Published: October 5, 2021
Review by Greg Smith
CRANSTON, R.I. – It turns out treasure was hiding in Bruneau & Co’s Rhode Island back yard as the firm’s September 25 “Comic, TGC & Toy” auction brought together 446 lots from a number of local collectors.
“Interestingly enough, we had a lot of local items in this sale,” said Travis Landry, Bruneau & Co’s Pop Culture director.
Among them was the sale’s top lot, a copy of Fantastic 4 #1 CGC graded 4.5 that brought $22,500. The issue features the origin and first appearance of the Fantastic Four and the Mole Man.
“It walked in on one of our appraisal Tuesdays,” Landry said. “It was from the original owner who bought it off the newsstand in 1961. It was the only Marvel comic he had, his entire collection was Dell, Westerns and Romance. He said when superheroes and Marvel came out in 1961, he wanted to give them a try so he bought Fantastic 4. He said he hated it and it was the only one he ever bought.”
Landry said the gentleman had 100 other books in his favorite genres, though the market does not share his taste and they all sold for less than $500 altogether.
While the result pushed the ceiling only slightly higher for that grade – the market average was around $20,800 before the sale – Landry said it just shows that Fantastic 4 is on the upswing.
“It’s going to be the last film of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. People are saying that in 2023, Fantastic Four 1 will probably be worth $50,000,” he said.
Another book that a different Cranston, R.I., collector purchased off the newsstand was an Incredible Hulk #181 in a CGC 8.5 that sold for $9,000. The consignor purchased this issue off the stand at the same time he bought an Incredible Hulk #180, which sold for $3,600, and an Incredible Hulk #182, which brought $570. The combined cost at the time was $0.75, or 25 cents per issue.
Another Rhode Island collector brought in her lifetime collection of dolls and they proved to be quite desirable. Among them were two French Fashion examples by Emile Jumeau and both were stamped “Jumeau Medaille d’Or Paris,” putting them in the upper echelon of the maker’s productions.
“The amount of interest in those dolls was high,” Landry said. “We had four phone bidders and the internet was crazy, but both Jumeaus sold in-house. A lady and her husband came into the auction at 9:30 am, a half hour before the sale started, they previewed, and they sat through the entire auction to buy those dolls. They waited through all the comics and the toys.”
The dolls arrived at the tail end of the sale and the bidder was determined. One example with a white and blue drop waist dress with lace accents, 12 inches tall, sold for $5,280. The other, 12½ inches tall, also with a white drop waist dress, sold for $4,320.
The day after the sale, Landry was again on the road for an Antiques Roadshow filming in Virginia.
The firm will hold its next comic sale on October 27, a video game sale on November 6-7, and a historic arms and militaria auction on November 20.
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, www.bruneauandco.com or 401-533-9980.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm