Imagine finding $3.5 million in a basement closet. On Feb. 23, 2012, Heritage Auction House of Dallas, Texas, sold a collection of 345 comic books found by a man in Martinsville, Va., while cleaning out his great aunt's basement after she died.
The collection sold for $3.5 million.
Included in this valuable collection was a copy of detective comics No. 27 issue, which sold for 10 cents in 1939, featuring the debut of Batman. That issue sold for $523,000.
Selling for $275,000 was another Batman comic that was published in 1940. A 1941 Captain America No. 2 issue with Adolf Hitler on the front cover sold for $114, 000.
Among the 345 well-preserved comics were 44 of the Overstreet Comic Book price guide's top 100 issues from comics golden age.
Most comics from the golden age of the late 1930s into the 1950s fell victim to war time paper drives, normal wear and tear, and mother's throwing them out.
A man in South Carolina bought a painting at a local Goodwill Store for $3. His daughter took it to the Antiques Roadshow, where it was appraised for $20,000 to $30,000. It just sold at auction for $190,000. The painting was Flemish and dated from about 1650.
An astronaut B model Pez dispenser recently sold at auction for $32,000. If you happen to find another one among your childrens' toys, write and tell me.
Washington County Telephone Company 1913 cast iron stamp seal, $20.
E.T. Rempe beer bottle, Marietta, $20.
1880s St. Cloud Hotel trade card, $22.
Five issues of The Tribune, New Matamoras High School newspaper, $13.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.