Hake’s Auctions


3679 Concord Rd, York, Pennsylvania 17402
717-434-1600

About Auction House

Founded in 1967 Hake's was the first Pop Culture auction house in the US. After 51 years the company, headquartered in York, PA, continues to be the leader in the field of popular culture artifacts. Each auction offers an array of collectible Comic Books & Original Art, Political Americana, Disneyana, Toys & Action Figures, Sports, Movie Posters, Entertainment Memorabilia, Autographs, Comic Characters, Concert Posters, and all other facets of popular culture.

Auction Previews & News

12 Results
  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hake’s July 26-27 auction led by Star Wars comic strip original concept art, high-grade Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype figure, trove of pop culture rarities

    Featured: 1 of 5 known 1888-89 cabinet cards for baseball Hall of Famer Mike ‘King’ Kelly, smallest size 1920 Cox/Roosevelt campaign button, key Marvel comics, important comic art  1888-89 N173 Old Judge (Cigarettes) mail-in premium cabinet card depicting baseball Hall of Famer Mike ‘King’ Kelly, Captain of the Boston Beaneaters, rare street-clothes version, size: 4.25in x 6.5in. One of only five known examples and only the third to appear at auction. SGC-graded 2.5 Good+. Estimate $75,000-$100,000 YORK, Pa. – If modern art aficionados could be granted one wish, it might be the discovery of a major, previously unknown Picasso. While Picasso lovers may have a very long wait ahead of them, those who revel in the uniquely imaginative art and imagery of the Star Wars saga just might have their wishes granted later this month, when Hake’s auctions six extraordinary artworks from Star Wars’ earliest days.  The July 26-27 auction of pop culture memorabilia includes six consecutive lots of original Star Wars art that only a small circle of insiders would even know about. Each lot contains unpublished concept art that legendary comic strip artist Al Williamson (1931-2020) created in the late 1970s for a proposed Star Wars daily newspaper comic strip. Williamson, already regarded as a titan of the industry for his work with EC Comics and for having drawn the 1960s Flash Gordon comic strip, prepared 12 strips to cover the first two weeks of newspaper publication (Sundays were not included). However, the deal never came to fruition. Russ Manning (1929-1981) was tapped to write and draw the Star Wars strip, which he did from 1979 to 1981, when poor health forced him to retire. At that point, Williamson stepped back in to handle the art and storyline duties through the strip’s conclusion in 1984.  As for the disposition of the original Williamson concept art, the first six strips were gifted to George Lucas, while the six strips intended for the second week of publication were given to Star Wars marketing genius Charles Lippincott (1939-2020). “Mr Lippincott’s six gifted artworks never left his family, and now it is…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype sells for world-record $236,000 at Hake’s June 2 Star Wars specialty auction

    Star Wars collectibles in company’s last two sales have earned a combined $2.1 million Star Wars - Boba Fett Rocket-firing Prototype (L-slot) Afa 80+ Nm Action Figure. YORK, Pa. – The enduring, multigenerational appeal of Star Wars action figures and related collectibles was never more obvious than last night, as Hake’s first-ever Special Event Auction featuring memorabilia from the legendary franchise closed the books at $903,000. The online auction, whose final bid was received at 11:14 p.m., achieved a 100% sell-through rate and set multiple new world records in so doing. In Hake’s last two auctions, 500 lots of Star Wars material have sold for a combined $2.1 million. “We’re very pleased with the results from our Star Wars Special Event Auction,” said Hake’s president Alex Winter. “Star Wars has become an important part of our premier events, accounting for a strong percentage of the auction totals. Choosing to hold a Star Wars-only auction was an easy decision because we know our customers are hungry for the cream of the crop from Star Wars collectibles.” The predicted top item, a Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype, AFA 80+ NM, soared to a record-setting $236,000. This prototype is famous in collecting circles because it was pulled from Kenner’s 1979 Star Wars toyline when the rocket-firing aspect was deemed a choking hazard. The 3¾-inch figure is unpainted and has the L-slot mechanism (named for its shape). “This sale set a new record for any rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype,” Winter said, pointing out that it beat the record Hake’s just set for a J-slot graded AFA 50, which sold for $204,435 in their March 2022 auction. “What makes that so incredible is that it’s not the rarer J-slot and it’s in a lower grade than other L-slots we’ve sold.” One of the auction’s key rarities was the Jawa (vinyl cape), 12-back-A AFA 80 NM, that achieved $40,887, a world-record price for any Jawa figure. The 2¼-inch-tall figure comes on an unpunched card, wearing the initial vinyl cape. Later Jawas were repackaged with a cloth cape. Every auction has a surprise, and on June 2nd that distinction went to a Hungarian bootleg Return of the Jedi Boba…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hake’s launches new Special Event auction series devoted exclusively to rarest of Star Wars collectibles, with bidding through June 2

