Published: December 5, 2006
Original artwork from the cover of Spiderman #43, drawn by John Romita for the December 1966 issue and depicting Spidey locked in mortal combat with his arch enemy “The Rhino,” sold for $101,700 at a multi-estate sale held October 20–21 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
It was a new auction record for original artwork from the Spiderman comic books. It was also one of dozens of lots that were sold from the estate of Marvin Channing, the noted comic book storywriter. The original cover art, Sunday pages and comic books were fresh to the market, having been in Channing’s possession for more than 40 years.
The sale was held Friday evening, and all day Saturday, at the Philip Weiss Auctions showroom, One Neil Court. “Despite the fact that our eBay Live capabilities were down for awhile, it was still a great sale, with nice high prices realized,” said Philip Weiss, owner of the firm.
Other top lots from the Marvin Channing collection included: An original Charles Schulz Sunday Peanuts page from March 26, 1961, gaveled for $46,333. Featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus in a “Flying Ace”-themed strip, the page had been well preserved and even had an extra inscription reading, “Best wishes, Charles Schulz.” It measured 23 ½ by 17 inches.
Another original Sunday Peanuts page did nearly as well, fetching $45,200. Dated March 5, 1967, the comic centered around Snoopy as “The Red Baron,” who appeared in all the panels, with Sally. The page had been laid down on Masonite board, which didn’t deter the bidders who competed fiercely to own it.
Original cover art from the hard-to-find comic book Tales of Suspense (#98, February 1968) garnered $41,810. The action cover, featuring Captain America vs The Panther, was executed by veteran comic artist Jack Kirby. The 13-by-20-inch piece was framed and matted and in excellent condition. The actual comic cover was included.
Original cover art from Mystery Tales #15 (Atlas Comics), ink-signed by Russ Heath, sold for $12,430, despite needing some cleaning and restoration. A Sunday page from The Phantom (July 20, 1941), by Ray Moore, hammered for $7,150; and an original splash page from Murphy Anderson’s Hawkman (Issue #17) went for $4,950.
The Friday evening session featured a collection of dolls from a Tennessee estate. The top lot was a 14-inch Circle Dot French Bru (circa 1895), which changed hands for $11,550. The doll had a few negligible flaws, but was overall in great shape. It had an open/close mouth, original frock and undergarments, and signed shoes.
A rare and unusual piece of Lenny Bruce memorabilia captured the attention and imagination of the crowd before gaveling for a respectable $6,216. It was Bruce’s original application for a cabaret card and featured three photos and three signatures of the late comedian. Plus, the application had been completely filled out by hand.
Part Two of the Saturday session was dedicated mainly to sports collectibles. One lot that drew much bidder interest was a 1957 Swift Meats baseball card board game. The set was in remarkable condition and came complete with playing board, all players in uncut panels, and even a mailing envelope. When the gavel came down, it sold for $3,630.
A Chief Bender baseball card from the Kotton Cigarettes series (1911–1916, catalog #T216, SGC graded 40 VG 3), depicting the Hall of Fame pitcher in his Baltimore uniform, was a hit at $1,760. A 1955 Johnston’s Cookies folder set for the Milwaukee Braves, including all six series, found a new owner for $1,485.
All prices given include the buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.philipweissauctions.com or 516-594-0731.
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