YORK, Pa. – The race for the White House, with all its hoopla and historical tradition, is now in full
swing. With primaries and upcoming conventions as their inspiration, the team members at America’s original pop culture auction house, Hake’s Americana, has curated an auction grouping of rare and early political memorabilia that’s predicted to win collector approval in all 50 states. Hake’s 2,784-lot online, phone and absentee Auction #217, which closes for bidding March 15-17, features more than 600 lots of investment-grade political antiques and collectibles.
The centerpiece of the political section is Lot 24, a spectacular 1864 Lincoln and Johnson campaign parade flag. The 8 by 11-inch oilcloth canton with 34 stars is the first one Hake’s president, Alex Winter, has ever seen.
“Examples of 1864 Lincoln campaign items are much scarcer than their 1860 counterparts, and the same holds true for flags,” Winter said. “The parade flag in our sale is a rare survivor and a truly important artifact of American campaign history.” Its auction estimate is $10,000-$20,000.
In 1848, Lewis Cass and William Butler were running mates on the national Democratic ticket for president and vice president, respectively. Auction Lot 12 is a silk campaign “coattail” ribbon promoting the candidates. Of the four ribbon variations that were produced, only 10 extant examples of any type are known in the collecting world. The one offered by Hake’s is a new discovery. It bears the Coat of Arms of Pennsylvania and a misspelling in the text that reads: “Our Country Right Or Worng” [sic.]. Any Cass ribbon is considered a great prize. Hake’s predicts a winning bid of $5,000-$10,000.
Yet another special piece is Lot 477, a rare Benjamin Harris Co., button with photographic images of the four 1960 primary candidates – John Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, Adlai Stevenson and Richard Nixon – positioned around a picture of then-sitting president Dwight Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000.
Hake’s launched the political-collectibles bandwagon in 1967. Since then, the company that Ted Hake founded has become the industry leader in not only political and historical memorabilia, but also many other pop-culture categories. “Our goal is to make every Hake’s auction more exciting and entertaining than the last, and the way we do that is by continuing to raise the bar as we seek out superior collections with revered provenance,” Winter said.
In total, the March auction catalog spans 200+ categories of popular collectibles, including popular
music. After achieving estimate-smashing prices on original concert posters in its November 2015 auction, Hake’s will build on that momentum by rolling out one of the finest and most diverse music memorabilia selections it has offered to date. The March sale’s comprehensive array of posters covers jazz, country, blues, R&B, rock and other genres. Among the most coveted are two that publicized Jimi Hendrix concerts.
Lot 2692 is a very rare poster promoting an April 12, 1969 appearance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. A striking image of Hendrix is shown at the center, with Buddy Miles and Soft Machine indicated as opening acts. Lot 2693 is a thin paper poster in psychedelic colors that advertises the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s May 3, 1969 gig at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The event was not without controversy, as Hendrix had been detained before the show by Canadian police after an illicit substance turned up in his luggage during a search. After posting $10,000 bail, Hendrix reported to the venue, much to everyone’s relief, and the show went on. Each of the two posters is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.
More than 100 CGC-graded comic books await bidders. Leading the pack is Lot 1670, Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 9.8 condition. “This comic is significant because it features the first appearance of Marvel Comics’ vigilante character The Punisher, as well as Spider-Man villain The Jackal,” Winter noted. It should land in the $5,000-$10,000 range at auction.
Two show-stopping pieces of original art lead their category. Lot 1704 is Margaret Brundage’s (American, 1900-1976) large color cover art for the June 1937 pulp magazine Weird Tales. Lush and provocative, the depiction of a scantily clad, wide-eyed woman in the arms of a muscular, golden man illustrated the cover story titled “The Carnal God.”
“Margaret Brundage is greatly respected by collectors. She was the first famous woman artist to distinguish herself in the pulp-magazine art field. She created covers for 39 consecutive issues of Weird Tales from June 1933 to August 1936, and in total, produced 66 original-artwork covers for the magazine. She had a remarkable run,” said Winter. The unique original artwork presented by Hake’s is estimated at $50,000-$75,000.
Another premier example of original art is Lot 1726, Bob Brown’s (American, 1915-1977) pen-and-ink cover for the May 1965 issue of Doom Patrol. The electrifying image depicts Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man clutching Elasti-Girl with one tentacle and Negative Man with another. In the foreground, The Chief appears doomed as he exclaims, “They’re trapped – and I can’t help them because the swamp is swallowing up my robot body!” A very rare example of Silver Age Doom Patrol cover art, and possibly the only one of its type from that era ever to come to auction, it is cataloged with a $35,000-$50,000 estimate.
Superman fans couldn’t get enough of the previous two offerings of rarities from the Franco Toscanini estate collection, so Hake’s has responded with a third round of scarce collectibles with Toscanini provenance.
“Franco loved the bold, colorful graphics on Superman toys and advertising items. We’ve chosen some of the best from his collection for our March sale,” said Winter. Among them is Lot 2139, an early 1940s American Toy Works Superman Action Target game in its beautiful original box with a spotlight image of The Man of Steel. Described in Hake’s catalog as “one of the best-designed, rarest and most sought after of all Superman toys,” and noted as the first the company has auctioned in its entire 49+ years of operation, the game is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.
Appealing to both vintage advertising and Superman collectors, Lot 2151 is a large, circa-1941 linen-mounted store display sign touting Superman Bread. “Now on Sale,” reads the shield held up by Superman, with an invitation below it for boys and girls to join the Superman Junior Defense League of America. One of three known examples, its auction estimate is $2,000-$5,000.
Disneyana is another category in which Hake’s has distinguished itself. In the past, the company has auctioned exceptional rarities from the Maurice Sendak, and Doug and Pat Wengel collections, as well as many others. A wealth of desirable Disney pieces can be found in Auction #217, including Lot 1940, a wonderful circa-1938 Chad Valley boxed set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dolls. Each doll is dressed, has a molded and flocked face with expressive painted features, and retains a Disney/Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (movie) string tag. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000.
Another Disney treasure, Lot 2534 is a very rare 1935 Mickey Mouse 1 Cent Bubble Gum display box with amusing images of Mickey blowing a large bubble. Believed to be a sole survivor, the box is entered with a $5,000-$10,000 estimate.
A small but select coins and currency section is led by Lot 808, an 1812 $5 Gold Capped Bust Half
Eagle coin graded MS 63 by PCGS. “A coin of this type is of great interest to collectors, not only because 1812 was the final year this coinage was struck, but also because few American gold coins of any kind were minted that year due to budgetary restraints in funding the War of 1812,” said Winter. The $5 gold coin is estimated at $20,000-$35,000.
In the March auction Hake’s will expand its horological footprint to include fine contemporary timepieces along with antique gold pocket watches, a specialty they have included in past sales. Among the luxury brands from which to choose are Rolex – Lot 861, a circa-1960 Oyster Perpetual ‘Pepsi’ GMT-Master – and Patek Philippe – Lot 863, 18K gold open-face pocket watch. Each of these highlight lots is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.
Hake’s Americana Auction #217 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at www.hakes.com. The first session will close on March 15, 2016, while the second session will conclude on March 17. March 16 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding.
To request a free printed catalog or for information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: email@example.com. Visit the auction catalog online at www.hakes.com.