    Sought-after 80+ NM Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype leads solid 201-lot auction of predominantly AFA-graded items YORK, Pa. – In the investment-obsessed world of fine art, scarcely a week goes by without some new auction record being set, either for a particular artist or art genre. Hake’s Auctions, the groundbreaking Pennsylvania company that has specialized in pop culture memorabilia since 1967, also rewrites the record books with regularity, but not with Picassos or Van Goghs. It has become known as “The House of Star Wars” because of its consistent ability to achieve world-record prices for prototypes and other rarities from the fabled sci-fi film franchise. With collector demand at an all-time high, Hake’s has responded to the call by adding something new to its roster: an online auction dedicated exclusively to Star Wars memorabilia. The debut “Special Event” has opened for bidding and will run through June 2nd. Top: 1979 Toy Center store display in encapsulated case, AFA-graded 60 EX, Star Wars Action Figures text plus graphics that include Darth Vader, TIE Fighters, X-Wing Fighters; 24 x 40in long. Estimate $5,000-$10,000. Bottom: 1978 Toy Galaxy double-sided bell-shape hanger, AFA-graded 90 NM+/Mint, 16 x 18in long, graphics include Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia as seen on the Star Wars movie poster by The Brothers Hildebrandt, plus Darth Vader’s TIE Fighters battling X-Wing Fighters. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000 “When an auction house recognizes that a collecting trend has become a sensation, the next logical step is to introduce a specialty sale dedicated to that particular category,” said Hake’s president, Alex Winter. “That’s what has happened with Star Wars collectibles, and it’s why we decided to add a new auction loaded with the best of the best and the rarest of the rare.” The market started signaling the future for vintage Star Wars items four to five years ago, with Hake’s auction results firing off the cannon, time and again. On November 16, 2017, a Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi 12 Back-A double-telescoping action figure, AFA-graded 80NM, started the ball rolling with an auction price of $76,700. Then came the era of Boba Fett, with stunning prices…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Hake’s March 15-16 auction hits $3.2M, sets multiple world records including $204,435 price realized for Star Wars Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype action figure

    1920 Cox/Roosevelt campaign button declares victory at $185,850, handily surpassing previous record for a pinback: Hake’s $70,092 sale of a Babe Ruth/Red Sox button in 2021 YORK, Pa. – Record-setting prices just kept on coming at Hake’s $3.2 million online auction of pop culture rarities and didn’t stop until the last-minute clash of the titans that determined ownership of the sale’s top lot: a Star Wars Boba Fett “J-slot” rocket-firing prototype action figure. Conceived by Kenner in 1979, the J-slot Boba Fett Version 2 was designed with a J-shape triggering mechanism on its back for firing off rockets, but the toy never made it to the production stage due to safety concerns. On that basis alone, the pre-production archetypes became immediate rarities, but more than four decades of Star Wars mania have catapulted the J-slot prototype to an extraterrestrial level of desirability. The coveted example offered by Hake’s ignited a bidding war that ended at a sky-high $204,435 – a new auction record for any Star Wars action figure. James M Cox/Franklin D Roosevelt jugate button, 1.25in size, one of only six known in 1.25-inch size and one of only three known in this design; the first of its type to reach the marketplace in 40 years. Sold for $185,850, a world auction record for a pinback button of any type “Bidding on the figure remained static at just under $100,000 until right before the initial 20-minute clock ran out at 9 pm. At that point, two bidders starting going back and forth with their bids, waiting each time till the renewed clock had almost run out of time,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions. “The competition was still going strong two-and-a-half hours later. I think each of the bidders might have been hoping the other would fall asleep. But they went at it strategically, and we were more than happy to wait as long as it took to get a record-setting result like that.”  The previous world auction record for a Star Wars prototype action figure was set in 2019 (also by Hake’s) with the $185,850 sale of…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hake’s follows up $10M year with March 15-16 auction of ‘unicorns,’ including incomparable prizes from Star Wars, Cuban baseball and political button categories

