Auction Highlights #69

Well the big Doug Schmell/Pedigree Comics collection was finally auctioned this past weekend through Heritage Auctions (HA). Below are excerpts from HA’s press release.

BEVERLY HILLS — The multi-million dollar Doug Schmell/PedigreeComics.com Collection, featuring the single greatest grouping of Silver Age Marvel CGC #1 Registry sets ever assembled, realized more than $3.94 million on July 26 as the centerpiece of the vintage comic book offerings in Heritage Auctions’ July 26 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction.

The top offering in Schmell’s incredible grouping was thePacific Coast pedigree X-Men #1 (Marvel 1963) CGC NM/MT 9.8, which brought an incredible $492,938.

“I still can’t believe the X-Men #1 9.8 went for nearly went for half a million dollars,” said Schmell.

Schmell has been putting his high-grade collection together for more than 20 years. A successful comic collector and dealer, he carefully and deliberately selected each comic and carefully selected Heritage when it came time to let go of his personal collection.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this auction and for its part it did not disappoint. Pre auction estimates were pegged at $3 million plus but when the final hammer fell the sum of all parts came in just shy of $4 million. Not bad for a few hundred slabbed comics!

I wasn’t sure how to tackle this Auction Highlight; there were certainly many interesting and record-setting results. In the end I decided to peg it to my widely read “What are the Marvel Keys” post from a couple of years back. In that post I picked my 12 Marvel Keys, this auction had 7 of these 12 in nose bleed grades. BTW the 5 keys missing that were on my original list are Hulk #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, Tales to Astonish #27 and Sgt Fury #1.

Anyway I figured the likelihood of this caliber of auction happening again any time soon would be next to nil thus the focus on the keys.

Interesting notes:

  • When sorted by lowest price first 23 of the cheapest 30 comics were Thors and Daredevils
  • The 7 comics below sold for a total of $1,369,960.09
  • These results bode well for the high grade Charlton Romance run I’m amassing

Here are the results (CGC graded census counts are always for blue label or unrestored copies);

 

X-Men #1, Marvel Comics, (September 1963) Graded by CGC at 9.8 with White pages sold for $492,937.50.00 on. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $35,000.00. From the Pacific Coast Pedigree.

Of the 1588 graded only 2 are 9.8 putting this copy in the 99.875 percentile!

Here’s the thing though, I personally feel a bit of the price realized was for the 9.8 grade which I don’t agree with. Look at it this way, if the top 2 books were CGC 9.6 they’d be just as scare relative to the rest but I don’t think they’d realize this price.

Perhaps this is an insurance/defense mechanism after all the odds of another 9.8 popping up are much lower that the odds of another 9.6 popping up.

This book connects to the current X-Men in title only and thus the book is missing the continuity the other 6 in this auction possess.

Advantage Seller.

 

Tales of Suspense #39, Marvel Comics, (March 1963) Graded by CGC at 9.6 with Off White to White pages sold for $262,900.00. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $32,000.00. From Pacific Coast Pedigree

Of the 830 graded only 3 are 9.6 putting this book in the 99.64 percentile.

Quick, name the 5 most popular, best known superheroes in the world today. Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine, Iron Man would be my answer. Superman is more or less living off his past, Bats and Spidey continue to lead the pack, Wolverine has entrenched himself and Iron Man is currently doing the same.

So we’re paying just over a quarter of a million dollars for one of the 3 best graded copies of the first appearance of Iron Man. I’ve always projected Iron Man to be one of the major comic book characters in the years to come; I’ve also projected that the first appearances of major pop culture characters will become historically important valuable collectibles in the years to come.

But I’ve also projected that the CGC Census will see more high-grade keys in the years to come. The steep premium paid for this book will have to overcome a couple more CGC 9.6 copies on the census but I honestly think this book can do so as long as the supply jump is consistent with the current grade ratio scarcity.

Advantage Buyer

Daredevil #1, Marvel Comics (April 1964) Graded by CGC at 9.6 with Off White to White pages sold $37,343.75. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $9,000.00. From the Twin Cities Pedigree

Of the 1536 graded 11 are 9.6 with 2 more at 9.8 putting this copy in the 99.15 percentile.

The supply and relative scarcity of this copy compare well with the 9.2 copy of Journey into Mystery #83 so I must assume the price is more reflective of the current popularity of the character. I see the long term trend being Daredevil on the ascendency while Thor treading water at best.

Advantage Buyer

Fantastic Four #1, Marvel Comics, (November 1961) Graded by CGC at 9.2 with White pages sold for $203,150.00. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $90,000.00. From the White Mountain Pedigree

Of the 760 graded 2 are 9.2, 4 are 9.4 and 1 is 9.6 putting this copy in the 99.08 percentile.

At first glance you’d say this is a strong result but remember this copy is among the best 1% available, you can’t get much more exclusive than that.

My fear is that the book will become more symbolic over time as the Fantastic Four become less relevant as characters. This has been happening slowly over the last decade and it will most likely continue unless someone does something brilliant here.

Hulk #1 caught FF #1 in this year’s guide (2 years ago I predicted that wouldn’t happen) so the slip is continuing.

Above and beyond all that I personally think this copy looks like a weak 9.2.

Advantage Seller

Journey into Mystery #83, Marvel Comics (August 1962) Graded by CGC at 9.2 with White pages sold for $83,650.00. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $40,000.00.

Of the 674 graded there are only 6 at 9.2, 3 at 9.4 and 1 at 9.6 putting this copy in the 98.5 percentile.

I’ve stated before that I think Marvel’s version of Thor is overvalued and I don’t like it as a long term investment. But hey, this is my opinion only; the market seems to not be able to get enough of this book.

Advantage Seller

 

Avengers #1, Marvel Comics (September 1963) Graded by CGC at 9.6 with Off White pages sold for $274,850. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $25,000.00. From the Pacific Coast Pedigree

Of the 1246 copies graded only 3 are 9.6 putting this copy in the 99.75 percentile.

Sorry but I just don’t think the 1st time you put several original creations in a book together merits the same price that the original creation books get.

Avengers #1 was undervalued for a long time and the strides it’s made in the last few years are welcomed were merited. I think this result overshoots its deserved increase. This result was influenced by the property’s current success.

Advantage Seller

Strange Tales #110, Marvel Comics (July 1963) Graded by CGC at 9.6 with Off White to White pages sold for $42,129.73. The Overstreet price guide value for this comic at 9.2 is $4,800.00. From the Pacific Coast Pedigree

Of the 406 graded 3 are 9.6 putting this copy in the 99.26 percentile.

I’ve always thought this an undervalued book. Doctor Strange as a character has a lot of potential and I think his best days are coming.

Advantage Buyer

 

I personally did not bid on any of the books in this auction. How about you?