(Oceanside, N.Y.) – An original “Peanuts” Sunday page, rendered in pen and ink in May 1953 by the late comic illustrator Charles Schulz, soared to $67,800 at a multi-estate sale held Sept. 13-14 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
“All things considered, this sale was way better than I expected, with lots of surprises along the way,” said Philip Weiss. “Toy trains, comic books and animation art, in particular, did very well.” By the time the last gavel fell, about 1,300 lots had changed hands, in a sale that grossed over $500,000. Around 300 people attended the event in person, while more than 2,500 others registered to bid online.
Phone bids and absentee bids were very active. A bank of five phones rang constantly during the weekend, with all three “Peanuts” strips selling to phone bidders. Mr. Weiss said he fielded about 5,400 absentee bids – 2,600 on his website (prwauctions.com) and 2,800 on eBayLive/LiveAuctioneers.com, which facilitated online bidding. “I didn’t expect this level of activity,” he said. “It was very exciting.”
The Saturday session, Sept. 13, kicked off with about 500 lots of toys, trains and toy soldiers. That was followed by Part 2 of the B.L. “Phil” Philips Collection (mostly battery-ops). Mr. Philips was a collector of rare, collectible robots and space toys. The day also featured a single-owner toy truck collection. The next day was dedicated to comics, comic art, original cover art and sports memorabilia.
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices include a 13% buyer’s premium.
Original cover art for Batman #173 (August 1965), drawn in pen and ink by the noted illustrator Carmine Infantino, realized $38,420. The DC cover measured 14 inches x 19-3/4 inches. The story line was identified in the lower right, “Secret Identities For Sale!” The piece was not without its problems; brown staining, moisture stains and a torn center paste-up kept the final price from being even higher.
An original New York Yankees usher’s uniform, worn at Yankee Stadium in the 1940s or ’50s by the owner (a Mr. J. O’Brien), climbed to $8,190. Included were the original jacket, pants and size 6-3/4 hat, marked “Caleb V. Smith & Son.” The jacket boasted a large blue Yankees patch. The pants still had the original tag, marked “All Bilt Uniforms, Fulton St., New York.” All three pieces had some soiling.
An Ives Railway standard gauge lot – comprising a locomotive, tender (broken) and four cars – rolled away for $7,625. All of the pieces showed overall wear, and the engine and cars appeared to have repainted areas. Also, an original “Alice in Wonderland” model sheet from the classic 1951 Walt Disney film, brought $7,062. The framed sheet showing Alice came with a certificate of authenticity.
A 19th-century presentation rosewood baseball bat, with a silver engraved circular plaque, was a hit at $4,180. The bat, about 34-3/4 inches long, had been presented in 1888 to the John J. Dunn Base Ball Club for winning the Gillooly Association title. Also, a Coca-Cola Vendorlator VMC upright ten-cent vending machine, 57 inches tall, with the original key and in fine operating condition, hit $2,145.
A boxed, battery-operated Bear the Magician toy, made by Yonezawa of Japan, earned $3,390. The toy was tested and all functions came up positive. The only flaw was an original box with some light edge and corner wear. Otherwise, a great collectible toy. Also, a rare Tonka pressed steel toy truck, made in the 1950s as a company piece and never actually retailed in stores, changed hands for $3,160.
Philip Weiss Auctions has a packed schedule from now through the end of the year. September concludes with a huge stamp and coin auction on Saturday, Sept. 27, beginning with Part 3 of The Newport Stamp Collection. Then, a three-day sale slated for October 24-26 will feature toys, dolls, rock ‘n’ roll and Hollywood memorabilia, circus material, rare books and more “Peanuts” comic art.
November, however, may hold the blockbuster event of the year, with a date and time yet to be announced. Highlights will include the Holy Grail of sports cards – a T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card, graded SGC 3 – from the original owner; an original owner collection of about 450 T-206 cards, including a Demmitt error; and a pair of full-sized Egyptian bronzes by Picault, 28 inches tall each.
Also to be offered in November: a letter from Frank Lloyd Wright to the Board of Directors at the Guggenheim Museum, critical of the pending museum’s design; a rare and beautiful Louis Vuitton trunk; bats signed by Babe Ruth; a bat signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig; a 1927 Babe Ruth signed ball; a Yankee signed ball with Ruth and Gehrig; and an archive of letters written by baseball legend Ty Cobb.
Also secured for the November sale: three Schulz “Peanuts” dailies; two “Prince Valiant” pages (one by Foster, the other by Murphy); a Herrimann “Krazy Kat” daily; a Sullivan “Felix the Cat” Sunday page; a 1930 “Popeye” daily by Segar; a hoard of ’50s comics, including “Superman” and “World’s Finest” splash pages; a Jack Kirby “Avengers” page; and a “Famous Funnies” #1 comic book.
Returning for a moment to the September 27 sale, presented will be an outstanding group of scarce and valuable U.S. Plate Block stamps, including #24 1-cent Type V; many 1881 issues to the 10-cent in Plate Blocks of ten and twelve; 90-cent (#229) and 50-cent (#260) Orange Plate Blocks of twelve; a pair of 1907 St. Gaudens $20 gold coins in high relief; and a huge medical stamp collection.
Other featured stamps will include a #277 $2 Madison; Columbians in Plate Blocks of eight to the 50-cent; Trans-Mississippi in Plate Blocks of four to the 50-cent; a Pan Americans complete set; 2-cent Lincoln blue paper; a Pan-Pacific complete set; Washington-Franklins, to include #’s 342, 500, 523, 524, 534B, 547 and 573; Parcel Posts to the 20-cent; a complete set of Duck stamps; and more.
The October 24-26 sale will include a General Pershing jacket; a collection of John Hershey books and signed material; toy soldiers, including Mignot; and a huge collection of Hollywood photos. In December, yet another big sale will be held. Already secured is the ice cream and soda fountain collection of Ken Allisburg, featuring dispensers, store fixtures, trays, signs and other advertising.
Philip Weiss Auctions conducts its sales in a spacious showroom facility, located at #1 Neil Court, In Oceanside, N.Y. (on Long Island). The firm 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 e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more about the firm, click on www.prwauctions.com