Archive for April, 2010

Best of the West Auctions

April 29th, 2010 by

Third Auction at our NEW LOCATION!

What could be more fum this Saturday than attending our spring art and estate auction? Whether you are attending online, or come on down to the Masonic Center, you will enjoy the array of regional art and a few estate items we will start the auction off with.

There are four ways to accommodate your bidding needs; In addition to in-person participation, we offer on-line bidding, absentee bidding, and phone bidding!

Once again we are at our NEW LOCATION!

When: Saturday May 1, 2010 The Auction starts at noon; Preview Friday afternoon 3pm to 7pm and Saturday morning starting at 9am
Where: The Masonic Lodge
1150 Panorama Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904

Exit I 25 at Fillmore and go west about 1.7 miles. Large beautiful building located on your left. Plenty of close in parking!


Entire catalog available to print or view is located on-line at:

Or visit our website at:

Don’t forget we are at our NEW LOCATION ….. NOT the Norris Penrose event center!

Full color catalogs available. Online, absentee, and phone bidding is available.

Refreshments on site.

See you there or online!

Action Comics #1-24 bound volumes – Superman’s first two years – expected to bring $200,000+ in Dallas Auction

April 29th, 2010 by

Action #1 Court Copy, Jack Kirby’s bound Captain America Volume, 9.4 Zap Comix #1, all part of Heritage Auctions May 20-21 Comics event

Dallas, TX – Two bound volumes of Action Comics #1-24, the first two full years of the Superman saga that would change the world of Pop Culture forever, will anchor a deep lineup in the May 20-21 Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction at Heritage Auctions, in-person in Dallas and live online at The volumes are estimated at $200,000+.

“This has the potential to be one of the highest-dollar lots we’ve ever sold,” said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “They’re surely the most desirable bound comic volumes in existence. Even more, these stand out not only because of which comics are inside, but because of their amazing condition. This is the comics equivalent of the Gutenberg Bible.”

To the seasoned collector the condition of these comics will come as a major surprise: the earliest and most valuable issues (#1-12) have consistent page quality right to the edges, along with superbly preserved covers that match or exceed the best individual copies of the same issues that Heritage’s World Class experts have seen to date.

“Consider the challenge of trying to assemble this run by pursuing individual copies with comparable eye appeal,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comic Auctions Operations at Heritage. “Even if the expense were no factor, issues such as 2, 5, 8, 10, and 13 are almost never offered for sale, and holding out for bright copies, with excellent eye appeal, is simply unrealistic.”

Another very significant copy of Superman’s first comic, the famed and intriguing Action Comics #1 Court Copy, follows close behind the top lot, and brings an absorbing history with it. It is estimated at $150,000+.

This comic is designated “the Court Copy” because it was used as evidence in DC Comic’s 1939 lawsuit against Fox and its character Wonder Man, claiming copyright infringement. When all was said and done, the judge did indeed issue an injunction “forbidding the further publication” of Wonder Man.

“This was a significant moment indeed, as future court battles were looming,” said Jaster, “above all, the one against Fawcett and the hugely popular and bestselling Captain Marvel. This lawsuit against Fox was also notable for underscoring the fact that there was money to be made publishing comics, and not just with established characters, but also with a new creation such as Superman, then in print less than a year.”

One of the most special lots in the entire auction is Jack Kirby’s own Bound Volume of Captain America #1 and #3-10, with great original drawings in it by The King himself. Gracing the front and endpapers of this volume are four outstanding drawings featuring Steve Rogers; Cap, Bucky, and the Red Skull; Cap and Hitler; and Bucky, respectively. The Cap and Hitler drawing was used as the cover of The Jack Kirby Collector #12.

“No comic fan could fail to love seeing art by the King at the peak of his powers, together with key early published work by the Simon and Kirby team,” said Sandoval. “Combine that with the fact that Kirby obviously owned the book at one time, and you’ve got one of the more fascinating lots in the auction.”

The Detective Comics series is, of course, most famous for its 27th issue, the first appearance of “The Batman,” but the earlier issues are highly prized by advanced collectors. Those same collectors will have a rare chance in this auction to bid on and possibly acquire the first two issues of this famed series, Detective Comics #1 and Detective Comics #2, both unrestored and both estimated at $25,000+.

Heritage set the record price for an Underground comic in 2009 when it sold a CGC 9.2 Zap Comix #1 for more than $13,000, a record that is almost certain to fall when Heritage offers a CGC NM 9.4 graded Zap Comix #1, First Printing – Plymell Edition (Apex Novelties, 1967). It is estimated at $20,000+.

