Hockey Card Sets Record
Unexpected high prices made the news this week. A Wayne Gretzky rookie card in mint condition auctioned for $94,163, making it the highest price ever paid for a modern hockey card. The card, in mint condition, was issued in 1979-80 by O-Pee-Chee, a Canadian candy company. Cards in less than perfect condition sell for much less. And a near-mint Topps version of Gretzky's rookie card sells for under $500.
Photo: SCP Auctions Inc.
Comic Drawing Worth Nearly Half a Million Dollars
The original drawing of the 1986 "Dark Knight Returns" used on page 10 of Issue 3 of the comic book, "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns," became the most valuable piece of comic art ever to sell when it brought $448,125 at auction. Heritage Auctions sold the Frank Miller full-page drawing on May 5, 2011.
Photo: Heritage Auctions
Chinese Cannon Aims High at Auction
A bronze Chinese cannon covered with designs and words and stored for over 80 years at the back of a storeroom went to auction with an appraisal of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $149,500. The papers with the item said the 800-pound cannon, made in 1695, was sent to the United States as a souvenir by an American soldier. U.S. forces took part in a "China Relief expedition" that went to China in 1900 to rescue U.S. citizens, Europeans, and others who were in danger because of the Boxer Rebellion.
Photo: Cowan's Auctions
Early Original Comic Art Sells
An original drawing of the Yellow Kid by George Luks sold at an auction last week for $1,673. Luks and Richard Outcault were the two artists who illustrated the comic strip character from 1895 to 1898. The strip, named "Hogan's Alley," was so popular it started a "war" between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst's newspapers. Each hired an artist to create the comic. Two versions were published. The war and resulting arguments led to the term "Yellow Journalism." The most expensive comic materials today date from the 1930s and after.
Photo: Hake's Americana & Collectibles