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Science fiction cover art smashed records at Heritage
DALLAS — Multiple auction records were shattered in The Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science Fiction Collection Auction at Heritage Auctions Aug. 13-14. The White Glove auction totaled $2,407,620, exceeding the pre-auction estimate by more than $1 million, and boasted a sparkling 100 percent sell-through rate by value and by lots sold.

“We knew beforehand that some of the lots were very rare, or even unique items that were traded privately before making their auction debut in this sale,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite said. “To post a sell-through rate of 100 percent is spectacular, and only reinforces what we already knew: that the Crain collection is one of the finest ever brought to auction. We saw scores of new bidders, confirming our belief that this great material has huge appeal outside of the traditional collecting circles.”

More than 30 collectors bid for James Allen St. John oil on board that was used as the dust jacket of At the Earth’s Core, 1922 to drive its final price to $112,500, breaking the record for St. John and claiming top-lot honors in the sale. The image was published on the hard cover dust jacket of the first edition of At The Earth’s Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (A.C. McClurg & Co., 1922), and is cited as a significant reason for St. John’s impact on the visual language of fantasy illustration.

Frank R. Paul The Moon Conquerors, Science Wonder Quarterly cover, Winter 1930 nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $87,500, thanks to bids from 28 eager collectors. The water-and-gouache-on-board painting is signed by Paul and broke the record for works by the artist, who had three lots in the sale.

Michael Whelan Foundation’s Edge paperback cover, 1983 more than quadrupled its high pre-auction estimate when it closed at $68,750, also setting a new auction record for the artist, thanks to bids from 40 eager collectors. The painting was published as the paperback cover of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge (Del Rey Books, 1983), which is considered a central building block for science fiction in general. Its appearance as the cover of such an important science fiction novel and the stunning detail have earned this painting a reputation as one of Whelan’s finest ever to be offered at auction.

Lawrence Sterne Stevens Hand from the Void, Super Science Stories cover, January 1951 was another popular lot, drawing more than two dozen bidders, who drove the final price to $65,625. Nearly two dozen collectors made bids for Paul Lehr Infinite Worlds: the Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art book cover, 1997 until it closed at $38,750, nearly eight times its pre-auction estimate.

Edmund Emshwiller Starship Soldier, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction cover, November 1959 also soared past its pre-auction estimate, by more than 500 percent, before finishing at $37,500. Robert Heinlein’s Starship Soldier would be published later as the highly acclaimed novel Starship Troopers.

An oil on canvas by Hugh Joseph Ward for Chaos and Back, Spicy Adventure Stories cover, July 1941, spiced up someone’s life for $40,000.

The auction included several books that achieved impressively strong results. A collection of all seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books reached $25,250. All of the books were American first editions and several of them were signed by Rowling.

An 8th printing of Bram Stoker’s Dracula made $13,750 against a $2,000 estimate most likely due to the inscription by the author. It read, “Miss Annie Marshall / with Bram Stoker’s very / kind remembrances / Cruden Bay / 23/07/04. The inscription could refer to his mother-in-law, Phillippa Anne Marshall, or a relative of hers. Cruden Bay, a small village on the northeast coast of Scotland, was known to have been a vacation spot of Stoker’s during the development and writing of his iconic vampire novel, and the local ruins, Slains Castle, are believed to have inspired the setting of his story.

“The marketing plan was fantastic,” Glynn Crain said, “and the results exceeded my wildest dreams!”

For more information visit www.ha.com

8/22/2019
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