Saleroom Life

by Sheffield Auction Gallery

Month: April 2016

Superhero Comics

In 1938, Detective Comics (DC) introduced Superman into their ‘Action Comics’ No. 1 little knowing he was to become the most famous superhero of all time. To illustrate the significance of Superman to collectors would be to reference the battered and torn copy of this edition which was found in America being used as wall insulation and sold at auction for $175,000. There are thought to be about 100 copies of this edition in circulation with the near-mint copy belonging to Nicholas Cage selling for $2.6 million in 2011; the most expensive comic ever sold at auction.

Avengers

Avengers

During this Golden Age of ‘modern’ comics (1938-1955), DC gave Superman his own comic book and introduced many other superheroes that we know and love today including Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash. Interest in Superhero comics specifically had started to dwindle towards the end of the Golden Age but then in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, there was a surge of new, modernised superheroes from the creative genius of Stan Lee and his Marvel Comics. During this time, the likes of The Uncanny X-Men, the Amazing Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four first made appearances in Marvel Comics. Comic book collecting also took off at this time and by 1970 was a fully
established collecting area.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

As with most collectables, condition is by far the most important factor in assessing value. The most desirable comics are mint-condition, which can be difficult to find particularly
with early comics which were printed on low quality paper. First issues are also sought after, as are editions featuring the first appearance or death of a character and interest can also be revived for certain characters in line with new films or TV series.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Monart, Vasart & Wallis

In the New English Dictionary the definition of a Collector is “one who collects”, another  “a gatherer of rarities”. I start with these interesting definitions because recently I met a beautifully matured “Collector” and a lovely lady called Willa Jackson and she most certainly was a “gatherer of rarities”.

Willa is one of the most fascinating ladies I have met for many years and over her long and interesting life she has accumulated a wonderful collection of many, many things. What is so exciting for the Sheffield Auction Gallery is that Willa has instructed us with the sale of all her collections.

As part of our Fine Art auction on Friday 29th April we have the first part of the Monart and Vasart glass Collections, the Hugh Wallis Collection and her collection of paintings.

A small selection of a large single-owner collection of Monart and Vasart Glass

A small selection of a large single-owner collection of Monart and Vasart Glass

The interest in the paintings comes from the fact that they are almost all 20th century or contemporary female artists. A wonderful mix of fabulous talent.

Hugh Wallis was a Coppersmith working from a studio in Altrincham, Cheshire, in the early 1900’s. He invented a process to inlay copper with pewter and much of his work with copper used this technique, many examples were trays and chargers.

Monart glass was made from the 1920’s at the Moncreiff Glassworks in Perthshire by glassmaker Salvador Ysart. The Monart name came from “Mon” in Moncrieff and “art” in Ysart. The glass is beautiful, the rest is history.

Vasart glass is similar, produced from the 1940’s by Salvador and two of his sons.

This is only the beginning of the Jackson Collection, look out for more in future auctions.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Netsuke

Netsuke were tiny sculptures used as toggles on traditional Japanese dress. As the kimono had no pockets, men would hang their tobacco pouches, purses and other things needed on a regular basis on a cord passed behind the obi (sash). The netsuke sat at the end of the cord preventing it from slipping through the obi. All parts of Japanese life and culture were captured by netsuke with
whimsical depictions, mythical beasts and true to life portraits. They were carved from ivory, bone and wood and were made for over three hundred years from the 16th century.

NETSUKE

By the end of the 19th century fashions and clothing began to change and demand for netsuke as purely practical items declined. Many of the talented masters of netsuke carving then moved onto making okimono. These were larger wood or ivory sculptures made as works of art and souvenirs with very similar themes to netsuke.

Netsuke became collectable during the 19th century and this encouraged the production of fakes. Fakes can be identified in a number of ways, for example, the hole through which the cord was threaded may be missing, they may appear too uniform in size or lack the signs of regular use and wear.

LOT0606

An authentic ivory piece would have irregular fine veins running through it, while the fake, if made from moulded resin, would have parallel lines and a pale creamy colour. Those made from resin are often too rounded and lack the fine detail and quality carving, in extreme cases staining or even dirt may have been added for effect. However, the most obvious difference is how they feel; ivory is cold and heavy to touch compared to the resin of fakes which is warm and lightweight.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

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