“The record price for this historic Underground will be shattered again, as this is the nicest copy Heritage has had the pleasure of seeing to date,” said Jaster. “This comic is the one that launched the Underground Comix movement, and it features Robert Crumb stories, cover and art.”

Heritage is also presenting an item much scarcer than even Action #1 or Detective #27 in Shadow pulp #1, 1931, a pulp magazine as influential as any of the two aforementioned comics and certainly much harder to find. It is estimated at $10,000+.

“This condition of this book is pretty hammered, but it’s still the first we’ve ever had,” said Jaster. “This is an item that even some of the world’s most elite collections lack.”

Original comic strip art collectors have already sat up and taken notice of two originals of Gary Larson’s The Far Side, one of the most beloved daily comics of the 20th century, which are notoriously tough to come by because Larson kept almost all of his art. They both feature Larson’s signature wit and inimitable style and are estimated at $5,000-$10,000 apiece.

Other highlights of the auction include the Gary Keller collection run of Adventure, great art by Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, Michael Golden, Neal Adams, Dick Sprang, Robert Crumb and much more.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit


April 29th, 2010 by

The next great Dublin show will take place on Sunday May 23rd, 2010 in Clontarf Castle Hotel , Clontarf, Dublin 3. From 10 am to 4pm



(More) oodles of Steiff poodles!

April 28th, 2010 by

Like anything curly, where something ends it starts again! Just a few days ago Steiffgal shared with you some of the history behind Steiff’s delightful, well-coiffed canines – the poodles! This wonderful inquiry from a reader in Massachusetts suggests that we pick up right where we left off. Stephen writes…


I recently bought some old dolls, toys and a few Steiff animals from a woman who had them as a child in the 1950’s.

I have not been able to identify a large white poodle anywhere online. He stands about 20″ tall from paw to top of head and 20″ long from head to tail. He has a jointed head only. He is mohair and dirty. He has a Steiff button in his right ear and a tag on one leg which is somewhat frayed. He is stuffed, but not soft.

Can you tell me anything about him?

Thank you!”

Wow, this is some rare, top dog worthy of a blue ribbon for sure! What a great “fetch!”

What Stephen has so fortunately stumbled upon is an outstanding poodle that was made for one year only, in 1952. This precious pooch’s name (like many of the Steiff poodles) is “Snobby”. Snobby was produced in 17 and 28 cm in both black and white. He is made from wool plush, with a French trim (meaning a long mohair front and a short mohair rear), and has a swivel head. Because he is described as “hard stuffed”, he is probably filled with excelsior, which is wood-wool shavings.

There are three several things, besides his really limited appearance in the Steiff line, which make this poodle most interesting from a collector’s perspective.

The first is the white tag that Stephen mentions in his note. This is a US Zone tag, which shows that this poodle was made shortly after the factory in Giengen, Germany reopened after World War ll. This small white linen tag with black lettering appears (or appeared, it tends to get loved off) on all Steiff items produced between 1947 and 1953.

The second is his rare button. As you can see, This Snobby poodle is sporting a very unusual “knopf im ohr” which has the word “Steiff” in raised in block capitals. (If you click on the picture it should enlarge…) This identification was only used from 1947 through 1952. To put things in perspective, Steiffgal only has 3 vintage Steiff items with this “all capitals” button out of a collection of several hundred vintage items.

And third is his name. This Snobby is the namesake grand-daddy of all Snobby poodles as he is the first and ORIGINAL Snobby in the Steiff line!

Steiffgal hopes that this second column on these handsome hounds has doubled your interest in Steiff poodles!

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.

Picking with Reyne – Vol 1 – By Reyne Haines

April 28th, 2010 by

“Picking” seems to be the hot new word in the collecting world. A lot has to do with The History Channels new hit series, “American Pickers”.

The definition of a picker is actually one that travels around the countryside, knocking on doors, visiting county auctions and hitting flea markets buying antiques and vintage items to sell to antique dealers. Similar to what you see the guys doing on the show.

I’m sure most of you are not randomly knocking on doors hoping to find that diamond in the rough, but I’ll bet many of you have stories to tell of great finds in the field. (In fact I’m hoping you’ll share them here!)

