ON LOCATION

Treasures: Prices Realized

A painting by Birger Sandzén (1871-1954) that languished for years in a Milwaukee high school storage room sold for $516,500 at a May 2017 Heritage auction. Creek at Twilight (detail above) realized the third-highest price for a Sandzén piece. The money will be used to fund college scholarships for students at Washington High School. 

AMERICAN ART

Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait is among the artist’s most recognizable paintings. Completed in 1960, the oil on canvas appeared on the Feb. 13, 1960, cover of The Saturday Evening Post. A study Rockwell (1894-1978) did for his classic piece realized $1,332,500 at a May 2017 Heritage auction. The final Triple Self-Portrait resides in the Norman Rockwell Museum.

U.S. COINS

One of the finest 20-cent pieces ever certified realized $88,125 at a July 2017 Heritage auction. The coin, authorized in March 1875, quickly proved unpopular and unnecessary, due largely to its similarity in size and design to the quarter dollar. This MS67 piece is exceeded in grade by a sole MS67+ example.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Bass Player magazine calls James Jamerson (1936-1983) the No. 1 “Greatest Bass Player” of all time. He played on 30 Billboard No. 1 hits and more than 70 No. 1 R&B hits in the 1960s and early 1970s. A 1961 Fender Precision Bass owned and played by the Motown Records session musician sold for $68,750 at a June 2017 Heritage auction.

COMIC ART

Robert Crumb’s 1969 Fritz The Cat cover art set a world record in May 2017 for the most valuable piece of American comic art, selling for $717,000. The art was used for an oversized collection of stories first published by Ballantine in 1969. The Fritz character would go on to star in two feature-length animated movies, Fritz the Cat (1972) and The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974).

MILITARIA

A battle map used by U.S. Army General Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981) for the invasion at Normandy sold for $43,750 at a June 2017 auction. Maps like this one served as Bradley’s guides for formulating a daily plan of action. Each morning, the general reviewed his maps to assess the battlefront, assets, risks and enemy strength.

AMERICANA

A stunning, 1856 campaign flag for President James Buchanan (1791-1868) set a world record at Heritage Auctions in May 2017 when it sold for $275,000, shattering the previous auction record for a campaign flag. Colorful campaign banners were produced for every winning presidential candidate from William Henry Harrison in 1840 up through, at least, Woodrow Wilson.

CURRENCY

A near-gem Peoples Republic of China 10 Yuan, 1953 Pick 870 drew international attention and closed with a final price of $47,800 at a June 2017 Heritage auction. In recent years, only two other fully uncirculated 10 Yuan notes have made auction appearances.

SPORTS

One of only three 1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb #30 traded cards graded PSA Mint 9 sold for $432,000 at a June 2017 Heritage auction. This piece has been called one of the finest examples of one of the most desirable Cobb (1886-1961) cards in the hobby.