By Eric Bradley
Artist Jacopo Amigoni (1682–1752) majestically captures the female warrior at the heart of Italian poet Torquato Tasso’s epic poem in his masterpiece Clorinda Rescuing Olindo and Sophronia (top). The painting, which illustrates the dramatic rescue of the two lovers Sophronia and Olindo, was completed circa 1740. Kept in a private Dallas collection for more than 50 years, it realized $137,000 at a December 2015 auction.
A near-mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, purchased by a New York collector for about $1,200 in 1980, realized $454,100 at a February 2016 Heritage auction. It was a record price at public auction for the comic. The first appearance of Spider-Man is one of the most sought-after comic books in the world, says Lon Allen, managing director of Heritage’s comics department. “It’s worth well more than its weight in gold. There are very few like this one.”
Heritage Auction’s presentation of Sylvester: The Auction shocked fans and made worldwide headlines – and some of the auction prices even surprised the superstar himself. Sylvester Stallone’s Personal Black Leather Jacket from Rocky sold in December 2015 to an avid fan for $149,000.
This $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note (Fr. 2231-B) was once used to decorate the entrance of the Binion Horseshoe Casino. Named after the family that kept dozens of $10,000 notes in a horseshoe-shaped case in their Las Vegas resort, the famous display was removed in the 1990s. When this high-grade specimen from the collection went to auction, it set a record for the single most valuable bill from the display. It sold for $188,000 in January 2016.
Hermès is considered the king of the luxury handbag collectors’ market, but this rare 25cm Shiny Vert Emerald Crocodile Sellier Kelly Bag with Gold Hardware has provenance to true royalty. It was gifted in the 1960s to a Swedish baroness from the Swedish ambassador to London, Vienna and Geneva. It sold for $60,000 in February 2016.
By their very nature, every animation cel is unique, but few setups have secured a 50-year legacy in American culture as the poignant pageant scene from TV’s Charlie Brown Christmas special. This one-of-a-kind Charlie Brown Christmas Production Cels and Key Master Pan Production Background Setup, 1965, sold for $47,800 in December 2015.
The poncho Sylvester Stallone wore when he fled for his life in 1982’s First Blood sold for $60,000 at Stallone: The Auction in December 2015. John Rambo’s Poncho from First Blood is made of brown canvas, with roughly torn edges and purposely distressed with faux blood and bullet holes.
A December 2015 auction in Beverly Hills set a world record price of $91,500 for a case of 1985 Ponsot Clos de la Roche. It came down to a bidding war between three persistent clients in different parts of the world, says Frank Martell, director of fine and rare wines at Heritage Auctions.
Numismatists were delighted to view an exceedingly rare 1852 South Australia British Colony Gold Adelaide Pound Type 1 when it appeared at Heritage Auctions’ world coin auction in January 2016. The coin was minted when the South Australian government attempted to turn quantities of gold into useable coin. But it was done before England had given approval. After a limited mintage, word came from England to stop production. Its rarity pushed the price realized of this piece to $99,875.