Frank Frazetta’s legendary career began with illustrations for 1940s “funny animal” comic books before he moved to more adult themes in comics, followed by paintings for paperback covers and rock album covers. Today, his illustrations are deservedly recognized by the fine art community. An original 1990 painting that appeared on the cover of Death Dealer #6 (Image Comics, 2008), detail above, sold for $1.79 million at a May 2018 Heritage auction.
If Honus Wagner represents the most coveted of the 1909-11 T206 tobacco card issue, Eddie Plank isn’t far behind. The Philadelphia Athletics pitcher’s Sweet Caporal card is notoriously rare, with the leading theory for Plank’s short print blaming a broken printing plate for ending a full production. An example graded PSA NM 7 realized $690,000 at a September 2018 Heritage auction.
The Rolex Daytona series has an unusual “exotic” dial design and was dubbed the “Paul Newman” because the actor was always seen wearing it. Early Daytonas are extremely popular with collectors. A 14k gold Ref. 6241 “Paul Newman” Cosmograph Daytona, “John Player Special,” circa 1969, sold for $804,500 at an October Heritage auction.
Sextus Pompeius, a Roman general from the late Republic (1st century BC), was a contemporary of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. An aureus depicting Sextus as Imperator (44-36 BC) sold for $336,000 at an August 2018 Heritage auction.
A total of 6,600 1934 Chicago $5,000 notes were printed and issued. While plenty of survivors are recorded in the census, attrition has taken its toll and high-grade notes are far and few between. This Choice Uncirculated 64 example sold for $150,000 at an August 2018 Heritage auction.
Jean Théodore Descourtilz’s Oiseaux brillans du Brésil (Paris, 1834) is considered the rarest bird book relating to the Americas. The French naturalist and illustrator’s book “is so rare that I had begun to doubt its existence,” writes Rubens Borba de Moraes, former director of the U.N. Library in New York. A first edition, with 60 hand-colored lithographed plates, sold for $100,000 at a September 2018 Heritage auction.
Heritage has offered only three copies of The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) graded higher than VF+ 8.5. This example, graded VF/NM 9.0, sold for $264,000 at an August 2018 auction.
DECORATIVE ASIAN ART
Accomplished painter Wang Dafan is particularly celebrated for his work with porcelain. A pair of Dafan porcelain and hardwood table screens, produced sometime between 1912 and 1949 and with an overall size of 29½ by 19¾ inches, sold for $150,000 at a September 2018 Heritage auction.