A pair of original Charles Schulz “Peanuts” comic strips ??" one daily, one Sunday ??" sold for a combined $106,270, and original cover art by Dave Cockrum for the “X-Men” #99 comic book hit $55,370 at a multi-estate sale held April 26 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The Dave Cockrum piece was the top lot in a sale that saw about 750 items change hands and grossed $500,000.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but even in a sour economy if you offer top-quality, fresh-to-the-market merchandise, then people will come to your auctions and people will spend their money,” said Philip Weiss, “and that's exactly what happened at this sale. Attendance was somewhat light at right around 50 in-house bidders, but Internet, phone and absentee bidding was very strong.”
Mr. Weiss said the online bidding component (via eBayLive and LiveAuctioneers.com) was particularly active, with about 4,000 registered Internet bidders comprising the vast bulk of the nearly 6,000 total bids submitted during the sale. “But the phones were ringing all day, too, for almost every lot,” he added, “and the absentee bids included 1,500 'left' bids. It was just a great day overall.”
The “Peanuts” strips sold for similar amounts, even though the Sunday was 13 panels and the daily was only four. But the daily (signed by Schulz and dated 6-27-57) featured an early Snoopy in all four panels, plus Charlie Brown in the last panel. It sold for $52,110. The Sunday strip, dated 4-8-62, had a great baseball gag featuring Linus and Snoopy. After spirited bidding, it went for $54,160.
The Cockrum “X-Men” cover art was one of the noted illustrator's finest efforts, a pen-and-ink drawing of an intergalactic battle scene in outer space. The piece ??" measuring 11-1/2” x 17-1/2” -- was signed in the lower right by the artist. It was executed in 1976. Also, a lot of 21 original Spiderman sketches by John Romita, all from the 1960s and accompanied by a trace splash page, realized $27,120.
Following are additional sale highlights. All prices quoted include a 13% buyer's premium.
Comic books were a hot commodity. A copy of “Journey Into Mystery” (#83), graded 6.5 and introducing the Mighty Thor (dated 8-13-62), hammered for $3,730; a giant-size (68-page) copy of “X-Men” (#1), graded 9.6 and featuring all the X-Men superheroes on the cover (Summer 1975), made $2,710; and a rare copy of “Sub-Mariner” (#32) from July 1949, graded 7.5, changed hands for $4,065.
A fabulous Apollo 11 Flight Plan, personally signed on the cover by 21 NASA astronauts for “Arlene” (who worked as a NASA hostess and entertained astronauts and their families in her home near Houston in the 1960s) blasted off for $8,190. The Flight Plan, housed in a three-ring binder, had the signatures of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins (all of Apollo 11) and many others.
Animation art was led by a marvelous production cel from the classic 1930s Disney movie “Snow White,” depicting a wide-eyed Snow White and a rabbit on a Courvoisier background. The cel, framed and measuring 5” x 6-1/4”, achieved $4,802. Also, a complete, unused ticket to the Beatles' concert at Shea Stadium in New York, dated August 23, 1966 (face value: $5.75), gaveled for $1,648.
Philip Weiss Auctions' next big sale will be held on Saturday, May 17. It will be Part 2 of The Newport Stamp Collection. Part 1 made headlines when, on February 9, an unused 1869 24-cent inverted center U.S. stamp, #120b, certified Fine and one of only four unused examples know to exist, soared to $1.271 million. It was a new world record for a U.S. invert (the previous record: $825,000).
Part 2 of the sale promises to be just as enticing for collectors. Highlights will include U.S. singles and great rarities such as August issues #55-62; Continental and American special printings, complete #'s 167-177, 180-181, 192-204, 205C, 211D and J8-J14; 1857 and 1861 reprints, complete #'s 233A and 314A mint pair (Ex. Cromwell and Engle, one of only six such pairs known to exist). Also:
316 line pair; 318 pair; 321 pair; 322 pair; 356 line pair; an Orangeburg Coil used single; 4C and 8C blue papers; 485 double error; 544 used; 594 mint; 596 pre-cancelled; O94; PR47; R157 and R158; Hawaii #12; and many more. To learn more about the second component of this fabulous collection, click on the Philip Weiss Auctions website as sale day approaches: www.prwauctions.com.
Also on May 17, 200 other stamp, coin and paper money lots will also be sold from various collections, to include: The Chesapeake Collection featuring 50+ Scott specialty albums loaded with foreign mint sets and singles; British Colonies; four stamp collections now being broken down; and the “Silver Salt Cellar” recovered from the treasure ship Atocha (appraised value: more than $300,000).
The following day, Sunday, May 18, another blockbuster sale will be held, featuring about 200 lots of Civil War photos, ribbons, letters and many identified carte de vistes (CDVs); a collection of Jack London first-edition books and other important first-editions; 150-200 lots of better Americana, literature and illustrated books; three Charles Schulz “Peanuts” strips; and two Kentucky Long Rifles.
May 18 will also feature sports memorabilia, to include a signed Babe Ruth photograph; examples of the rare and coveted T-206 baseball cards; and more. Also slated to cross the block will be a collection of rare Russian propaganda posters from the 1930s; movie posters; post cards; and more. Check the website for more lot listings as the May dates approach. Click on www.prwauctions.com.
Looking a little further into the year, Philip Weiss Auctions also has sales planned for June and September (times and dates to be announced). Already secured for June is a beautiful, fresh-to-the-market oil-on-canvas painting by the Spanish artist Emilio Grau Sala (1911-1975). The September auction will feature a military collection that, according to Mr. Weiss, “must be seen to be believed.”
Philip Weiss Auctions conducts its sales in a spacious showroom facility, located at #1 Neil Court, In Oceanside, N.Y. (on Long Island). The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (516) 594-0731, or e-mail them at email@example.com. To learn more about the firm, click on www.prwauctions.com.
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"Peanuts" strips, "X-Men" cover top Philip Weiss sale
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