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2004 Market Report
DANDY COMIC No 1 HITS £20K WORLD RECORD
Dandy Comic No 1 with its original free gift and promotional flyer was sold in
our September auction for a staggering £20,350 constituting a winning bid of £18,500
plus 10% buyer's premium. The comic, in Fine Minus grade, is one of only ten copies
known to exist. Its free gift, the Express Whistler, a toy whistle made of yellow
and blue tinplate is the only known gift to survive, now merrily whistling its
way into the record books. Also included was the original advertising flyer for
this first issue Dandy which was enclosed in the Hotspur the week before its publication
in November 1937. In Near Mint grade, the flyer highlights the first adventures
of Korky The Cat, Keyhole Kate, Our Gang and Invisible Dick and is an eight page
two colour mini-comic in its own right. Importantly it shows an illustration of
the Express Whistler, "8 DIFFERENT ENGINE WHISTLES IN 1", further authenticating
the unique free gift that was offered.
rarer, The Dandy Comic No 2 was also auctioned with its free gift Jumping Frog
and mini-comic promotional flyer. This Dandy's front cover had a half thumb-sized
hole near the middle with some resultant tears and we suggested that this could
have been caused by the gift's inclusion. Made of red tinplate, the two-inch frog
had a ball of tar wedged inside its head which served to temporarily arrest a
metal spring which sprang loose after a few seconds to propel the toy a foot into
the air. As with the Whistler, the frog had no rust and amazingly its tar was
still tacky enough to hold the spring prior to propulsion. However, what had Froggy
really jumping was the £3,768 price he received against an estimate of £700-900!
Not to be outdone The Dandy No 3, highest grade of the trio at Fine Plus, made
£1,815 to complete a Korking set of results.
Beano Comics joined the top price party with a string of very high winning bids.
No 2 in Very Good grade captured £2,135; No 3 made £1,210 and 4 and 5 accepted
£930 and £806 respectively.
highlight of the annuals on offer was lot 66, the 1943 Dandy Monster Comic which
was in Very Fine grade, the best condition ever seen at auction. It realised a
monster £2,794, confirming that the combination of rarity and high grade can send
the same fastidious vendor of the first Dandy comic, Wild West Weekly No. 1 had
its two free gifts in bright fresh condition included. This 1938 lot was taken
away for a rustlin' £39, proof positive that bargains can be found in pre-war,
high grade condition, even if the successful bidder may not find his favourite
tune inside the Hill-Billy Round-Up Song Book.
same kind of money chases war years Beano comics individually and lot 78 was typical
with its nine issues numbered from 160-168 producing a winning bid of £352.
funny original piece by Dudley Watkins had Desperate Dan burrowing his way under
the ocean to London arriving inside Nelson's Column having made a tunnel through
which Allied tanks, planes and lorries laden with food (including lollipops) could
travel, unhindered by the attention of the German navy. So much so that the U-boats
used each other for target practise and a battleship scuppered itself out of sheer
boredom! This finely drawn propaganda page was knocked down for a battle-winning
£840. A further signed Dudley Watkins page of The Broons was also up for auction
and this 1955 board from The Scottish Sunday Post saw the family in fancy dress
at Hallo'een mixing up The Broons o' Glebe Street with The Glebes o' Broon Street!
A howlin' £1,212 was the tendered winning bid, more than double the upper estimate.
Broons Books have been bid very high of late, accelerating the popularity of Scotland's
Happy Family and this early hardback version in Very Good grade was contested
to £1,101 making Maw an' Paw even happier.
of Eagle Magazine are generally easy to find for a few pounds each as the print
run of early issues came close to a million copies and our average condition No.
1 made £165. There was a large amount of merchandise produced under licence to
Hulton Press, Eagle's publishers with much of it dedicated to its most popular
character, colonel Dan McGregor Dare. Cowboy Jeff Arnold is not so nearly well
known and we offered his belt and tie set in presentation box along with a pack
of his cards for £40-60. By the time the bidding stopped at a rip roarin' £242
it was obvious that one orn'ry cowpoke intended to ride the range in style. Yeehah!
Crompton's Just William books need no introduction and William The Lawless was
the last volume published by Newnes in 1970. By this time William was on the wane
and the resultant print run was low. Widely collected now, a copy of this last
story had not been auctioned in the UK for some two-and-a-half years and a fresh,
dust-jacketed version (William The Flawless?) was always going to cause some high-jinks.
In this case bidding that jinked to a high of £770.
213 proclaimed Superman #6 with characteristic Man Of Steel pose and this VG issue
exceeded guide price with a tall building leap of £400. The saying goes: "Who
Dares Enter The Tomb Of Terror…" but who would dare open the #15 front cover with
its eye-popping exploding face? The winning bidder has paid £106 to take that
decision, a worn spine and rusty staples being the least of his worries. The same
bidder will also need his rubber gloves as he paid £121 for Web Of Evil #5 with
its fun-filled electric-chair cover.
This was our most successful catalogue to date, selling all of the 361 lots. The
fastidious engineer's apprentice who consigned The Dandy 1, 2 and 3 to us had
a further collection comprising some 500 items, all of which will be offered in
the following months. Will Bennett, The Daily Telegraph's arts correspondent has
described them as a "time capsule collection" and so they are. The comics and
their free gifts were carefully collected and stored by their original owner,
each comic placed in a brown paper bag, each free gift wrapped the in same way
and kept in an old shoe box.
publicity that the Dandy No 1 has attracted is astonishing. Featured on page two
of the Daily Telegraph on 8th September, the Dandy has occupied two internet pages
of BBC News Online and been covered by The Daily Mail, The Scottish Daily Mail,
The Daily Record, The Daily Express, The London Evening Standard, Antiques Trade
Gazette, Antiques Magazine and Book And Magazine Collector. In the US it has been
showcased in Scoop internet magazine owned by major dealer, Diamond Galleries
of Baltimore, Maryland.
put this £20,000 UK record breaker into perspective. In 2003 a copy of Marvel
Comics #1 was put up for auction in America. Published in 1939 it was the precursor
of Timely Comics super-hero genre and starred The Human Torch by Carl Burgos and
The Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett. This particular copy was kept in the Timely office
and had pencil notes by each story detailing payments to the artists and writers
involved. It became known as the "pay" copy and was knocked down for three hundred
and fifty thousand dollars.
Comic Book Postal Auctions, Ltd.