Amazing Spider-Man #1, CGC-graded 9.6 NM+, could rock the house at Hake’s July 25-26 pop culture auction
Above: one of only five CGC 9.6 copies in existence and one of only three in its grade to have been offered for public sale in the past 10 years. Provenance: John B. Goodrich collection. Estimate: $350,000+
Also Featured: Star Wars Boba Fett prototype action figure & movie prop; original comic book art, Transformers, early sports & political items, Tiffany watches, designer jewelry
YORK, Pa. – Hake’s July 25-26 auction of pop culture memorabilia serves as an exciting virtual showcase of “firsts” – first appearances of comic book superheroes, rare first issues, and first iterations of classic action figures. The 1,930-lot sale encompasses dozens of categories of America’s most sought-after collectibles, from political and sports to Star Wars and Transformers, with bidding now available through Hake’s online platform.
More than 300 CGC-certified comic books will change hands, including examples of nearly all of Marvel’s key Silver Age titles. “There are even multiple copies of some of the most desirable issues, so it’s definitely going to be a ‘collector’s choice’ auction,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions.
Without question, the most buzzworthy comic book in the sale is a CGC 9.6 NM+ copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963) with white pages. It is one of only five CGC 9.6 copies known to exist and one of only three at that grade level to reach the auction marketplace in over a decade. The most recently auctioned ASM #1, which had off-white pages as opposed to the more-desirable white pages seen in Hake’s example, sold in 2022 for $336,000. “Even the most advanced comic book collectors are expected to go after the one in our sale with a vengeance, because a better copy might not come to auction anytime soon – if ever. This is a very rare opportunity for collectors to get their hands on an incredible, very high-grade example of this key book,” Winter said.
CGC has graded a total of 4,688 Spider-Man #1 comics. The one consigned to Hake’s, from the collection of John B Goodrich, was graded very recently and is one of the seven best copies documented in two decades of record-keeping, The issue will be displayed at Comic-Con from July 19 to 23 in San Diego and is expected to draw huge interest from fans.
Another significant book from the Marvel universe, Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) features the first appearance of Spider-Man/Peter Parker and also introduces the agile superhero’s guardians, Aunt May and Uncle Ben. A CGC 7.5 VF copy of the book, also from the John B Goodrich collection, is entered with an auction estimate of $100,000-$200,000.
As original comic book art continues to wield its impact in fine art circles, increasing numbers of collectors are flocking to Hake’s sales to acquire choice pieces. The July 25-26 event is packed with important highlights, such as Neal Adams’ original pen-and-ink art for Page 19 of the DC comic book Green Lantern Vol. 2, #80 (October 1970). Inked by Dick Giordano and Mike Peppe, the page is an action-packed depiction from the “Even An Immortal Can Die!” storyline. Green Lantern’s power ring is in use in all four panels and is viewable in three of them, including an incredible closeup view. The artwork is estimated at $20,000-$35,000.
Comic book, comic art and Star Wars collectors will likely engage in a crossover bidding war for Howard Chaykin’s pen-and-ink original art for Page 26 of the Marvel comic book Star Wars #1 (July 1977), and also from Part I of the Star Wars: A New Hope movie adaptation. The six panels – the last of which is artist-signed – show Luke Skywalker searching for C-3PO and R2-D2 at the Lars Homestead. This offering marks another first for Hake’s, since original art from this debut issue has never before appeared at any auction. It has an opening bid of $10,000.
The Star Wars thrills continue with action figures, led by a 1979 Kenner Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype. AFA-graded 75+ EX+/NM, the unpainted 3.75-inch-tall figure does not have its rocket accessory, but that should not deter fans of early Star Wars toy productions. “It should still hit six figures,” Winter said. Accompanied by a notarized CIB COA, the figure will cross the auction block with an estimate of $100,000-$200,000.
The highest-graded (AFA 85 NM+) example of a 1978 Kenner Star Wars Luke Skywalker 12 Back-C action figure ever to be offered by Hake’s will make its appearance complete with its double-telescoping lightsaber, on an unpunched card with no price sticker. The 3.75-inch figure in its archival case is one of the nicest of any of its type known to exist and is cataloged with a $50,000-$75,000 estimate.
An original movie prop from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope: Destruction of the Death Star ranks among the most iconic and immediately identifiable film props Hake’s has ever handled. Painted polyurethane-foam panel comes from the climactic “Trench Run” sequence in which Luke Skywalker and other Rebel Alliance pilots navigate perilous conditions to ultimately destroy the Death Star. It was created around 1977 by Industrial Light & Magic’s model miniature department and is expected to sell for $35,000-$50,000.
Original photoart (airbrushed/enhanced photographs) from Kenner’s 1990 “Batman: The Dark Knight Collection” will debut at Hake’s in the form of portraits of Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Both of the artworks served as masters for mass-produced printed images on Kenner toy packaging and action figure cardbacks. Each measures 20 by 23 inches and carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.
Hasbro Transformers have really come on strong at Hake’s last few outings. In the July 25-26 sale, a formidable lineup of the multifunctional toys is led by a 1984, Transformers Series 1 Optimus Prime Autobot Commander. It comes with a rare “overprint” box that displays a Trademark logo as opposed to a less-rare Registered logo. It is AFA-graded 80 NM (Error Box / Light Blue Trailer) and is one of only three sealed examples ever to have been graded by the service. Because so few of the toys were produced before the box errors were corrected, the auction example is extremely rare, warranting a pre-sale estimate of $35,000-$50,000.
Obscure, sometimes previously unknown political memorabilia is routinely found in Hake’s sales, and the July event is no exception. A complete set of impossibly rare 1960 campaign buttons known as the “JFK Big Four” – arguably in the same league as the exalted Cox and Roosevelt jugate buttons – will be auctioned as consecutive lots. A 3.5-inch “Democracy For Jack Kennedy” portrait button, considered the jewel of the elusive set, will be offered with a $20,000-$35,000 estimate.
An early treasure from the sale’s fascinating array of sports memorabilia is a 1910 postcard from the sought-after “PC796 Sepia Postcards” series. It depicts Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner shaking hands at the 1909 World Series, which pitted Cobb’s Detroit Tigers against Wagner’s ultimately victorious Pittsburgh Pirates. PSA-graded 2 (MK) Good, it comes to auction with a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.
From a selection of fine jewelry by distinguished designers and watchmakers, a Tiffany & Co. (marked) 18K white gold, 17-jewel ladies pendant watch comes with a 22-inch guilloche enameled station chain. The back of the watch case is elegantly adorned with 1.00 carat of old rose-cut diamonds. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000
Hake’s July 25-26, 2023 auction is now open for bidding. For a free printed catalog or additional information on any item in the sale, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. View the full catalog online and sign up to bid at https://hakes.com/.