In the News

Assistance Requested: Carnegie Library Theft

In an effort to aid in the recovery of materials missing as a result... read more

Groundbreaking Swedish Underground Exhibition at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, Sept. 8-9

It’s the largest known collection of artwork and photography produced by the leading Swedish... read more

Early Details on the 42nd Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Nov. 16-18

Boston - The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair... read more

Christie's Presents the Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Collection of Photographic Masterworks

New York - Christie's announces the sale of An American Journey: The Diann G... read more

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Announces 2018 Finalists

Dayton, Ohio - Recognizing the power of literature to promote peace and reconciliation, the... read more

Poster Auctions International, Inc. Unveils New Poster Price Guide

New York - Poster Auctions International, Inc., has unveiled its all-new Poster Price Guide,... read more

Celebrating Frankenstein's 200th Anniversary at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair

“It’s alive, It’s alive! cried the crazed scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, looking up from his... read more

Frazetta's "Escape on Venus" Leads Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction

Dallas, TX - Frenetic bidding drove the final price for Frank Frazetta’s Escape on... read more

Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook
Auction Guide
Advertise with Us
2015 Bookseller Resource Guide

All Over the Map

Houston, We Have a Signature

NASA flight plan for the Apollo 11 mission, signed by Neil Armstrong, $51,000 at PBA Galleries of San Francisco on March 10.

This outstanding piece of space memorabilia quintupled its auction estimate. Courtesy of PBA Galleries.

Mementoes of this historic mission all have great appeal, but this NASA document is very special indeed, being inscribed on the front cover to Dean Mell, an NBC news correspondent, by Apollo 11 commander and first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

According to Mell, flight plans were provided to the various news correspondents prior to the flight and were used for reference during broadcasts. This copy of the final flight plan has several ink notations, mostly concerning current time in relation to the hour into the mission.

Armstrong inscribed this copy for Mell at a post-flight news conference, but signed flight plans are rarely seen, and Armstrong has since ceased to autograph material. According to the Californian auctioneers, his autograph is the most valuable of any living person.

Until Death Do Us Part from Archie

Archie Comics #1, $167,300 at Heritage Auctions of Dallas on Feb. 24-25.

Batman and Superman may still be way out there in the lead, but the carrot-topped boy is on their trail at auction. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

I have always had rather a soft spot for what I think of as qualified record breakers, so I am delighted to tell you that George Pantela of GPAnalysis, who tracks all sales of CGC-certified comics, has confirmed that “this is the highest price ever paid for a non-superhero comic book.”

The 1942 comic that showed that Archie can hold his own with, and even outsell the likes of Spider-Man, The Hulk, and The Fantastic Four, was bought by a West Coast collector who told Heritage:

“I’ve been collecting Archies for forty years and over the years I’ve become much more selective as far as condition. I’ve been looking for a high-grade Archie #1 for some time [this one was CGC-certified 8.5] and this is the first I’ve come across that I’d feel good about owning. It’s not going to leave my possession until I die.”

In the UK, the name Archie Andrews conjures up an entirely different character. An unlikely star of a hugely popular radio show of the 1950s, our Archie Andrews was a ventriloquist’s dummy!

The idea may seem daft, but radio was the ideal choice, as Peter Brough, Archie’s controller, was not a very good ventriloquist, and the shows did give opportunities to several performers who went on to bigger things—among them Benny Hill and Archie’s singing girlfriend, the young Julie Andrews.

Out West, and Now Back East

Map of Colorado by H. R. Page, $3,738 at Old World Auctions on February 16.

On this early Colorado map, Telluride is located but no roads are shown in the area. Courtesy of Old World Auctions.

Having begun this month’s reports with a map, I will end with another—but this time something rather less exotically priced, even if the winning bid was around ten times the estimate.

H. R. Page’s Colorado map, dated 1887 and published by H. H. Lloyd in the Atlas of the United States shows early county development, including the immense counties of Arapahoe, Elbert, Bent, Weld, and Las Animas in the eastern plains. Several railroads are shown, including a branch of the Denver & Rio Grande that was proposed but never actually built.

On the back is an index to Colorado, plus interesting information on “Government Lands,” dealing with homestead laws and prices, as well as a list of towns, streams, and populations of cities in 1880.

Founded in 1977 in Bethesda, Maryland, this specialist map saleroom has since 1994 operated as a postal and, in more recent times, online auction business from Sedona, Arizona. However, the bulk of its vendors and US customers are to be found in the eastern states and with this in mind, Curt Griggs of Old World told me that the company’s headquarters relocated to Richmond, Virginia, effective March 21. All e-mail addresses and the 800-phone number remain the same.

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next: Catalogues Received
comments powered by Disqus

Derek HayesIan McKay’s weekly column in Antiques Trade Gazette has been running for more than 30 years.