    Featured: Kenner Boba Fett J-slot rocket-firing prototype action figure, Cox/FDR jugate button not seen at auction for 40 years, only known Jose “Black Diamond” Mendez baseball card YORK, Pa. – Pop culture fans reacted with stunned disbelief, then excitement, last November when Hake’s sold a Captain American “hero-prop” shield used by Chris Evans in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. The pristine star-emblazoned shield commanded $259,540, the highest price ever paid at auction for a Marvel movie prop and the top price recorded in any sale of Hake’s record-setting $10 million year. However, America’s oldest collectibles auction house is not one to rest on its laurels, as the jaw-dropping lineup just announced for their March 15-16 auction clearly shows. James M Cox/Franklin D Roosevelt jugate button, 1.25in size, one of only six known in 1.25-inch size and one of only three known in this design; the first of its type to reach the marketplace in 40 years. Considered the ultimate political button, on par with a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card or ‘Action Comics’ #1. Estimate $100,000-$200,000 “There are pieces in this auction that may never appear for public sale again in some bidders’ lifetimes,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions. “They’re items that are either unique in the dictionary sense of the word or so rare that they would likely become the prized jewel of a collection and remain there. A perfect example is the auction opener, a political button of a type that has not been seen in the open marketplace for 40 years.” Winter refers to a James M Cox/Franklin D Roosevelt jugate campaign button from the US Presidential election of 1920. It is one of only six known in 1.25-inch size and one of only three known in this design. Of the six, three are held in the Cox family collection and two others are locked deeply into a fabled East Coast collection. The example offered by Hake’s will surely attract “intense bidding interest,” Winter said. “In the field of political button collecting, it is in the same rarefied league as a Honus Wagner T206 baseball…

  • Auction Industry
    Star Wars Rare Toys Auction to Include Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi Figures

    An original Star Wars Yoda card with a 3.75-inch toy. Image courtesy of Simmons Auction House. “May the Force be with you” — a famous catchphrase recognized even by those who are not fans of the movie that conceived it. That’s the kind of popularity the Star Wars universe has earned for itself. Few others enjoy the same reach as the Star Wars franchise. With gripping storylines, memorable characters, and valuable merchandising, the Star Wars universe has acquired a fandom that crosses generations and a vast demographic range. Noticing the franchise’s massive potential, Disney purchased Star Wars from Lucasfilm Ltd. for a whopping USD 4.05 billion in 2012. Disney’s marketing plans and extensive merchandising helped expand the franchise to the fullest. After the release of 12 movies since the first film in 1978, Star Wars has generated more than $10 billion in box office revenue, not to mention the billions that franchise deals and merchandise rake in every year. In its upcoming event, Simmons Auction House will present an online sale of Star Wars toys and original action figures. The catalog features a few graded and some rare pieces from the period of 1977 to 1985. From Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader to human bounty hunter Boba Fett, Ewok, and stormtroopers, the collection comprises a variety of Star Wars character toys and figurines. A Boba Fett 3.75-inch toy featuring Mandalorian armor and gun. Image courtesy of Simmons Auction House. Even though Boba Fett’s appearance in the original films was rare, this Star Wars character gained considerable popularity in the collector’s market before his live-action debut in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. A Boba Fett 3.75-inch toy is available in the upcoming Simmons Auction House event. Armored with a Mandalorian suit and gun, the figure has an estimate of $5 to $1,000. A Boba Fett action figure set the world auction record for Star Wars toys in 2019. Hake’s Auctions sold the Boba Fett J-slot rocket-firing prototype for $185,850 during an online sale. An Obi-Wan Kenobi 3.75-inch toy. Image courtesy of Simmons Auction House. Another iconic character from the…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Hake’s auctions screen-used Captain America shield for $259,540, closing the year at $10M+

