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Press Release - March 1, 2019
CGC Grades Lead to Best First-Quarter Comics Auction in Heritage HistoryFebruary sale topped previous standard by more than $1.7 million
The previous record for a comics auction in the first quarter of the year was in February 2012, with total sales of nearly $7.7 million.
"Using independent third-party graders is crucial, because it brings immediate impartiality to the lots we sell," Heritage Auctions Vice President Lon Allen said. "The CGC-graded lots that we sell offer collectors a measure of comfort that what they are bidding on has been graded by industry experts who are completely objective. It gives the collectors the confidence that they are making informed decisions based on the most accurate available information."
In an auction that also featured several exceptional pieces of original art, CGC-graded books brought in four of the top eight prices realized in the entire sale. Among the top CGC lots in the sale:
Two dozen collectors went after Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC VG+ 4.5 Cream to off-white pages until it finally sold for $336,000. The first in one of the most popular titles in comic history, this copy is a rarity in exceptionally high demand because it is one of few known copies that has not undergone any restoration.
An extraordinary copy of the second-most valuable Silver Age issue, The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages also inspired more than 20 bids before it realized $216,000. An absolute rarity in this grade, the issue features the origin and first appearance of the Hulk and supporting characters Rick Jones, Betty Ross and Thunderbolt Ross, with art and cover by Jack Kirby.
One of the finest known copies of Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962) CGC NM 9.4 Off-white to white pages drew bids from 18 collectors before it bringing $144,000. Featuring the first appearance of Thor, the issue, with cover by Kirby and art by Kirby and Steve Ditko, is ranked #6 on Overstreet's "Top 50 Silver Age Comics" list, trailing only Amazing Fantasy #15, The Incredible Hulk #1 and Fantastic Four #1 among the legendary "origin" issues of the early Marvel Age.
One of the staples in the hobby in any grade, Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages drew bids from 16 collectors before it realized $120,000. The origin and first appearance of the world's most collected superhero, Spider-Man, the issue has eclipsed all other keys of the Silver Age in both demand and value, and currently sits in the top spot on Overstreet's "Top 50 Silver Age Comics" list.
The demand for CGC-graded material is not limited to the Heritage Comics department's signature auctions. The Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art auction that closed Feb. 17 brought $455,509 in total sales to become the department's fourth weekly to clear more than $400,000. In that sale, the top 29 comic books (by price) all carried a CGC grade, including:
· Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC GD 2.0 Cream to off-white pages: $13,200
· The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC GD/VG 3.0 Off-white to white pages: $10,200
· The Incredible Hulk #181 Signature Series (Marvel, 1974) CGC NM 9.4 White pages: $10,200
The next Heritage Auctions Comics & Comic Art auction will be May 16-18 in Chicago. The next Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art auction closes March 3 on HA.com.
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.
The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
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