A copy of Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), bought by the consignor at a tag sale for $20, gaveled for $53,675 at a two-day auction held February 14-15, 2018, by Philip Weiss Auctions, online and in the firm’s gallery, at 74 Merrick Road, Lynbrook, NY. The comic book, graded VG/VG-, was an early Batman cover that featured the first appearance of Doctor Death.
“It’s a great comic book and scarce at any grade,” said Philip Weiss of the auction’s top lot. “It wasn’t in perfect condition by any means but is still an important addition to any collection. The fact that it was picked up at a tag sale for $20 only added to its cachet. Bidders were not deterred by some loss to the edge to the cover, tanning to the pages and a loose centerfold.”
Bringing nearly as much was a copy of DC Comics Showcase #4 CGC 6.5 (October 1956), the origin and first appearance of Barry Allen as the Flash. It boasts cover art by legendary illustrators Carmine Infantino (Am., 1925-2013) and Joe Kubert (Polish-Am., 1926-2012). It commanded $50,850.
The first day of the auction contained nearly 500 lots of sports memorabilia, comics, comic art, animation, and more. Day 2 was an estate sale, with close to 500 lots of oil paintings, jewelry, bronzes, porcelain, silver, lighting, and more. The top lot from that session was a Tiffany Studios Acorn-style table lamp, 20 inches tall, with a Tiffany-signed base and shade. It sold for $8,750.
About 150 people attended the event in person over the course of the two days, while another 800-1,000 people registered to bid online, via Proxibid.com and Invaluable.com. Thousands of absentee (or left) bids were submitted, and the phones were ringing constantly on auction day. By the time it was over and the last gavel fell on Day 2, the auction had grossed about $750,000.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
A nearly complete set (30 of 31 cards) of the U.S. Caramel Presidents cards from 1932, missing Benjamin Harrison but including the rare William McKinley card, changed hands for $23,100. Also, a large photograph of Babe Ruth, 16-1/2 inches by 20 inches, showing the Yankee great in a classic home run swing, signed, inscribed and dated (February 29, 1948) by the Bambino (“To the Golden Strand, Sincerely, Babe Ruth”), made $18,080. The Golden Strand was a resort hotel in Florida.
An oil on canvas painting by Theodore Robinson (Am., 1852-1896), titled On the Seine, artist signed lower left and measuring 22 inches by 15 inches, realized $7,250. The painting, #192 in Robinson’s catalog, was originally offered at auction in 1924 by Keeler Art Galleries. Robinson was close friends with Claude Monet and is best remembered for his impressionist landscapes.
Returning to the comics, original cover art for DC Comics Showcase #102 (July 1978), featuring Hawkman, 12 inches by 17 inches, pulled directly from the estate of its illustrator Joe Kubert and signed by him, went for $14,250. Also, a copy of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk #1 CGC 1.5, cover art by Jack Kirby, and featuring the origin and first appearance of the Incredible Hulk, sold for $6,900. The comic was also the first appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross, and General Ross.
Weiss Auctions has an auction titled Trains, Trains, and More Trains planned for Wednesday, March 21, in the Lynwood gallery, starting at 10 AM ET. Offered will be early Lionel O gauge; Ives and American Flyer O gauge; Lionel post-war boxed sets; and European O and 1 gauge by Marklin, Bing, Carette, KBN and Hornby with live steam, electric and clockwork units.
Also sold will be Marklin HO trains from the 1960s through the digital age, many LN with boxes; examples of S Gauge, G Gauge and American HO; articulated steam locos, large diesels and diesel sets; and passenger and freight trains by Lionel, MTH, Weaver & Williams. Add to that tons of accessories, stations and signals, and the sale is a must-attend for toy train enthusiasts.
The next day – Thursday, March 22, also in Lynbrook at 10 AM – Weiss Auctions will conduct a sale loaded with over 500 lots of toys in all categories, to include toy soldiers with Britains, Mignot, modern soldiers, and more; and diecasts, including Matchbox, Tootsietoy, and Dinky.
Also featured will be a collection of mint-on-card Star Wars figures; a collection of Steiff animals, tin litho toys, airplane toys from the Sy Merrall Collection; pressed steel, with boxed Tonka, Structo, Buddy L and Smith Miller; and dolls of all kinds, including Barbie and bisque.
Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731 or you can send an email to Philip Weiss at Phil@WeissAuctions.com. For more information about Weiss Auctions and the auctions slated for March 21-22 visit www.WeissAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.