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Press Release - August 7, 2019
Captain America #1 Soars to $915K, Lifts Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Above $9.3 MillionTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 brings highest price ever for 1980s comic book
The sale boasted near-perfect sell-through rates of 99.8% by value and 99.7% by lots sold.
Nearly three dozen collectors made bids for Captain America Comics #1 San Francisco Pedigree (Timely, 1941) CGC NM 9.4 Off-white to white pages until it sold for $915,000, $165,000 over its pre-auction estimate. The book comes from the storied San Francisco pedigree collection, a trove many Golden Age collectors rank among the very best, arguably behind only the Edgar Church/Mile High collection.
"We thought this Captain America #1 was one of the most desirable comics we ever had offered," Heritage Auctions Vice President Barry Sandoval said, "and the bidders obviously agreed."
Frank Frazetta Creepy #17 Cover Painting Original Art (Warren, 1967) realized $264,000, continued the trend of eager interest for work by the artist. Collectors have clamored for works by Frazetta, whose 1969 masterpiece, Egyptian Queen, set the record for the most ever paid for a work by the artist when it sold for $5.4 million. Frazetta's work was in such high demand that he once had a deal with Warren Publications under which stories would be written only after he proved cover images.
Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages sparked bids from more than two dozen collectors before it brought a final price of $204,000. Ranked No. 4 on the current Overstreet "Top 100 Golden Age Comics" list, the issue is a staple among serious collectors. The issue is the first in the title and features the first appearances by the Joker and the Cat (Catwoman), Batman made his debut appearance a year earlier in Detective Comics #27.
Carl Barks Rug Riders' Last Flight Painting CB-OIL 97 Original Art (1975) drew $156,000, topping its pre-auction estimate (of $100,000) by more than 50%. Based on the cover for Uncle Scrooge #50 (Gold Key, 1964), it appeared in Graphic Gallery #10 and Barks's book: The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck. The image is signed by the artist in the lower left corner.
Bringing the same $156,000 price was Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941) CGC FN- 5.5 Cream to off-white pages, another lot that inspired more than two dozen bidders. The No. 8 issue on Overstreet's "Top 100 Golden Age Comics" list, the issue marks the first appearance of Captain America. Featuring what is arguably the most famous Jack Kirby cover, on which Captain America delivers a powerful blow to the chin of Adolf Hitler, the issue also features the first appearance of Cap's sidekick, Bucky, and his arch-enemy, the super-villain Red Skull.
Another highlight in the auction was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Mirage Studios, 1984) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages, which sold for $90,000, the highest price ever paid for a comic book from the 1980s; the next three highest recorded prices were also for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 9.8 books – each of which was sold through Heritage Auctions. This is one of the highest-graded copies from the first printing of the popular issue, which features the origin and first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter and Shredder. The initial run had an initial print run of just 3,000 copies, making high-grade copies like this one extremely rare; this copy shares the highest grade assigned to this issue by CGC.
Other top lots included, but were not limited to:
Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel, 1961) CGC VF+ 8.5 Off-white pages $126,000
Sal Buscema The Defenders #9 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1973) $102,000
Don Heck and George Roussos The Avengers Annual #1 Internal Splash Page Original Art (Marvel, 1967) $96,000
Sal Buscema Captain America #137 Cover Spider-Man and Falcon Original Art (Marvel, 1971) $96,000
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, and Roy Krenkel Weird Science #19 Complete 7-Page Story "The One Who Waits" Original Art (EC, 1953) $90,000
Barry Smith Conan the Barbarian #11 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1971) $90,000
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
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Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
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