    Australian collector is new owner of hero-prop shield used by Chris Evans during closeup scenes in 2019’s top-grossing film, Avengers: Endgame Chris Evans' Captain America Shield Avengers: Endgame YORK, Pa. – A Captain America “hero-prop” shield screen-used by Chris Evans in Marvel Studios 2019 blockbuster Avengers: Endgame sold for a heart-stopping $259,540 at Hake’s Auctions on November 3. The marquee item in a Nov. 2-3 online auction of premier entertainment and historical memorabilia, the star-emblazoned shield opened at $20,000 and attracted 17 bids before selling to its new owner, Wilmot “Wil” Creasy. A commercial analyst with Creasy Group, a Western Australia business focused on mining and metals exploration and investment, Creasy now adds iconic aluminum to his burgeoning pop-culture portfolio, which reportedly also includes extremely rare Pokémon cards [Instagram: Pokewizard96]. The shield was constructed for Endgame by Marvel Studios senior prop master Russell Bobbitt and appeared in the film’s all-important close-up scenes. Other Captain America prop shields were created for use in long shots and action sequences but typically survived for only a few scenes before sustaining damage associated with stunt work. The near-pristine shield auctioned by Hake’s was handled with care on-set so it could be featured in multiple close-up scenes throughout the film’s production. Bidder confidence was bolstered in no small way by the shield’s impeccable provenance. Previously, it had been gifted to youth empowerment nonprofit Sand Sisters Los Angeles Inc., by Marvel Studios’ Executive Vice President Victoria Alonso. In February 2020, it was the top prize in a raffle hosted by Sand Sisters (now known as “Girl Powerful”), and raised $155,801. The shield came to Hake’s with a custom-crafted plaque and Letter of Authenticity, both signed by Bobbitt. After the auction concluded, Hake’s president, Alex Winter, commented on the shield’s success: “This was one of those rare times when we did not assign a pre-auction estimate. We knew the collectors would have the final say and didn’t want to cast any expectations, but we also knew the potential for something special was definitely there. And that is what happened – a new world auction record for any Marvel movie prop was set.…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Hake’s $3.6M auction shatters house record as company marks its best year since launching in 1967

    1999 Pokémon uncut proof sheet with 99 cards sets record of its own, selling for $234,171 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back display stand with six encapsulated action figures, 1980, AFA graded, complete and unused condition. Sold for $36,302 against an estimate of $10,000-$20,000 YORK, Pa. – If records are made to be broken, then Hake’s has clearly mastered the art of an encore performance. Their June 29-30 auction, which grossed a robust $3.6 million, rewrote the company’s history books as it became their second consecutive auction to break an existing house record. Along the way, a number of new individual record prices were set, as well. “The June 29-30 result, combined with the $2.9 million total from our first Premier Auction of 2021, puts us at $6.5 million so far this year, and that’s without even adding the totals of our Internet auctions,” said Hake’s president Alex Winter. “On top of that, we still have one more Premier Auction scheduled for this year. Needless to say, we’re very excited about the current state of the market for vintage collectibles.”   The June auction’s top lot was a 1999 Pokémon Shadowless Holographic uncut proof sheet with 99 cards, including seven coveted Charizard cards, which sold for a sensational $234,171. It is the earliest uncut Pokémon proof sheet ever to be offered at auction and was formerly the property of a Hasbro employee who received it as a gift in 1999.  As the name implies, “Shadowless” cards lack shadowing around the featured images. They are rarer than “Unlimited” Pokémon cards because of their smaller print runs. The uncut sheet auctioned by Hake’s attracted 18 bids and easily surpassed its pre-sale high estimate of $200,000. In so doing, it set its own auction record. The previous record price ($117,000) was achieved by a different Pokémon sheet (Wizards of the Coast Unlimited Base Set), which sold in February 2021.*  Ultra-rare Star Wars prototype action figures have a long history at Hake’s. In July of 2019, the company sold a Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype figure, AFA-graded 85 NM+, for $112,926. There was speculation that…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hake’s June 29-30 auction led by original comic art, Pokemon uncut sheet, Star Wars rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype, 1915 Babe Ruth/Red Sox rookie button

