Following up on John Freeman’s interview with comic collector extraordinaire Peter Hansen (read it here, with an accompanying interview over on YouTube here), I thought I’d just highlight some of the auction catalogues that were produced for the liquidation of comic creator, collector and author Denis Gifford‘s collection, back in 2001.
Hamer Auctions also published the two editions of the Hamer Comic Annual Guide by Martin Hamer, its aim to identify and value British annuals and comics.
Born in 1927, Gifford was a writer, broadcaster, journalist, comic artist and historian of film, comics, television and radio. In his lengthy career, he wrote and drew for British comics; wrote more than 50 books on the creators, performers, characters and history of popular media; devised, compiled and contributed to popular programmes for radio and television; and directed several short films.
Gifford was also a major comics collector, owning what was perhaps the largest collection of British comics in the world. He died in 2000, aged 72, and his collection was auctioned in 2001 by bookseller and auctioneer Martin Hamer.
As you can see, the Hammer Auctions catalogues (these are the only ones I have – there were a dozen auctions in all) are all pretty similar looking! They’re A4 sized, with 20-28 pages with some interior pages in colour, typically showing the rarest items.
The prices realised from the prior auction are then included in the subsequent catalogue, thus allowing you to check to see what prices were eventually realised for the lots.
Catalogue one has lots 1-500, catalogue 2 has lots 501-100, catalogue 1001-1300 & catalogue 4 has lots of 1301-1750
The lots are an amazing selection of books, comics, film, magazine and original comic art. I’d recommend picking them up – if you can find them, they seem very hard to track down!
Hamer Auctions also published two editions the Hamer Comic Annual Guide by Martin Hamer, its aim to identify and value British annuals and comics. The Guide attempted to list just about every significant British annual and its comic counterpart, from Adventure to Zorro.
The first edition, published in 2000, ran to 167 pages, with 13 full colour plates identifying the covers of undated early British Annuals including the highly collectable Dandy, Beano and Rupert Bear.
The second edition, published in 2002, a 50-page supplement to the first, presumably also takes into account the sales prices for Gifford’s collection. One Rupert Bear Book was sold by Hamer Auctions for £16,500 and a single issue of Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday made £3,600.
• Rupert the Bear expert Martin Hamer retired some years ago. His business interests were taken over by Martin Thatcher at GreenChase Books & Auctions, who list Rupert the Bear posters for sale on their web site – contact him here to check the availability of copies of the Hamer Comic Annual Guide