Philip Weiss Auctions lines up big, quality sales through spring, including train and militaria collections, among others

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Vintage Blue Comet train set, in the original box, to be sold this spring.

There will be no rest for the weary at Philip Weiss Auctions, which concluded a banner year in 2008 and looks forward to continued success through the first half of 2009 and beyond. The firm, with a spacious gallery located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, has been able to fly above the economic storm by offering its customers quality merchandise.

“In terms of overall success, it would be very difficult to duplicate the past year, 2008,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions, "and a lot of that is due to Parts 1-3 of the Newport Collection, in which six world records were realized for stamp prices. That alone accounted for eight million dollars in gross sales.” Part 4 (the final part of the collection) will be sold Jan. 17.

“As for 2009,” Mr. Weiss continued, “we’ve already secured some truly wonderful collections and other consignments, in a wide array of categories, so the outlook appears to be more of the same – happy clients, bidding on quality, fresh-to-the-market merchandise, from high-end estates and consignors. It’s a formula that has worked through good times and bad.”

Following is a sampling of top lots from the sales that were held throughout 2008:

•    An unused 1869 24-cent inverted center U.S. stamp, #120b, certified Fine and one of only four examples known to exist ($1.271 million, a record for a U.S. invert).

•    A 1908 2-cent vertical coil pair of stamps, with original gum and depicting George Washington, the rarest coil pair in U.S. philately, only four pair known ($644,100).

•     A rare T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card, often called the Holy Grail of sports collectibles and one of only a handful ever released into circulation ($791,000).

•    A battery-operated “Mr. Atomic” toy robot, made in Japan by Cragston in the early ‘60s and still in the box ($15,820, from Part 1of the B.L. “Phil” Phillips collection).

•    Original Peanuts comic strip art by the late Charles Schulz was offered at several auctions, grossing $850,000. One Sunday page, from 1962, hammered for $79,100.

•    A second-class passenger list from the doomed ocean liner the Titanic, produced by White Star Line and dated on the cover ($33,900, from the estate of Ken Schultz).

•    A Wagon Train playset, made around 1960 by Marx Toys and based on the popular television show of the time, mint in the box ($15,255, a new world auction record).

•    A recently discovered 14th-century oil on board painting by Italian artist Allegretto Nuzi (1310-1374), framed and depicting figures in a religious setting ($299,450).

•    Original cover art for X-Men #99, executed in pen and ink in 1976 by noted comic illustrator Dave Cockrum and depicting an intergalactic battle scene ($55,370).

Part 4 of The Newport Collection is slated to begin promptly at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17. The sale will comprise the balance of the U.S. stamp collection, to include mint blocks of four of the $1 to $5 Columbians, $1 and $2 Trans-Miss, and the 50-cent to $5 1903 issues. Also offered will be stamps from Germany, the German states and the Cape of Good Hope.

The auction will also feature miscellaneous foreign stamp collections, many estate stamp and coin collections that will feature better U.S. and foreign material, gold and silver coins, Franklin Mint sets, paper currency (to include error notes, dual denominations, Confederate currency and more). Additional consignments were being added at press time.

On Saturday, Jan. 24, bidders will be treated to the lifetime single-owner collection of railroad memorabilia from noted railroad historian and author Allan Sherry. Included will be a selection of vintage railroad lanterns, rail line dining car silverware, thousands of black and white photos, original signs, ephemera, books written by Mr. Sherry, and records he produced.

Jan. 24 will also feature a continuation of the Ken Schultz ocean liner and Hollywood memorabilia collection, plus Part 2 of a local military collection that covers all wars from the American Revolution to World War II. Included will be uniforms, medals and pins, weapons, samurai swords, vintage field gear and the orders book of Confederate General A.P. Hill.

Also scheduled to cross the block on Jan. 24 will be World War II German medals and material (to include a winter hat) and a piece of material from the Wright Brothers’ first plane, with all corresponding documentation. Then, the very next day, Sunday, Jan. 25, beginning at 10 a.m., a large and important estate will be offered, featuring artwork by noted, listed artists.

Some of the artists include Fernando de Szyszlo, Vasily Kafanov, Rafael Tufino, Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, Pablo Picasso, Josef Sigall and others. The antique porcelain and fine china will include Heubach, Moschendorf, Limoges, Meissen, Sevres, Royal Bayreuth, Germany U.S. Zone, Haviland, Royal Dux, Faience, R.C. Bavaria, Staffordshire and more.

On Saturday, March 14, beginning at 10 a.m., items from a Superman and other related superheroes-themed museum will be offered, to include Burt Ward’s “Robin” costume from the 1966 Batman TV series; evil clown costumes and “The Penguin” rocket and head piece from the movie Batman Returns; Kirk Alyn’s “Superman” costume from the ’40s movie serials; Christopher Reeve’s “Superman” costume, wig and cape from the Superman I, II and III movies; Marlon Brando’s black judge’s costume from Superman I; a shirt worn by Christian Bale in Batman Begins; a tie from Val Kilmer as “Bruce Wayne” from Batman Forever; Nicole Kidman’s medical diploma from Batman Forever; wine glasses from the fund raiser scene at Wayne Manor in the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton; George Reeves’ color and black-and-white costumes from The Adventures of Superman ’50s TV show; Reeves’ “Clark Kent” shirt, tie and cuff link sets; John Newton and Christopher Gerrard’s “Superboy” costumes from the TV series Superboy; and Dean Cain’s “Superman” costume, plus a costume worn by his co-star Teri Hatcher, from TV’s Lois & Clark.     

Early spring will also feature a collection of medical and scientific instruments and material, to include early medical books, Red Cross posters, postcards, quack medicine paraphernalia, scientific and calculating instruments, and more; plus two huge single-owner lifetime train collections, to include post-war Lionel, a Blue Comet set and Lionel “State Cars.”

Spring 2009 will also feature rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, to include an unreleased proof of an original “butcher” album cover signed by all four Beatles, plus other signed Beatles pieces; a large single-owner collection of Black Americana, featuring thousands of postcards, trade cards, stereo views and sheet music; and sports items, to include a collection of rare T-205 and T-206 baseball cards.

Recently added to the spring lineup is a large single-owner collection of comic character pocket and wrist watches. Planned for later on in the spring is a large Toy & Doll Sale, which will include animation art, comics and comic art. Also, consignments are being accepted for upcoming antique advertising, rare books, manuscripts and rare posters auctions.

Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at 516-594-0731, or you can e-mail them at phil@prwauctions.com.

To learn more about the company and its calendar of upcoming auctions, and to view color lot images, visit www.prwauctions.com.

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More Images:

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Unreleased proof of an original "butcher" album cover signed by all four Beatles, to be sold this spring.
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Monumental Sevres porcelain urn, 19th century.
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Beautiful pair of Sevres porcelain urns, 19th century.
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The very costume Burt Ward wore as "Robin" on the '60s TV show Batman, to be sold March 14.
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Superman items from a Superman and related superheroes-themed museum, to be sold March 14.

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