    Historical Highlight: George Washington-signed promissory note for purchase of slaves, including young Revolutionary War hero William Lee 1767 George Washington-signed slave sale promissory note for his trusted personal valet William ‘Billy’ Lee, who went to war with Washington, including at Valley Forge and Yorktown. Never before seen at auction. Accompanied by Hake’s and JSA Letters of Authenticity. Opening bid: $10,000 YORK, Pa. – Throughout 2020 and the first quarter of this year, collectors of pop culture memorabilia made it clear that even a global pandemic could not stop them from enjoying their favorite hobby. Via the Internet, they were able to acquire unique, investment-grade pieces by bidding in Hake’s $2.9 million February collectibles auction, which broke multiple house records and captured world record prices in several categories. That trend continues to gather steam now that Hake’s has announced the exciting highlights of its June 29-30 online auction. Original comic art, vintage comic books, political memorabilia, Star Wars, GI Joe and other action figures; a 1999 uncut Pokemon sheet, and treasures of the classic baseball era are just a few of the sizzling categories featured in the current 2,381-lot auction.  In keeping with Hake’s tradition, the sale will open with historical and US presidential material. Lot #1, a 1767 promissory note hand-signed by George Washington, is unquestionably one of the most important documents Hake’s has ever handled. It “speaks” from a shameful period of America’s past when even the noblest of our nation’s founding fathers kept slaves.  The promissory note serves as Washington’s commitment to purchase four slaves, including William Lee, an African-American youth who became Washington’s trusted personal valet. A Mount Vernon financial ledger specifies that the transaction was for: “Mulatto Will £61.15/ Ditto Frank £50/ Negro Boy Adam £19/ Jack £19.” The document is hand-signed in black quill-pen ink by George Washington and his brother John Augustine Washington, and is addressed to “Mary Lee, Acting Executor of John Lee, Deceased.” William Lee, or “Will,” as he was known to the future president, spent two decades at Washington’s side – at social events, on surveying expeditions, at the First Continental…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Hake’s smashes house record with $2.9M Premier Auction of important American memorabilia and collectibles

    Six-figure prices paid for 1860 Lincoln/Hamlin parade banner, MLK-signed jail logbook pages Hand-painted, hand-stitched 1860 Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin parade banner used by youthful political activists known as the ‘Wide Awakes.’ Fresh to the market after 30 years in a private collection, it sold for $143,104, the highest auction price ever achieved for a Lincoln textile.  YORK, Pa. – Hake’s Auctions, specialists in Americana and collectibles since 1967, set a new house record when their February 24-25 Premier Auction #231 cashed out at $2,888,163. Not only did the auction set a new monetary record for Hake’s, it also achieved new highs for sell-through rate (98%), bidder volume, and the number of bids placed. “Our goal in every auction is to give our bidders the best opportunity to purchase rare, high-caliber items from any collecting category that grabs their interest. Whether they are passionate about comics, baseball, original art, political, toys, historical items, you name it, they will find something in our auctions. We are excited by the bidder turnout and anticipate growing it more in the future,” said Hake’s president, Alex Winter.  Two six-figure sales were realized in the political and historical categories, starting with an 1860 Lincoln and Hamlin “Wide Awakes” all-seeing-eye parade banner that sold for $143,104, an auction record price for the Lincoln textile. The Wide Awakes, a grassroots youth organization that spread across the country during the 1860 election, held torchlight parade demonstrations that captured the nation’s attention and helped propel Lincoln to victory. Banners created and used by the Wide Awakes are almost non-existent, especially in private hands. The one sold by Hake’s went to Seth Kaller Inc, a firm that deals in and authenticates historical artifacts. “This banner was part of the action at parades and torchlight demonstrations during the critical 1860 election, and its production was no doubt spurred by the political awakening then occurring in reflection of Lincoln’s words and ideas. Its survival offers a rare tangible connection to the spirt of Lincoln’s champions, who undoubtedly helped propel him to the presidency. It is a national treasure,” said Hake’s Americana specialist…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hake’s Feb. 24-25 auction led by rare original comic art, historical and political memorabilia, Fleer #57 Michael Jordan rookie card, Negro League baseball treasures

    2,266-lot auction also features elusive Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures, rare Transformers Jetfire 1986-’87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan (HOF) rookie card, BGS-graded 9 Mint. Arguably the most iconic sports card of the modern era. Estimate $20,000-$35,000 YORK, Pa. – Last September, Hake’s Auctions set world record prices for pop-culture memorabilia and broke their own house records for sell-through rate, the number of registered bidders and the number of bids placed. Lightning could strike twice on February 24-25 when the Pennsylvania auction house hosts a 2,266-lot sale containing important political relics, Negro League baseball memorabilia, original comic art, exotic Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures, and the Michael Jordan sports card all fans dream of owning: a 1986-’87 Fleer #57 rookie card.   Hake’s was established in 1967 with political items as its foundation. The February sale continues that tradition, not only with the opening lot but also a magnificent Civil War treasure: a hand-painted 1860 Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin “Wide Awake” parade banner with the mesmerizing image of a large human eye. The “Wide Awakes” were 36 young men from Hartford, Connecticut, who banded together to form a political action group. On March 5, 1860, after hearing Lincoln’s address in their hometown, the youthful activists formed a marching party to escort the future president to his accommodation for the night. Lincoln was so impressed by the spectacle, he started encouraging young people everywhere to follow the Wide Awakes’ example. Banners created and used by the Wide Awakes are almost non-existent, especially in private hands. A top highlight amongst the 500 political lots in the auction, the ultra-rare pre-Civil War textile will open with a $10,000 bid and no reserve. The powerful 300-lot selection of sports memorabilia is highlighted by an extremely rare Babe Ruth Boston Red Sox “Royal Rooters” 1915 Champions button. It is emblazoned with the same group photo of Ruth, his 21 teammates, team owners and trainer that appears on a 1915 real-photo postcard that achieved a six-figure auction price. Advanced baseball memorabilia collectors would know that only two examples of this particular button are known to…

