Fred Guardineer’s original cover art for 1939’s Action Comics #15 – the earliest Superman cover art known to exist – brought $286,800 at Heritage Auctions on February 22, 2014 in New York.
The purchaser was Bedrock City Comics owner and Overstreet Advisor Richard Evans, who plans to display the art in one of the stores of his Houston, Texas-based chain.
“I’m just a big fan,” Evans said of his iconic acquisition.
“Guardineer’s cover is the earliest Superman cover art in existence,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage, “and an absolute treasure of comics history. A price like this shows just how much collectors covet a rarity like this.”
In the same auction, selections from the Don and Maggie Thompson Collection brought a combined $314,128 ($262,869 hammer price plus a 19.5% buyer’s premium or $51,259.45 buyer’s premium). The top lot from this time from the pedigree was a CGC-certified 9.4 copy of Tales of Suspense #39, which sold for $83,650, including the buyer’s premium.
Additionally, a CGC-certified 9.0 copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 sold for $191,200, the highest price paid for a copy in that grade.