YORK, Pa. – Hake’s Americana has had its finger on the pulse of pop culture since 1967, when it innovatively merged the auction format with nostalgic and historically important memorabilia. For nearly half a century, the Hake’s team has continuously monitored the market and brought the best
of pop-culture collectibles to buyers through their online, phone and absentee sales. Their ability to access top-notch consignments from long-held private collections comes into focus once again in Hake’s Auction #218, which closes for bidding July 12-14.
More than 2,800 lots are included in the sale, with 200+ categories represented. The main spotlight will shine on the selection of more than 500 political items, a specialty that has been a hallmark of Hake’s events since the company’s beginning. The centerpiece of the grouping is Lot 15, an 11 by 17-inch 1860 campaign parade flag promoting the presidential and vice-presidential candidates “Abram” Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin.
“Abraham Lincoln parade flags consistently rank among the most coveted items by political memorabilia collectors, and an example like the Lincoln/Hamlin flag entered in our July sale would be considered a milestone acquisition for even the most advanced collection,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “In our March auction, a very rare 1864 Lincoln and Johnson parade flag sold for nearly $24,000. The 1860 flag differs in that it is larger and from an earlier campaign. It’s in beautiful condition – truly deserving of the description ‘investment grade’ – and we expect it to sell in the $20,000-$35,000 range.”
A special section under the political heading is devoted to the Civil Rights Movement, with a timeline that starts with an early chromolithograph featuring Frederick Douglass (Lot 428, est. $2,000-$3,000) to items from the heart of the turbulent 1960s, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Panther Party made headlines.
“Black Panther Party posters are in great demand. Of the grouping in our auction, one to watch is Lot 470, a poster by Emory Douglas depicting martyred leader Fred Hampton,” said Winter. The striking image of Hampton is accompanied by his quote “You Can Jail A Revolutionary, But You Can’t Jail The Revolution.” Estimate: $2,000-$5,000. Winter noted: “Right is a great time to lock up rare items of this type when they’re fresh to the market. There can be no doubt that these kinds of opportunities eventually will end.”
Americans have been absorbed by politics for many months, now, but another topic will compete for
the nation’s attention in August, when the Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro. In recognition of the Summer Games founded in 1896, Hake’s will auction a silver medal from the historically significant 1936 Olympics held in Nazi-era Berlin. Entered as Lot 782, the medal stands out among others auctioned in recent years because it is an actual winner’s medal. “Participation medals are far more accessible to collectors than actual winners’ medals, like this one. The fact that it’s a winner’s medal from the 1936 Olympics, with its political controversy and Jesse Owens’ dominant performance, makes it even more desirable.” The estimate is $5,000-$10,000.
One of the most anticipated sections of the auction is the out-of-this-world assemblage of robot and space toys. The selection contains extraterrestrial toys from the 1950s to 1980s, including wind-ups and battery ops of tin, die-cast and other metals. Along with classic robots of the postwar production period, there are popular Japanese toys depicting fantasy characters of animated and live-action TV shows.
Classic robot highlights include: Lot 1185, a boxed 1957 Asakusa Thunder Robot, $5,000-$10,000; Lot 1186, a coveted Masudaya “Gang of Five” Target Robot with accessory dart gun and darts, $5,000-$10,000; and Lot 1187, a superb 1967 Yonezawa Conehead Robot with an extraordinarily rare original box, $5,000-$20,000. A leader in the ultra-collectible Japanese superhero section is Lot 2396, a boxed Bandai America Godaikin Tetsukin 28 (a k a “Gigantor”), estimated at $2,000-$5,000.
Another comprehensive, highly pedigreed collection consists of toys, advertising and other elusive memorabilia pertaining to the popular 1960s TV spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. This quality collection containing many impossible-to-find items was astutely amassed over many years by Tesco Vee, singer for the groundbreaking D.C./Michigan punk rock band The Meatmen. Two standouts from the collection are Lot 2646, a large and impressive tri-fold cardboard display promoting the 1966 Marx Man From U.N.C.L.E. Counterspy Outfit, $2,000-$5,000; and Lot 2647, a colorfully boxed, cap-firing THRUSH multi-purpose weapon manufactured by Ideal and copyrighted by MGM in 1966. In near-mint condition and from old store stock, it is expected to target a winning bid of $2,000-$5,000.
This calls for a quick trip down memory lane, with the opening from the first season of a ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E’ episode:
More than 3,000 comic books await bidders, and with that much choice available, collectors are sure to find issues that have eluded them in the past. More than 300 are certified, and there are many first issues as well as issues with key first appearances of superheroes and villains. The comics are worthy of careful scrutiny, as there are some real gems in the mix, such as Lot 1432, an Amazing Spider-Man #1 estimated at $5,000-$10,000.
The collection is strong on Silver Age and Modern Age publications. The consignor acquired many of the comic books straight off the rack in the 1970s. Later, he went back and filled in the blanks with The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Avengers and other must-haves. “Collectors will be excited by the breadth of this collection,” Winter said.
The auction also includes one of the finest sections of non-sports cards and related material ever to be offered by Hake’s. There are 100 lots of cards, sets, wrappers, boxes, promotional items and test issues. Many rarities are waiting to be discovered, like Lot 2500, a display box for The Lone Ranger 1-Cent Gum, $2,000-$5,000; and Lot 2551, a vibrant display box for The Munsters trading cards that contains its complete supply of 24 unopened wax packs. Issued in 1964, this very desirable full box with a portrait of the Munster family on its lid carries an auction estimate of $2,000-$5,000.
Every Hake’s auction contains outstanding original cartoon or pulp magazine art. Auction 218 answers the call for rare artworks with Lot 1729, a 30½ by 42-inch Ken Kelly oil painting of Conan the Barbarian as seen on the cover of the 1987 paperback titled Conan the Champion. Kelly was a protégé of the legendary Frank Frazetta, and painted the artwork in 1986 in the iconic style of his mentor. The depiction of Conan on a rearing horse is compelling and richly colorful. It is expected to sell for $5,000-$10,000.
Hake’s Americana Auction #218 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at www.hakes.com. The first session will close on July 12, 2016, while the second session will conclude on July 14. July 13 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the auction catalog online at www.hakes.com.