  • Auction Result
    Hake’s $2.1 million sale, September 23-24, captures world-record prices and breaks house records

    YORK, Pa. – It wasn’t the Fourth of July, but there were plenty of auction fireworks going off during Hake’s September 23-24 auction of pop culture memorabilia, which realized $2.1 million. As experts had predicted, the only known 1916 World Series Championship button – emblazoned with images of the winning Red Sox manager and players – soared to the top of prices realized and, in so doing, set not one, but two world auction records. With a winning bid of $62,980, the oversize button featuring three future Hall of Famers, including then-21-year-old pitching and batting phenom Babe Ruth, became the most expensive button of any genre ever sold at auction, not to mention the highest-priced baseball button.   Only known Boston Red Sox 1916 World Championship button, unusually large 6in size, advertises ‘Alpen Brau – Detroit’s Champion Beer,’ features images of manager Bill Carrigan plus 24 teammates, including future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Herb Pennock and Harry Hooper. Provenance: the late Dr. Paul Muchinsky. Sold for $62,980 – a world-record auction price for a button of any type, sports or otherwise.Hake's Auctions “It was the most coveted piece in the late Dr. Paul Muchinsky’s incredible baseball button collection and was pictured on the back cover of his 2004 reference book ‘Baseball Pinback Buttons,’” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions. “It was also pictured solo on the cover of our auction catalog, which reflects the high importance we placed on it.” Another record-setter from the Muchinsky collection was a 1952 Mickey Mantle “Fan Club” real-photo button. This particular button was produced in very small numbers and made available only to club members by mail. Over the years, few have survived. An example from the famed Barry Halper Collection sold at Sotheby’s in 1999 for $12,650. Paul Muchinsky’s Mantle Fan Club button set a new world record auction at Hake’s, selling for $23,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000. Another high flier, a 1915 “Ty Cobb Right Field” button with advertising on verso for Schmelzer’s Sporting Goods of Kansas City, Mo., caught a winning bid of $17,276. A rare button…

  • Auction Industry
    ‘Button Power’ by Christen Carter and Ted Hake explores pin-back buttons prior to social media

    “Social media is today’s most popular platform for self- expression, but the button preceded it as a way to tell others what was on your mind and as a tool to help spread an idea. No other form of wearable expression has yet to replace the humble button – and unlike social media, a button is something you can literally stand behind.” – excerpt from ‘Button Power’ Cover of the new book Button Power by Christen Carter and Ted Hake, which goes on sale October 13, 2020Hake's Auctions NEW YORK, N.Y. – With an itinerary that journeys through campaign rallies, rock concerts and pivotal events of our time, Button Power(Princeton Architectural Press; on-sale October 13, 2020; ISBN: 9781616898700) documents a people's history of American culture as seen through the pin-back button. Lively commentary from two of America's foremost button experts, Christen Carter and Ted Hake, explores how the small-but-powerful button has inspired, amused, and captured the spirit of events and movements that reflected society and changed history. Whether supporting women’s suffrage, civil rights, or the ‘60s hippie ethos of peace, love and no nukes, nothing, it seems, has ever presented a more effective statement of one’s own beliefs than a button. In line with the current news focus on protests and presidential elections, Button Power offers a fascinating retrospective on the cultural movements, fads and trends that became part of the American landscape long before social media existed.  More than 1,500 beautifully photographed buttons grouped into 12 broad categories are depicted in the high-quality hardbound book’s 192 pages. Artists, athletes, actors, politicians, punk and pop musicians; and product mascots of the past 125 years make cameos, including Rube Goldberg, Muhammad Ali, Wonder Woman, the Ramones, Shirley Chisholm, and the Apollo 11 astronauts, among hundreds more. Sample double-page spreadHake's Auctions The first book of its kind, Button Poweris a visual feast of popular art in miniature, with lavishly illustrated spreads enhanced by little-known backstories and entertaining anecdotes from Carter and Hake. Their encyclopedic knowledge spans decades and is summoned with ease and humor. For fans of pop culture, visual culture, and design, this book will be…