My first venture into the world of yard sales was more like an accident than an intention. I went to drop off some things at a neighbor’s sale when something caught my eye. Let me back up here a minute by noting I was about 21 years ago, and had never been to a yard sale much less conducted one. I always thought it was just junk… you know, used clothing and broken toys.

I saw a watch in a box that I thought was pretty. I had a watch, and this one was similar in that it was silver and gold, but it was thinner and looked (to my inexperienced eye) a little classier than the one I currently owned. It had a name on it that I didn’t recognize (but would later) and I asked how much it was. $5.00

The catch was it didn’t work. Hmm, a friend of mine’s dad worked on watches and I thought maybe he could fix it. If he couldn’t – I was only out $5 – but if he could, I had a pretty snazzy looking watch for very little money.

To make a long story short, the watch was a Tissot, and the reason it didn’t work was because the battery was dead. A few days and $2 later, I had a beautiful ladies Tissot two-toned watch for $7. Beat that.

It only takes winning one of those scratch off lottery tickets to get you hooked; and boy was I. Still am, all these years later.

Each week, we’ll talk about items to look for in your travels, collectibles on the rise, or recently in the news. I look forward to hearing about your latest picks, and if you’re willing, please share some of your favorite places to find treasures in the rough – or just treasures!

Happy Hunting!


Mitchell lunar surface-worn name tag brings $59,750 to lead $720,000+ Heritage Space Exploration Auction

April 28th, 2010 by

Apollo mission hardware and reference materials continue driving popular Space category, April 21, at Heritage Auction

DALLAS, TX – Edgar Mitchell’s Apollo 14 Lunar Surface worn “Mitchell” spacesuit name tag, originally from Mitchell’s own collection, brought $59,750 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $720,000+ April 21 Space Exploration Auction. All prices include the 19.5% Buyer’s Premium. Overall the auction saw a stunning sell-through rate of more than 97% by value and more than 94% by lot total.

“Mitchell’s name tag is certainly going to be the centerpiece a of a very serious space collection,” said Michael Riley, Chief Cataloger and Senior Historian at Heritage Auctions. “In the realm of space collecting, lunar surface worn material is by far the most coveted; it doesn’t get much closer to mission, or more unique to the astronaut, than this very piece.”

Only 12 men have ever walked on the surface of the moon, and only 12 name tags have been with them. The tags from the suits of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin name tags are on permanent loan to the Smithsonian, and Alan Bean ground his up long ago for use in his paintings. That leaves only nine with the possibility of being made public, though many of those are in institutional hands.

“I wouldn’t count on one of these from another astronaut showing up anytime soon,” said Riley. “These are very coveted by those who own them. This was a great opportunity and a smart collector made good use of it.”

An Apollo 10 flown Earth Landmark Maps & Photos Book, directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot John Young, was hotly contested in the auction before finishing at $43,319, more than five times its base estimate of $8,000, while an Apollo 11 Grumman Apollo Operations Handbook – Lunar Module LM5 And Subsequent Book in Binder went for $35,850, more than six times its base estimate of $5,000.

Apollo 15 Mission Commander Dave Scott’s Lunar Module Flown Flashlight, directly from his personal collection more than doubled its pre-auction estimate to bring $26,290 and become the most valued of these space flown heavy brass-milled two-cell flashlights to have come to auction, with similar examples from James Lovell, Gene Cernan and John Young bringing $10,157, $8,365 and $5,676, respectively, in prior Heritage Space Exploration auctions.

One of the most stunning and impressive lots in the entire auction came from the Gemini program in the form of 150 Glass Slides from Gemini 4, first generation duplicates from film flown on the mission, directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Pilot Ed White II, which brought double their pre-auction estimate to finish at $21,510.

“These are not only stunning and amazing slides in quality,” said Riley, “but also historic as well. These were some of the very first pictures taken of the earth, by human hands, from outer space. One look and you can see that they’re simply breathtaking.”

Further highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

Apollo 11 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission CapCom Ron Evans, Serial Number 152: Realized $20,315.

Apollo 10 Flown CSM Systems Data Checklist Directly From the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot John Young, Signed and Certified: Realized $19,120.

Apollo 16 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander John Young, Serial Number 10: Realized $17,925.

NASA Astronaut Group Two: Large Color Photo on Mat Signed by All, Directly from the Personal Collection of Astronaut Ed White II: Realized $16,730.

