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Demand for early US political memorabilia produces another million-dollar auction result for Hake's
1864 Lincoln/Johnson campaign parade flag, $23,656. Images courtesy of Hake’s Americana.

YORK, PA.- Collectors cast their ballots decisively in Hake’s Americana’s March 15-17 pop culture auction, and the clear winner among the 200+ categories offered was antique political memorabilia. As predicted by Hake’s experts, the top political entry turned out to be an 1864 Lincoln and Johnson oilcloth campaign parade flag with the candidates’ names emblazoned across the banner’s 13 stripes. A rare and significant historical artifact, it breezed past its high estimate to reach $23,655.

Quite likely a sole survivor, an 1848 Lewis Cass and William Butler campaign coattail ribbon with the Coat of Arms of Pennsylvania and the misspelled phrase “Our Country Right Or Worng” [sic.] surpassed its pre-auction estimate with a selling price of $12,523. Four variations of Cass ribbons were produced, and of all types, only 10 are known to the collecting world. The ribbon sold by Hake’s was a new discovery, with different characteristics than the nine other examples that have been documented.

A sterling silver pin-back awarded by the National Women’s Party “For Service In The Cause Of The Freedom Of Women” dates to the second decade of the 20th century, when women’s suffrage advocates made their strongest push for the right to vote. Approximately 150 to 200 such awards were given to the White House-picketing members of the NWP known as the “Silent Sentinels.” Fewer than five of the ultra-desirable pins are known to exist, and there is no prior record of any one having appeared at auction in the past. The entry in Hake’s sale realized $6,425 against an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.

Another strong performer was a Lincoln/Johnson double-sided ferrotype with the date “1864” appearing across the image of each candidate. Of special note was the fact that the Lincoln photo was taken by famed Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. The historically important ferrotype easily achieved a top bid of $4,636. From a later era, a circa-1912 real-photo Teddy Roosevelt/Hiram Johnson jugate pocket mirror with a Bull Moose (Progressive Party) logo in a circular inset garnered $4,345.

An 1812 $5 Gold Capped Bust Half Eagle coin, PCGS graded MS 63, paid a hefty dividend over its face value. It was struck during the last year that $5 gold pieces of its type were minted, due to fiscal belt-tightening and gold preservation during the War of 1812. It sold within estimate for $22,264.

“Many political and historical pieces, even those outside the extremely rare offerings in the sale, rose to highs we had not seen in years,” said Hake’s Americana Specialist Scott Mussell. “We’ve been at this longer than any other auction house in the industry, and the results from our March event speak to our position in the market and the trust Americana collectors place in us.”

Bidders were anything but creeped out by a linen-mounted one-sheet poster promoting the 1954 sci-fi/horror classic Creature From The Black Lagoon. With its beautiful colors and spine-tingling monster imagery, the crisp 27¼ by 41-inch poster appealed to bidders who pushed it to the top of its estimate range at $18,108.

The fantasy world of superhero comics is familiar terrain to Hake’s, whose March selection included more than 100 CGC-graded comic books. An Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 9.8 condition was of particular interest to collectors because it features the first appearance of Marvel Comics’ vigilante character The Punisher, as well as Spider-Man villain The Jackal. The February 1974 comic landed near the top of its estimate range, at $8,855.

Prior to viewing Hake’s March auction catalog, many comic book fans may not even have been aware that DC Comics issued a series of eight color superhero postcards in 1941, with #4 in the series promoting Wonder Woman in an issue of Sensation Comics. On the bright yellow, red and green Wonder Woman card, a full-length image of the powerful female character is shown with the quote: “Today I want to introduce The Black Pirate!” The only example of its type to be handled by Hake’s in its entire 49-year history, the postcard sold for $6,958 against a $2,000-$5,000 estimate.

Toys, TV-related and other pop culture collectibles also surpassed expectations. A Kenner Super Powers Supermobile box proof with vibrant images of the Man of Steel in a kryptonite-deflecting spacecraft was paired with an example of the actual toy in its factory box. With provenance from the Franco Toscanini collection, the lot sold for $2,870.

Music memorabilia collectors battled over Hake’s best-ever selection of 1950s-1970s music-related posters, with particular interest shown in Jimi Hendrix material. An original first-printing psychedelic poster publicizing the guitar legend’s May 3, 1969 concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto blazed to a top bid of $5,705.

“There’s no way to overestimate the growth potential for rock music posters, especially the ones connected with Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the Doors,” said Hake’s president, Alex Winter. “It won’t always be the case, but at the moment, there are buying opportunities in our auctions that should not be overlooked. My advice is, if you like it, you should buy it now, because there’s no guarantee you’ll ever have another chance. Now is a really good time to start a music poster collection.”

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