  • Auction Industry
    1916 BoSox World Series championship button showing Babe Ruth will be in Hake’s Sept. 23rd auction

    YORK, Pa. – The legend of Babe Ruth, the historical importance of the Paul Muchinsky (1947-2015) pinback button collection, and the mystery of why a Detroit brewery would promote the 1916 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox form an intriguing backstory that continues to unfold at Hake’s Auctions. Only known Boston Red Sox 1916 World Championship button, unusually large 6in size, advertises ‘Alpen Brau – Detroit’s Champion Beer’ and features images of manager Bill Carrigan plus 24 teammates, including future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Herb Pennock and Harry Hooper. Provenance: personal collection of the late Dr. Paul Muchinsky. Opening bid: $10,000. Bidding on the button closes on Sept. 23.Hake's Auctions The puzzle surrounds the prized headliner of Hake’s 2,048-lot collectibles and pop culture sale that closes for bidding on September 23-24: a 6-inch celluloid button deemed so important, experts believe it could set a new world auction record for a baseball pinback. It has the distinction of being the only 1916 World Series Championship button known to exist. The oversize button individually depicts and identifies the manager and 24 teammates from the 1916 Boston Red Sox team, including three future Hall of Famers: Herb Pennock, Harry Hooper and then-21-year-old pitching and batting phenom Babe Ruth. The button’s crisp, visually dense display is also adorned with art images of bats, balls, bases, gloves and other baseball equipment, as well as banners that say “World’s Champions 1916” and “Boston Red Sox American League.” The 1916 Series was especially significant for Babe Ruth, as it marked the brilliant southpaw’s first post-season on the mound. He revealed his incredible prowess by pitching a complete extra-innings (14 innings) game against the Brooklyn Robins, delivering a 2-1 second-game victory for the Sox. The central advertising message appearing on the pinback in Hake’s auction raises intriguing questions about the button’s origin and intended use. Within a black-outlined circle in capital letters, it says “DRINK ALPEN BRAU – DETROIT’S CHAMPION BEER.” But why would a Detroit brewery support a rival team from Boston? Or put the other way, why, hypothetically, would a Boston team approach a Detroit…

  • People
    Comic-book industry veteran Gary Guzzo joins Hake’s Auctions

    In a vintage photo from Gary Guzzo’s personal archive, he is shown (at right) with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and renowned ‘pinup’ artist Olivia De Berardinis at San Diego Comic-Con in 1994. Photo courtesy of Gary Guzzo. YORK, PA.- In line with their continued goal of growth through providing top-notch services to their clientele, Hake’s Auctions has appointed comics industry veteran Gary Guzzo to the position of comic art consultant and artist representative. In his new capacity, Guzzo will use his extensive experience and connections to secure original art for auctions, including fresh-to-the-market pieces, and help to authenticate material. He will also act as a liaison between Hake’s Auctions and the artists who are looking to sell their work. As a result of his career path to date, Guzzo has a thorough knowledge of both the music and comics industries. “I literally spent half my life in the music biz and the other half in comics. I saw my first live concert at thirteen, but even when I was cemented in that business, it always came with a side order of comic books,” he said. Starting as a comic book reader, he became a collector after attending his first New York Comic Art Convention and discovering The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. While working in the music business, he temporarily drifted away from regularly buying comics. Then, in 1984, Guzzo decided to open his own comic shop, Amazing Tales, located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. It quickly outgrew its 12- by 20-foot storefront and was moved to a larger location. “I became very friendly with the sales departments at Marvel, DC, and Archie Comics, so Amazing Tales quickly became a store with almost weekly comic book creator appearances, and a place that comic book pros would hang around in, so I became very involved with publishers, artists, writers and the like,” he recalled. He sold the shop in 1989 and subsequently launched his own staging company specializing in convention A/V services. He moved his business location to Manhattan, which put him near Marvel Comics, where he remained in touch with two friends…