Market Report – November 2018 Heritage and Hake’s Auctions
Welcome back everyone, today we’ll look at results from the November 2018 Heritage Platinum and Hake’s auctions!
Heritage Platinum Auction – 15 November 2018
HA’s November Signature Auction was spread over three days, with this first “Platinum” session containing forty-four of the highest value items. Overall hammer prices were solid, with the majority of pieces falling within FMV range and some going for significantly more. The selection of historically and artistically significant artwork was quite impressive – a few of which we’ll admire below!
Page 35 from major Bronze Age key, Giant-Size X-Men #1, contains images (albeit tiny ones) of Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler from their 1st Appearance issue. Wolverine is also featured, in his second-ever appearance. Given that decent panel pages of Cockrum X-Men art from this period sell in the low 5-figure range, nearly triple that amount may seem absurdly high for a page with sparse character imagery. However, once the historical significance and desirability of the source comic book is taken into account, $30k is a fair sum for this slice of comics history!
Following directly from GSXM #1’s success, the main X-Men title resumed publication of new content with #94, featuring a team comprised largely of the characters introduced in that aforementioned book. The $21.6k price tag for this page 5 from XM #94 is in line with current market values, considering the far stronger page 3 fetched $35.9k in August 2017.
We now return to my beloved Marvel Cosmic wheelhouse! A stupendous splash of Eternity, by the esteemed Colan/Palmer artistic team, naturally appealed greatly to me. However, that masked Doctor Strange face marred the image sufficiently in my eyes, that I wasn’t willing to go to the mat for it. In any event, I never expected the impressive near-$20k final hammer, given that a cover from the same run costs only about 20% more. Is the “Cosmic Beings Tax” increasing due to their ongoing relevance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Arguably the star of the auction, this ASM #18 finale page with a huge two-thirds splash image of our favourite web-crawler netted $288k. Strong, action-packed Ditko ASM panel pages go for around half that amount, so getting one of the largest full-figure renditions of Spidey by his co-creator at this price seems eminently reasonable!
Speaking of Ditko, the only artist to surpass his criticality in the establishment of the Marvel Universe is Jack “King” Kirby – the most influential superhero creator in history. As previously discussed, early-Marvel Kirby artwork is some of the most prized OA out there, and Incredible Hulk pages are particularly rare (only six issues were published). Weaker pages than this #5 one sell for around $20k, and strong panel pages go for above $40k. I was an underbidder here, and feel that the winner snagged this charming page for a bargain!
I’ve seen other “twice-up” size X-Men pin-ups in person, and let me tell you they’re stunning to behold! In my mind these beauties should command more than the $26.4k this #8 one got, especially since a decidedly average Angel panel page from the same issue fetched considerably more than half that price. Granted, (non-furry) Beast may not be the most beloved X-Man; Kirby pin-ups featuring more popular characters such as Cyclops or Jean Grey would likely far surpass the $30k mark.
Here’s one of the most famous and widely reproduced images of America’s Sentinel, powerfully rendered by his co-creator Kirby. Pre-auction price expectations were high for this piece, and whether they were met is debatable. What shouldn’t be in question however, is that the new owner now possesses one of the finest depictions of Captain America in existence!
I dig big, buff characters – their hulking aesthetic dominates the visual real estate and really makes them stand out on the art. Kingpin certainly fits that bill (though perhaps not the “buff” part), and Romita Sr. utilized him to devastating effect on this brutal, yet beautifully composed cover. $288k is about ten times what a Spidey vs Kingpin panel page from this run would cost. I’d say a panel page-to-cover price multiplier of 10x, for one of the most memorable twice-up ASM covers by the consummate Spidey artist, is a fair deal!
Hake’s Auction – 15 November 2018
As usual, Hake’s ran a much smaller auction than HA, but overall item quality was solid and there were several notable offerings.
Ross art showcasing all members of the DC Trinity doesn’t pop up often at auction, so every instance is noteworthy in light of its desirability. The page’s large 12.5”x17.5” image size means that the bust shots of Wonder Woman and Batman, and three-quarter figure of Superman, are sizeable in person. $8.1k for this 2003 JLA page is a robust sum, given that it’s just under half of what a 1994 full-page splash of Marvel’s Fantastic Four battling Galactus and Silver Surfer recently fetched.
At first glance, $11.8k seems a pretty steep price to pay for this page from Harley’s non-continuity origin story. However, Ms. Quinzel’s fans are legion, Timm is a comics superstar, and the weaker Mad Love page 10 did sell for $8.4k in 2015. Still, this result makes last year’s $3.2k sale of that page on which she made her comics-canon debut (admittedly by the less heralded Yvel Guichet), look like even more of a steal!
Jusko’s painted Marvel cover art is hard to come by, let alone one featuring a high-profile star such as the Punisher. Joe’s original art market isn’t cheap either, with newer covers of lower-tier characters such as Dejah Thoris fetching $6.9k. Taking all that into account, $1.9k for this huge (17.5”x25” art board), peak-period (1991) Jusko masterpiece seems downright criminal!
Until next time, happy collecting!