The Salvation Army will benefit from the auction of thousands of forgotten comic books after a chance discovery by workmen called in to clear a warehouse in the North West of England. The sale is set to produce a substantial cash windfall for the charity.
To their amazement, the workmen uncovered thousands of now highly collectable American comic books and magazines, some dating back to the 1950s, some wrapped and boxed in the same pristine condition as when they left the printer.
The comics – which number approximately 12,000 – will be sold by Ewbank Auctioneers, Guildford, Surrey, on Thursday March 16. After deducting their expenses in handling and shipping the comics to the auction, the liquidation company that discovered them has decided to donate the profit from the sale to the Salvation Army.
“We handle a great number of jobs where we are asked to clear the complete contents of a shop, office or warehouse and we handle some interesting things, but this was one of most amazing discoveries of my career,” said Mr Robert Majithia, of Woking, Surrey-based Drakus Limited, distributors of excess, surplus and liquidation stock.
“There were 40 boxes of the comics each containing about 300 copies, sitting on palettes which had been forgotten over the years. When we realised just how valuable some of the collectable comics are, we called in Ewbank to auction them for us. We were working in the warehouse on a completely different assignment and the comics were a surprise bonus. Consequently, we have decided to donate the proceeds from the sale less our expenses to the Salvation Army.”
Among the most valuable and sought after comics in the consignment are some dating from 1955 featuring ‘Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion’. They will be sold in lots of 50, giving collectors the opportunity to buy a lot, keep one copy for their collection and trade the others for similarly rare prizes. Estimates of £60-100 have been deliberately kept low to encourage private buying, particularly via realtime bidding on the internet from the U.S., where the hobby has a huge following. Internet bidding is provided by LiveAuctioneers.com in association with eBay Live Internet-bidding services.
Other comic book heroes and titles represented in the collection are legion. They include ‘American Flagg’, ‘Champions’, ‘Outposts’, ‘Northguard’, ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘The Sisterhood of Steel’, ‘Terraformers, Shapers of Worlds’, ‘Robotech Masters’, ‘The New DNAgents’, ‘Dynamo Joe’, ‘Dan Dare’, ‘Mai The Psychic Girl’, ‘Doom Patrol The Official Index’ and many more.
Viewing for this Spring sale at Ewbank’s Burnt Common, Guildford, saleroom is on Tuesday March 14 from 2-5pm and on Wednesday March 15, 10am-8pm. Illustrated catalogues will be available approximately five days before the sale and can be viewed at www.antiquestradegazette.com/ewbank and www.liveauctioneers.com.
For further information, please contact Christopher Ewbank FRICS ASFAV on 01483 223101 or antiques at ewbankauctions.co.uk.