Temperatures weren’t the only thing that was hot this week as Hake’s Auction #227 rose to $1.5 million. Their summer premier event housed over 2,000 lots of pop culture and historical memorabilia, covering a wide range of collecting categories, with plenty of rarities and highly-sought items.
The Empire Strikes Back special rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure prototype hunted bids to the top spot, closing at $112,926. The prototype was on display at the 1979 Toy Fair in New York City but never went into mass production. The rocket-firing toy was pulled from the line, as it was deemed a safety hazard for children, making this an extremely rare piece and highly coveted by collectors.
Another high dollar sale from the Star Wars toy rarities was the Meccano Jawa 12-back (vinyl cape) AFA 80+ that realized $32,450. Made for the French release of Kenner’s 1978 toy line, this piece comes with the vinyl cape which was replaced by a cloth fabric tunic. Not only is it a very rare figure, this is the single highest graded example of only three of this Meccano figure graded by AFA.
Leading the crop of original art was the Dave Cockrum title splash page original art for X-Men Vol. 1 #95 that reached $75,673. Inked by Sam Grainger, the artboard depicts New X-Men characters falling from the sky under the title “Warhunt,” which was later altered for publication. This issue housed the third appearance of the New X-Men and featured the death of Thunderbird.
Original art also included Peanuts daily strip art personalized by Charles Schulz to Louanne Van Pelt, the daughter of a family friend who served as the inspiration and namesake for Lucy Van Pelt. Featuring Charlie Brown and the gang, the 1965 strip sold for $15,930, the 1960 strip for $26,609, and the 1961 strip for $20,703.
The volume was turned up for a Family Dog “A Tribal Stomp” original printing 1966 concert poster that brought $24,780. The first in the Family Dog series, known as FD-1, this important piece advertised a Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.
Topping Wednesday’s political and historical items was the Lincoln 1860 campaign ambrotype by George Clark that sold for $17,394. The brass-framed piece has a portrait of Lincoln that was taken at Cooper Union Institute in New York City on February 27, 1860. The image on this ambrotype shows more of his shoulders and torso than most other surviving examples.
A rare Lincoln & Johnson Civil War era 1864 jugate grand national banner by Currier was another high seller at $9,864. The hand-colored litho with circular portraits titled “Grand National Union Banner for 1864” is still in its original frame.
One of the baseball items that knocked it out of the park was the 1909-11 T206 Old Mill Walter Johnson portrait PSA Good 2. The small 1-7/16” x 2-5/8” card for the hall of famer pitched to $5,412, crushing the estimate of $700 to $1,000.
The political button market thrived with several buttons scoring impressive results. A John, Jackie, and Caroline Kennedy unique 1960 Bastian Brothers manufacturer sample button with hand-trimmed image of the family hammered for $3,634. A highly coveted Taft & Sherman Statue of Liberty jugate button Hake #1 also reached $3,634. “The Winner” bold Roosevelt portrait button Hake #3205 sold for the record price of $3,540, well over the $400 to $700 estimate. Another record was achieved for the rare Roosevelt “V” Victory WWII era caricature button that hit $3,245.
All prices include the 18% buyer’s premium. The full list of prices realized in Auction #227 can be seen on Hake’s website.