Jerry Weist Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Auction Results

Frank Frazetta’s masterpiece of science fiction art, Tomorrow Midnight, 1966, brought $83,650 as the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ $1.16+ million Sept. 12 Signature® Jerry Weist Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art in Beverly Hills, CA. All prices include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

All told, 1,184 collectors vied for one of the 1,536 pieces in the auction, translating into an astounding 99% sell-through rate by total number of lots.

“Based on the incredible enthusiasm leading up to the auction, we knew that scores of collectors from all over the world realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and would be bidding aggressively,” said Todd Hignite, Consignment Director for Illustration and Comic Art at Heritage, “but the total number of bidders was unparalleled, as was the sell through rate, and the auction total was significantly higher than we had even hoped for. The results speak to the importance of the collection and the deep affection collectors feel toward one of the most well respected figures in the hobby.”

Weist, who passed away in January of this year, was a pioneering collector, publisher, historian and scholar. The science-fiction and fantasy themed artwork, rare first-edition books, movie posters, fanzines, pulp magazines, comic books and great many rare personal items in the collection were lovingly collected by Weist across more than four decades.

“He was an incredible collector, no doubt,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage, “and a very good friend. His were the finest examples and there can be little better of a memorial to his talent than to see the enthusiasm and superb prices his material brought. He is greatly missed, but lives on via the rock solid provenance that any piece of this collection will always carry.”

The first appearance of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, in any medium, in the form of All-Story, October 1912, was also very hotly contested by collectors as this milestone in American literature quickly rose amidst spirited bidding to bring $41,825, while Wally Wood’s original art for the complete eight-page 3-D story, Spawn of Venus, 1954, from EC 3-D #3, realized $38,838.

Great original science fiction art continued to bring a premium throughout the Weist Collection, especially when John Schoenherr’s iconic 1965 cover art for the first paperback edition of Frank Herbert’s Dune more than doubled its pre-auction estimate of $10,000+ to finish the day at $26,290. The Weist Collection also yielded up a world record price for a George Herriman Krazy Kat Sunday original, as the artwork from Herriman’s strip of Dec. 10, 1939, realized $28,680, the most a Herriman work of that period has ever realized at auction.

Weist’s original sci-fi and fantasy art and pulp’s drew a majority of the attention in the auction, but collectors quietly emerged en force to vie for his amazing grouping of first edition, signed sci-fi books, with a superb unrestored first edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The God of Mars, with the original dust jacket,leading the way with a final price of $14,340.

“The auction of a collection like this just goes to show how important the name of a specific collector can be to other collectors,” said Joe Fay, Manager of Rare Books at Heritage. “Weist spent untold hours assembling his amazing assortment – including many one-of-a-kind examples that performed well past estimates – and his diligence and gimlet eye for the very best examples created an amazing response from collectors.”

Further highlights from the auction of Weist’s books include a copy of Stanley Weinbaum’s The Dawn of Flame, a rare Palmer copy inscribed from Forrest J. Ackerman to Jerry Weist, which realized $9,560; one of 50 author’s copies of Farenheit 451, specially bound in red cloth and inscribed by Ray Bradbury, which brought $8,365; A. E. van Vogt’s own heavily annotated copy of Slan, estimated at $300+, which soared to $5,079, a price matched by a first edition, first state, signed copy of Phillip K. Dick’s Confessions of a Crap Artist, which obliterated its pre-auction estimate of $400+.

Books from Weist’s epic collection will continue to be featured in Heritage’s Rare Book and Autograph Weekly Auctions through the end of 2011. These auctions open and close each Thursday night at 10 p.m. CT, in a rolling format, with each auction opening as soon as the previous week closes. The events will feature between 30 and 50 books from the collection, many of them signed and/or inscribed to Weist.

The first of these can be found at HA.com/201140

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top