Apollo 10 Flown CSM Updates Checklist Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot John Young, Signed and Certified: Realized $14,340.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

The Hip Furniture Designs of Mid-century Master Paul Evans Took Top Honors in Austin Auction’s April 18 Sale

April 28th, 2010 by

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Auction Gallery chalked up a solid $260,000 total with its April 18, 2010 Important Spring Estates Auction, led by a keenly pursued selection of Mid-century dining room furniture designed by Paul Evans (American, 1931-1987).

The 10-piece sculpted-bronze dining suite consisted of a large ‘Stalagmite’ glass-top table, eight chairs upholstered in purple micro-suede, and a long, sculpted-bronze server set with two slate slabs. The consignor had purchased the suite in 1970, from the Chicago showroom of Directional Furniture, for whom Evans designed.

The Evans set was offered in three lots with a total estimate of $17,000-$23,000, but bidders knew an opportunity when they saw one and pushed the aggregate price to $59,225. The table made $10,925, while the coveted complete set of chairs soared to $29,900. Completing the ensemble, the sideboard closed at $18,400. All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium.

“We had nine or ten phone bidders, from all over the country, who were interested in the Paul Evans set,” said Austin Auction associate Chris Featherston, “but amazingly, it all went to a buyer from our own hometown here in Texas. One of the phone bidders, who was from New York, was surprised that he had been outbid by someone from Austin.”

18th-century, Louis XV-style marble-top carved console

An 18th-century, Louis XV-style marble-top carved console from the same estate that produced the Paul Evans furniture also met with success in the sale. Heavy phone participation boosted its closing price to $8,625.

The fine-art section of the sale included a special collection of eight artworks by John Strevens (British, 1902-1990). Strevens exhibited regularly at the British Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Arts, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the Paris Salon.

John Strevens (British, 1902-1990)

“The owner of the paintings had her portrait painted by Strevens and bought additional works by the artist,” Featherston explained. “The eight paintings sold for a total of $26,996, with individual prices ranging from $1,150 to $5,463.”

A category that garnered considerable interest was Asian art. “Since we have been online with our sales, we have gained quite a few buyers out of China,” said Featherston. “Last year many of those buyers were conspicuously absent from our sales. This year the Chinese buyers were back in force, especially for the red coral pieces in the sale.”

Frazetta’s Warrior With Ball and Chain, one of Fantasy’s greatest images, readies for auction in Beverly Hills

April 27th, 2010 by

Iconic masterwork from Flashing Swords #1, by Frank Frazetta, expected to bring $200,000+ on May 6 at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – One of, if not the most famous image in all of Fantasy Art – Frank Frazetta’s instantly-recognizable 1973 classic Warrior with Ball and Chain, Flashing Swords #1, paperback cover – will be offered at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills, on May 6, as part of The Frank Collection of Sci-Fi Art, a sub-offering within the company’s Pin-Up & Glamour Illustration Art Auction.

“This is easily one of the top Frazetta paintings in private hands,” said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions, “and it’s also one of the largest Frazetta covers ever painted, at nearly two feet square.”

Frank Frazetta holding a copy of the auction catalog. Photo by Rob Pistella.

This stirring, savage and superb Frazetta masterwork first appeared on the cover of the sword and sorcery anthology Flashing Swords #1, edited by Lin Carter, published by Dell Books in 1973. It has since been reproduced many times in many forms, including on page 93 of Frank Frazetta: Book Three, Bantam Books, 1977, and page 185 of Legacy: Selected Paintings and Drawings of Frank Frazetta, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner, Underwood Books, 1999. Fans of the Dungeons & Dragons books will recognize it from its most recent use as the cover of the 2005 Wilderlands of High Fantasy paperback, White Wolf Publishing.

“That’s one of my better paintings,” Frazetta said, when asked about the piece’s upcoming auction. “I certainly had a lot of fun with that one.”
There are many aficionados who feel this piece may have been originally created for the Lancer Conan series of the late 1960s – given its similarity to two other Lancer Conan cover paintings – but never used there.

“What we have is an incredible peak period, published cover painting featuring the ultimate subject matter by the master,” said Jaster. “What more can really be said about it? For Sci-Fi fans, it can’t get a whole lot better.”

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Stair Auctioneers & Appraisers – American, English & Continental

April 26th, 2010 by

Auction May 8th & 9th, 2010

American, English, and Continental furniture, porcelain, silver, decorations and fine art

New York

Phillips de Pury & Company – Theme Auction: Africa

April 26th, 2010 by

Africa – Contemporary Art, Photographs, Editions

Auction May 15th, 2010 1pm

New York