The collecting marketing is teeming with desirable material across a multitude of categories that collectors hunt for every day. Then there are the prestigious items, the rarest of the rare that will fuel a frenzy of interest from a passionate fanbase. Hake’s offered items of this caliber in Auction #228, which was propelled to $2.078 million in total sales. Additionally, this auction set house records for most bids placed and most bidders participating, according to Hake’s President Alex Winter.
The Boba Fett J-slot rocket-firing prototype AFA 85+ hunted 15 bids before setting a new world record at $185,850. This marks the second consecutive time that Hake’s set a world record for the Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype, following their sale of an L-slot variety for $112,926, just a few months ago in July 2019. That figure was also the first time a Star Wars toy sale surpassed $100,000 in an auction. Prior to that, Hake’s sold an L-slot for $86,383 in March 2018.
“Another world record price for an action figure is in the books with the result of $185,850 for the J-Slot rocket-firing Boba Fett! Thank you to the consignors and everyone who participated in this auction, we are looking forward to the next auction set to end early 2020,” Hake’s Consignment Manager Kelly McClain said.
The auction contained Star Wars double-telescoping action figures, so named for the second extendable piece in the lightsaber. The Darth Vader 12-back-A AFA 75+ used the Force to claim $62,823. The Ben Kenobi 12-back-A AFA 70 with white footer that denotes it was from early in production used his power to reach $64,900.
The Star Wars #3 original art by Howard Chaykin and inked by Steve Leialoha stirred the Force when 22 bids drove the price to $33,748, nearly triple the high-end estimate. This original art comes from the movie adaptation that Marvel published in 1977, with seven panels that depict Obi-Wan Kenobi training Luke Skywalker with the aid of a Marksman-H combat remote. Luke appears in all but one panel and Obi-Wan is in three panels. Chaykin and Leialoha signed it in black felt tip pen.
Another high seller among the Star Wars lots was The Empire Strikes Back Walrus Man sample card with Bib Fortuna in a white cape AFA 80 that ended at $28,556. This sample has Bib in the white cape instead of the regular tan one, is unpunched, and has a blister bubble that differs from the standard type.
Leading the charge for comics was Captain America Comics #1 CGC Qualified 4.0 that pushed his way to $44,250. This important Golden Age key contains Captain America’s first appearance, as well as the debuts of Bucky and Red Skull. Additionally, it depicts a timely Jack Kirby World War II cover of Cap punching Hitler.
High sellers among the comics included other key debuts and first issues. Showcase #4 CGC 5.0, with the first appearances of the Silver Age Flash/Barry Allen and Iris West raced to $20,768. A bound comic book volume of Batman #1-2, housing the debuts of Joker and Catwoman soared to $22,420. Amazing Spider-Man #1 CGC 6.0, featuring the first J. Jonah Jameson and Chameleon, snagged $17,700.
Among the Disneyana lots was the Mickey Mouse Organ Grinder Hurdy Gurdy boxed wind-up toy that saw a total of $32,450. Dating back to 1930, this tin litho toy is often found missing or has replaced parts, but the example Hake’s sold is 100% complete and all original.
One of the items that really rocked was the Grateful Dead “Skeleton & Roses” FD-26 concert poster that hit the high note of $15,841. Regarded among the most important concert posters, it was designed by revered poster artists Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. A first printing example, it was signed by Mouse, including a sketch of his iconic running mouse.
The top seller within the Americana and historical offerings was the 1927 Eastern Colored League opening day panorama that swung for the fences to $7,528. This is the only known example depicting two of the great Negro League baseball teams, the Philadelphia Hilldales and Newark Cuban Stars.
Once again political buttons and related material turned in strong sales, like the Roosevelt Rough Rider “Equal Rights for All” button Hake #266 that realized $6,425. This is only the third time Hake’s has encountered this highly sought design that depicts a three quarters portrait of Roosevelt. A Douglas and Johnson 1860 jugate Grand National banner by Currier in the original frame hammered for $4,802. The Bryan and Kern seated Miss Liberty jugate button Hake unlisted that was only used during the 1908 campaign brought $4,543. This is only the second time Hake’s has encountered this button.
Several of the historical and political buttons surpassed their preauction estimates. The Taft and Sherman seated Miss Liberty jugate button Hake #4 that was only used during the 1908 campaign rose to $6,879, exceeding the $5,000 high-end estimate. A rarely offered Parker and Davis patriotic jugate button originally produced in 1904 cleared $4,023, more than four times the estimate. The rare 1898 large button from “Brooklyn Eagle Santa Claus Aid Society” reached $3,348, well over the $700-$1,000 estimate. A rare “Socialism for America Vote for Socialist Candidates” button from the early 1900s crushed the $200-$400 estimate when it sold for $2,442.
“Rarely offered golden age cello. presidential campaign buttons remain a hot commodity for political items collectors, notably lot 193 a graphic Parker & Davis 1904 jugate bringing four times it’s high estimate $4,023.80. Also, of note was the pair of 1908 ‘Seated Liberty’ jugates as lots #182 and #241 that together totaled $11,422.40,” Hake’s Americana Specialist Scott Mussell said. “Overall political items remained strong and Hake’s continues to set the pace of the industry. I was also impressed with the strength of unusual Santa buttons topped by lot 527 ‘Brooklyn Eagle Santa Claus Aid Society’ at $3,348.84, a new record price for a Santa button coming in over three times the high estimate.”