Potter & Potter Auctions' Pop Culture Sale Scores $230,000

Courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions

PEP/Ginger Stories, five pulp issues sold for $300 at Potter & Potter on July 27.

Chicago — Potter and Potter Auctions' midsummer sales event was one hot ticket indeed. After a dramatic and exciting day of bidding, 75 lots realized $500-1,000; 19 lots made $1,001-$1,999; and eleven lots broke the $2,000 mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

This auction offered a world series caliber selection of baseball cards and related sports merchandise, with several lots taking MVP status. Lot #551, a 1951 PSA VG 3 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card, No. 253, was estimated at $1,000-2,000 and made $5,040. Lot #611, a storage box of NY Yankees cards including 98 autographed cards from the 2004 Upper Deck Classic Scripts; 100+ autographed cards from the 2003 Upper Deck Yankees Signature Series; and 44 autographed cards from the 2000 Upper Deck Chirography series was estimated at $500-1,000 and traded hands at $2,880. Lot #565, a 1968 PSA NM—MT 8 Topps Mets Rookies Jerry Koosman / Nolan Ryan card, No. 177, was estimated at $1,000-2,000 and sold for $3,120. Lot #616, a 2000s storage box of 250+ NY Yankees cards loaded with relic and limited-edition inserts from Upper Deck, Donruss, and Topps was estimated at $300-500 and rose to $2,640. And lot #615, a 2000s—2010s a Topps NY Yankees baseball card collection, individually sleeved and neatly organized by year or series, was estimated at $300-500 and realized $2,400.  

Fine selections of pop culture ephemera also left a lasting impression on bidders. Lot #658, A "Yellow Submarine" production pencil drawing signed by all four members of the Beatles reached its crescendo at $7,800. Lot #721, a collection of seven 1939 World’s Fair pornographic Tijuana bible booklets was estimated at $50-100 and made $330.  They were illustrated by Wesley Morse, an American artist best known as the creator of ‘Bazooka Joe’ for Topps’ chewing gum as well as the creator of the Copa Girl which is still the logo for the New York City nightclub Copacabana. And lot #524, five pulp issues of PEP/Ginger Stories - published in Wilmington, Delaware by King Publishing from 1929-1932 - sold for $300 on their $50-100 preauction estimate.

Shifting into fifth gear, this sale produced extraordinary prices on a number of pristine Corgi character vehicles. Lot #276, The James Bond Aston Martin DB5 #261A, in perfect condition, had a number of determined bidders chasing it to $1,146. Lot #277, a Rocket Firing Batmobile #267 in its original box traded hands at $960. Lot #278, a Bat-Boat and Trailer #107 in its original box made $720. Lot #279, A beautiful Monkeemobile #277A was driven to $480, while another favorite, lot #283, the Chatty Chatty Bang Bang #266A finally landed at an impressive $420.  

Vintage comic books were another key category in this seriously impressive sale. Lot #405, Fighting Yank, number 23 from Nedor, battled its way to $1,680 on its $250-350 estimate. Lot #356, Batman number 65 from DC Comics, made $780 on its $150-250 estimate. And lot #412, Iron Fist number 1 from Marvel Comics, put the pedal to the metal. This comic, featuring the epic fight between Iron Fist and Iron Man, accelerated to $300 on its $50-100 estimate.

Entertainment posters and works of art framed this sale in the best possible way. Lot #49, a matted and signed Stan Lee print of Peter Parker turning into Spider-man was estimated at $50-100 and sold for $270. All eyes were on lot #66, a Jimi Hendrix “Flying Eyeball” Concert Poster from 1968. This example, one of the most desirable images from the ‘60s psychedelic era of Rock & Roll, sold for $1,020 -  over five times its low estimate. And collectors went ape over lot #102, a three sheet color lithograph for King of Jungleland from 1949. Estimated at $50-100, this poster, featuring a gorilla and Clyde Beatty AKA the “World’s Greatest Animal Trainer," made $360.

Potter & Potter's midsummer Pop Culture event closed the loop with exciting selections of archives, scripts, cels, mascots, and other items that defied, or transcended, collecting categories. Lot #220, two signed Jerry Mahoney character hand puppets from 1966 sold for $270 on their $50-100 estimate. Lot #680, a Paul Reed Smith “Corazon” SE Santana solid body electric guitar, signed by Carlos Santana, hit its high note at $2,400.  And lot #969, a library of astronaut signed books and photographs from the 1960s/2010s shot the moon at $5,040. This extraordinary archive included signatures of all twelve astronauts who have walked on the moon, the first American woman in space, the first African-American woman in space, and other notable astronauts, as well as an official NASA photograph taken and signed by Neil Armstrong showing Buzz Aldrin descending the ladder of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module on July 20, 1969.

According to Tom Miano, Director of the Toys and Pop Culture Department at Potter & Potter Auctions, "This was my first opportunity to work with the Potter & Potter crew, and they overdelivered on every level. Every person is smart, dedicated, and absolutely team focused. They made this sure that every aspect of this huge sale's preparation and execution was seamless. I am proud of many of the prices we achieved for our consignors, with strong bidding across so many categories. We are already accepting quality items for our Spring 2020 sale. Please contact me right away if you are considering selling one fine item or even an entire collection - this sale is certain to fill up quickly!"

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