(Updated 22nd January 2015): Dundee-based auctioneers Curr and Dewar are offering a bound collection of The Magic Comic, comprising the first 24 issues published back 1939 later this month.
It’s believed there are only 10 known copies of The Magic Comic Number One in existence: in 2004 and 2005, copies were sold at auction for £1331 and £1925 respectively. A copy of Number Two sold for £558 in 2004, but more recent auctions of early Magic issues by Compal Comics have sold for much less.
The auctioneers believe that the collection, put up for sale by a woman who was dealing with the estate of her late father and thought to be the only one of its kind in the public domain (DC Thomson of course hold bound copies themselves), could fetch more than £2,000.
“As it’s been bound well the colours are still very bright,” says auctioneer spokesperson Steve Dewar. “It’s as if it was produced yesterday.”
The Magic Comic was the ill-fated third comic from DC Thomson after The Beano and The Dandy. First in July 1939, the comic ran for only 80 issues until January 1941, the victim of paper rationing caused by World War Two.
The title was briefly revived as a comic for younger readers in the 1970s.
While many of the characters featured were nursery rhyme or legend-inspired such as Robin Hood and The Boy With The Golden Goose, some, such as Peter Piper, drawn by Dudley D. Watkins, involved themes DC Thomson would return to in later comics.
This very rare lot will be offered for auction on Tuesday 20th January 2015.
• Curr and Dewar Auctioneers: www.curranddewar.com
• The Magic Comic Wiki: http://ukcomics.wikia.com/wiki/The_Magic_Comic
Update, 22nd January 2015: The collection sold for more than £15,000 at auction, smashing the original estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000. Auctioneer Steven Dewar told the BBC “there was a lot of interest in it.
“It is one of those collecting markets that just shows how rare that comic was, and to have a whole run of numbers one to 24 unbroken is a great draw and made all the difference to prospective buyers.”
(Thanks to Jeremy Briggs for spotting this)