YORK, PA –Since 1967, Hake’s Americana has been the premier source for 200+ categories of pop-culture memorabilia, all falling under the general heading of “fun.” The company’s motivated team of experts works tirelessly to bring the best of private collections to the auction marketplace. Their next big online, phone and absentee auction event, Nov. 15-17, is packed with collector favorites and unique historical material.
Since November is election month, Hake’s pulled out all the stops to secure political memorabilia that even the most advanced collectors would find irresistible. Among the top highlights is Lot 57, an 1872 miniature cloth “Flag of Chappaqua – Greeley & Brown” with associated original ephemera. The vibrant 37-star flag-badge is a rare campaign keepsake with a wooden staff that, according to its accompanying certificate, came from the “Farm of Hon. Horace Greeley, and from Choppings and Prunings by the Philosopher’s Own Hand.” In exemplary condition, the 3-piece grouping consisting of the flag-badge, printed certificate and pictorial envelope is the only known complete set of its type. The pre-sale estimate is $10,000-$20,000.
Another political blockbuster is Lot 107, an outstanding William McKinley “Prosperity” poster produced for the incumbent president’s 1900 re-election campaign. Rich with symbolism, the image depicts laborers, military personnel and businessmen holding above their heads a large gold dollar labeled “Sound Money.” Standing atop the oversize coin is the candidate, doffing his top hat and grasping an American Flag. This visually exciting poster is expected to make $10,000-$20,000 at auction.
While on the subject of posters, not even the most sinister of monster-movie images are as foreboding as the one seen on Lot 219, a World War I recruitment poster. Boldly titled “Destroy This Mad Brute,” it depicts a wild-eyed, German-helmeted gorilla wielding a club and abducting a young woman. Printed by the U.S. Government circa 1917, it urges men to “Enlist” to stem the threat of German invasion. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000
Young sports fans who were glued to their TV screens in 1961, wondering whether Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris would be first to hit their 61st home run of the season, would appreciate the significance of Lot 682. A “real photo” button with pictures of both Yankee sluggers and the slogan “61 In ’61 Or Bust,” the rare, near-mint example from the Muchinsky Collection graphically recalls the competitive tension that surrounded the famous batting rivalry. Estimate: $2,000-$5,000
Houdini memorabilia is so widely collected, it even has its own name: Houdiniana. A “magical” example of Houdiniana is Lot 1073, a hand-signed photo of the fabled illusionist. The inscription reads: “Harry Houdini Los Angeles Oct 5, 1907,” suggesting the photo may have been obtained at one of Houdini’s LA performances around that time. The portrait photo is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.
One of the sale’s sweet spots is comic books, another Hake’s specialty. Of the more than 2,000 comics included in the November event, 400 are CGC-graded. The selection is comprehensive, spanning Golden Age through Modern productions, and includes many first issues, key first appearances, and high-grade copies. Topping the list are two bona-fide classics. Lot 1354, a March/April 1941 issue of All Star Comics, features the first adventure of the Justice Society of America. With Larson pedigree, it is the only one of its kind that is CGC-graded 9.4 NM – the best condition of all known examples of the title. The book has been off the market since 1980 and has never before been offered at auction. The second comic-book highlight is Lot 1542, issue #1 of The Incredible Hulk. Published in May 1962 and one of the most sought after of all Silver Age comics, it contains the first appearance of the Hulk and is CGC-graded 6.0 Fine. Each of these stellar comic books is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
More than 100 lots of illustration, comic and animation art have been cataloged. Leading the selection is Lot 1753, Kay Nielsen’s (Danish, 1886-1957) spectacular 1940 original concept art from the Fantasia sequence titled “Night On Bald Mountain.” The colorful scene shows six demons dancing amid eerie green flames as three grotesque rock faces leer down from the mountain’s cliffs. Any Disney art by Nielsen is in great demand. This esoteric, wildly imaginative artwork should have no trouble reaching $5,000-$10,000.
A very special portion of the sale is allocated to archival rarities from the collection of master sculptor Tim Bruckner. His award-winning body of work for clients such as DC Direct, Mattel, Kenner, Hasbro and other industry giants has made Bruckner a legend in his own lifetime. In the Nov. 15-17 auction, Hake’s Americana will introduce selections from Bruckner’s archives, including wax prototype Watchmen heads and action figures.
Lot 2292 contains the heads of Watchmen characters The Comedian, Silk Spectre II and Dr. Manhattan, mounted on brass rods and attached to a custom base. Each is sculpted to 6-inch-figure scale, with superbly detailed features and facial accents. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.
Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana, explained the significance of Bruckner’s wax Watchmen. “In 2001, the first series of three comic-book-based Watchmen figures debuted at Toy Fair, and DC was ready to produce them. But before they could be released, a dispute between DC and Watchmen writer Alan Moore ended the plan. DC was able to produce the movie versions later, but the figures from Tim Bruckner’s wax sculpts were never produced. These wax sculpts are unique, original artworks.”
Hake’s Americana Auction #219 has opened for bidding by phone, mail and online at www.hakes.com. The first session will close on Nov. 15, 2016, while the second session will conclude on Nov. 17. Nov. 16 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding. To request a free printed catalog or for information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.