Thursday, November 7, 2013


Blue Ribbon Press published a line of 'pop-up' books in the 1930s.  They started with nursery rhyme characters like Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.  Soon after they moved into licensed characters, including Buck Rogers, Tarzan and this gem pictured above.  This book commonly shows up for auction in the $80 - 100 range.  Owing to age and fragility, they are rarely undamaged or completely intact.  The one above is an exception.  It's the best copy I've seen to date.  It sold for $326.

This is a ticket stub for a 1947 Ohio State football game.  The stub features a picture of Chic Harley as drawn by Caniff.  Chic Harley is a true OSU football great: three-time All-American, charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Buckeyes won 23 of the 24 games he played in.  He was in the team's first victory over Michigan (1919) and still holds the OSU individual scoring record (8.74 points per game).  Enthusiasm over Harley's playing is credited with much of the fundraising for Ohio Stadium, built in the early 1920s.  My guess is that Harley appeared at and was honored at this 1947 game, as it was the same year the Chic Harley Scholarship Fund was started (and yes, the Bucks won 13-7).  The stub sold for $25.

Here is a special rarity indeed - a personal item of Milton Caniff's.  Caniff's great-great grand nephew recently sold some Caniff items on Ebay.  The item pictured above was Caniff's traveling liquor case.  As you can see from the first picture, the case was marked with his initials (for Milton Arthur Caniff).  The airline card has his Palm Springs address.  I know nothing of Caniff's drinking habits, though he did appear in print ads for Teacher's Scotch and Walker's DeLuxe.  My dad had one of these cases and I remember wanting to be the one to carry it in from the trunk to the hotel room on trips.  Caniff's case sold at auction for $127.

Canada Dry used "Terry and the Pirates" in promotions in 1952.  The artwork was by George Wunder, who drew "Terry" from 1947 onward.  Premiums included these pinback buttons.  Above is a complete set of five, which is quite a find.  The Terry and the Dragon Lady pins show up quite often, but I'd never even seen a Burma or Hot Shot Charlie before this auction came around.  Since a Dragon Lady pin by itself sold earlier this year for $23, the set of five was a steal at $39.

Sticking with George Wunder, here is a rare charcoal on vellum illustration by him.  The date is unknown.  It's really beautifully done, and quite a departure from his strip work in terms of style.  I'm becoming a Wunder fan more and more (and not just due to the subject matter).  Sadly, this piece bears some heavy water damage on both sides.  It sold for $84.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Harley's number was 47 and that likeness appeared on all 1947 tickets.