YORK, Pa. – Hake’s continues to be “the home of million-dollar pop culture sales.” During the July auction it saw $1.1 million in sales. In its second auction outing of 2017, Hake’s two-session online-only event blazed to new record highs in several categories. Political memorabilia and comic art put especially strong performances. A campaign flag for Lincoln and Hamlin in the 1860 election set a new world record. It realized $40,124. All prices quoted include 18% buyer’s premium.
The top five political items offered by Hake’s surpassed estimates by healthy margins. The flag emblazoned “For President, Abraham Lincoln” and “For Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin” set a record. At $40,124 it is the highest price paid at auction for an 1860 name flag.
“Early political textiles have always been coveted by collectors of 19th-century campaign material, with Lincoln flags being at the top of collectors’ want lists,” said Scott Mussell, Americana specialist for Hake’s. “The example we offered was fresh to the market and had remained in Leon Rowe’s collection ever since he obtained it at a Pennsylvania flea market 30 years ago.”
Banners and Campaign Flags Rise High at Hake’s
Historically, on any election day, there’s no prize for second. Yet, there was certainly a nice payoff for the political category’s runner-up on July 11. A John Bell Constitutional Union Party banner rose to an impressive $13,700. It was the first of its kind handled by Hake’s.The hand-painted, double-sided silk banner nearly tripled its high estimate of $5,000.
After the campaign flag, rounding out the top lots were three record-setting sales. A 1912 Debs/Seidel locket-motif jugate button saw $11,682 (world auction record for any Debs button). A 1960 “Vote Straight Republican” Nixon/Lodge jugate button realized $8,112. This became a world auction record for any Nixon button. A large real-photo button promoting “Wilson Day/Dutchess County (N.Y.)” garnered a remarkable $6,046. This set a world auction record for a Wilson button of its particular type. The estimate was $400-$700.
Original Comic Art and Books Surpass Estimates
Not to be outdone by the campaign flag and other political memorabilia, comic books, and comic art
were unstoppable. There were hundreds of CGC and CBCS-graded comic books from which to choose. Lassoing the top spot in the category was a scarce issue of All Star Comics #8. It features the first appearance of Wonder Woman, an icon among DC Comics. Hake’s example of All Star Comics #8 cashed out at $31,925, a record price for a certified copy.
Comic art collectors were presented with a tantalizing opportunity. One-of-a-kind pieces of original art from comic strips, comic books, and other media were on offer. There were 22 lots of Mike Zeck’s art created for Captain America #265. The cover art plus all 21 interior story pages from the January 1982 comic book were auctioned consecutively. They sold to various bidders for a total of $35,325.
Justice Leage Art Claims $12,214
Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez’s original pen-and-ink art for a DC Comics’ 1982 Justice League of America licensing style guide landed at $12,214. It soared past its $5,000-$10,000 estimate
“There was very active bidding for the comic books and comic art in our July sale,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “It continues to be one of the fastest-rising collector categories, in part because everyone can relate to comic books and superheroes. Also, it’s possible to start a collection modestly or to aim for the very top, price wise. Anyone can join the hobby and really enjoy it.”
A 1955 Bill Haley and His Comets “boxing-style” poster advertising a show in Berks County, Pa., crushed its $2,000-$5,000 estimates to take a final bow at $17,785. A 1964 Caravan of Record Stars concert poster featuring the Supremes also sailed past its estimate to make $9,540 – nearly five times its pre-sale estimate.
Photo Postcard Celebrates Iconic Athletes
A 1905 real-photo postcard of the Negro League Cuban X-Giants was especially desirable because it included the depicted lineup Hall of Famer Frank Grant. Early in his career, Grant was a star player in the International League, shortly before Jim Crow restrictions banned African-American players from organized baseball. The only known postcard of any type to include Grant’s image, it was a hit with collectors, who bid it to $13,664.
Mickey Mouse and his Disney pals proved their popularity in the form of vintage toys, banks, and other novelties. Estimated at $1,000-$2,000, a 1930s Atlantic City sand pail with a wonderful wraparound scene of Mickey surfing, Pluto swimming, with an airborne Minnie Mouse grasping balloons, sold for an unheard-of $9,735.
Uncommon Collectible Premiums Draw Bidder Attention
Good things have always come in small packages at Hake’s sales. Premiums issued to consumers either as mail-in offers or as free gifts inside product packaging soared in this sale. A sampling from the July auction includes a set of three Canadian-market Quisp and Quake (cereal) wiggle figures, $4,673; a 1943 Batman mail-in cardboard mask issued in by the Philadelphia Record newspaper, $3,540; and a grouping of 15 circa-1930s or earlier die-cut circus wagons, each advertising Midway Candy Rolls, $4,130. An early 1940s Captain Battle Boys’ Brigade club kit, complete with pinback button, membership card, welcome letter and card listing members’ good-citizenship goals, more than tripled its high estimate at $6,490.
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