netted $6 million.
A pair of Frank Frazetta original comic art covers took the top two spots for Auction #224. The Blazing Combat #2 (January 1966) comic original cover art battled to $112,536, surpassing the high-end estimate of $100,000. The mixed media original art depicts a World War II scene of close combat between American and Nazi troops, focused on an American driving a bayonet through a German soldier and a dead soldier in the foreground. Signed by Frazetta, the art is triple matted to 12” x 12-1/4” in a frame measuring 23” x 23-3/4”.
Frazetta’s original cover for Blazing Combat #4 (July 1966), fought to $101,386. It depicts a World War II scene of an American soldier firing on Nazi soldiers as they flee their burning Panzer tank in front of the rubble of a ruined city. Also signed by Frazetta, the 16” x 20” canvas panel board features the original oil painting in an 18-3/4” x 22-3/4” frame.
Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) CGC 5.5, containing the origin and debut of Robin, a/k/a Dick Grayson, reached $58,410. This issue features a story by Bill Finger and Jerry Siegel with cover and art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson and additional art by Fred Guardineer and Jack Lehti.
The Star Wars Collection of Russell Branton continued to draw major bids, for the third auction in a row. A Power of the Force Anakin Skywalker carded Kenner mock-up figure from the 1985 Toy Fair cleared $31,411. The 3-15/16” tall fully painted plastic charcoal colored prototype was sold with the hand-cut proof card with coin and blister for the figure.
Rounding out the top five, Detective Comics #36 (February 1940) CGC 4.5, featuring the origin and first appearance of Hugo Strange, hammered for $28,997. This comic contains stories by Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, and Gardner Fox, with cover and art by Bob Kane, and additional art by Jerry Robinson, Fred Guardineer, and Bernard Baily.
Leading the historical and political memorabilia lots was the Paramount “Give Me Hughes” 1916 portrait button, which brought $23,558, exceeding the $20,000 high-end estimate. The 2-1/4” button depicts a slogan at the top that states “For President and Preparedness” with a portrait of the New York Governor and Republican Presidential candidate flanked by American flags, rifles with bayonets, a cannon, and a snare drum.
One of the significant surprises was an early textile printing of the Declaration of Independence that sold for $20,774, going well above the $1,000 to $5,000 estimate. Circa 1821, it depicts a grapevine border with repeated medallions featuring a beehive and a 13-star scroll. The 27-3/4” x 32-1/4” cotton textile is professionally framed to 35-1/2” x 40”.
All prices include an 18% buyer’s premium. To see all of the closing prices for Auction #224, visit hakes.com.