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ThreepwoodMac

Your Advice - Appraisals for Original Game Cover Art?

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Hi guys, I've got a question. I wrote on this forum before describing some of the items my fiancee and I inherited from her father, "Captain Steve" Morgenstern, the founding editor of Atari Age Magazine. One of the items in our poession is the original "Swordquest" cover painting used for Atari Age Vol. 1 #3. (A graphic of the magazine cover is attached below.)

I'm interested in selling it, but I'd like to get it appraised before I start considering serious offers. Would anyone here have any advice on how to go about that?

 

Some other questions - anybody happen to know who the artist was? Also, once it's been appraised, what would be the best venue to sell it? eBay, or an auction house, or... where?

 

atari_age3.jpg

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I seriously thought that was going to link me to a Backin89 thread...to which, I was going to say: "For Shame CPU!" :lolblue:

 

I read that thread but completely forgot about it. I would love to see a book like that. Owning the original art would be very cool, but I have no idea what kind of price you would put on such an odd rarity.

 

@ the OP: Best of luck with your hunt for information and your sale. If you have a price in mind, shoot me a PM. That is a beautiful piece of artwork!

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I've seen a lot of original art for movie posters and album covers at auction houses over the years, but I don't believe I've ever seen any original video game artwork, let alone artwork from a video game magazine. I'm not sure there are people who would be able to appraise such a niche item. If it was me I'd take offers on here to get an idea and either sell it that way, or throw it up on EBay with a reserve of what it'd be worth for me to sell versus keeping for a collection.

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You should post a picture of the actual painting with the dimensions. Just throwing a # of there I would say $1000 at a minimum if it is truly the original art used for the cover...could be $10,000.

 

First step would be to contact a reputable auction house that deals in paintings and try to get it authenticated.

If the painting is authentic and one of kind you have a real Jem.

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$10,000? What are you basing that figure on? I've been collecting movie and music memorabilia for over a decade and I've seen original album and movie poster artwork go for much less than that. And those are far more collectible with a larger audience than an Atari magazine. Just my 2 cents based on my experience with similar types of collectibles.

 

I have seen original video game box art up for sale in the past, might be worth researching the price of those to get a better ballpark figure.

Edited by madman
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Hi there!

 

What I would suggest is that you look outside of the Atari gaming community and at the comic book community for guidance. I know that the Swordquest series was drawn and inked by George Pérez with Dick Giordano. Now, if that painting was done by Pérez, his name would likely attract a larger buying audience. As much as I'd like to see it in the hands of an Atari collector (and specifically mine!), the fact that it's a painting and not an inked illustration will increase the value, and add to that the possibility of a name brand artist, and you will likely had something substantial. By that I mean, it's not going to be as collectible as work he did on Fantastic Four or something of comparable reknown, but it might boost it. Giordano is a recognized name, too. Can you provide a little more info about the painting? Dimensions would be helpful and if you know the medium (oils, inks, airbrush) that would be good, too. At least with the size I can be a little more helpful about value (as a person who collects video games and comic books and had a long relationship with an artist).

Edited by Zwackery
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Greetings,

You may want to take a look at the Heritage auction site. They have a seachable archive of past auctions with prices realized. A comparative magazine cover unrelated to Perez' more famous works (Teen Titans, Avengers, Crisis) sold for around $4000. A fair price for his non-DC work of that era could reasonably priced between $2000 and $4000. First you need to find a reputable dealer to do an appraisal for you. Not the easiest route to go though. I have artwork attributed to Steranko and Gray Morrow that has taken years to find a dealer that is willing to take a look at the pieces.

Edited by dobidy

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Hey, ThreepwoodMac.

 

Welcome to the board -- that's a very cool piece. I'm the guy/author mentioned in the linked Art of Atari book thread. From the looks of this, it looks like a George Perez painting, but would have to see more detail to be sure. Are there any signatures on it? I agree with dobidy that he has a pretty big non-Atari audience because of his great work for DC comics and others, but it's hard for me to know if this would be more or less interesting to the traditional comics fans, because it's not a superhero painting. Really hard to say. But based on my talks with Atari artists and others, I wouldn think that anywhere from $500-2500 would be a reasonable offer (wide margin, I know), depending on condition and all. Heritage Auctions is a great suggestion, and they seem to have excellent video game and comics related auctions, so it might be good to check them out if you're looking to sell it.

 

As CPUWIZ mentioned below, I'd love to talk with you about how we could potentially get a scan or high-resolution photo for use in the Atari art book, if you're interested, along with anything else related you might have and be willing to share. Can you PM me to discuss? Thanks!

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Hi guys, I've got a question. I wrote on this forum before describing some of the items my fiancee and I inherited from her father, "Captain Steve" Morgenstern, the founding editor of Atari Age Magazine. One of the items in our poession is the original "Swordquest" cover painting used for Atari Age Vol. 1 #3. (A graphic of the magazine cover is attached below.)

 

I'm interested in selling it, but I'd like to get it appraised before I start considering serious offers. Would anyone here have any advice on how to go about that?

 

Some other questions - anybody happen to know who the artist was? Also, once it's been appraised, what would be the best venue to sell it? eBay, or an auction house, or... where?

 

atari_age3.jpg

 

That $10,000 remark was priceless. What should be said is that it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it :) meaning that what we collect is so specialized that you really would need to find that one or two people that desperately want this in their collection. You could go on eBay (probably the best and largest audience) and put it out with a very high reserve to see the interest. This would be nice to have but not artwork from a cart or game which I would think yield considerably more. Maybe if it was Mag 1, vol 1, then it would also yield more. Personally I would estimate it around $400-800 but that is only based on what I see people collecting.

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My ex-GF (not a famous artist) would routinely sell large (24"x48" or larger) canvases (all original art and no duplications) for around $900 (she is an abstract painter and works primarily in oils), so I think the magazine cover would easily be at the $1000 mark and likely higher, although I am a bit sceptical of $10,000...but you never know what people are willing to pay. More info about the painting would certainly help the appraisal process.

 

Reserves on eBay auctions tend to depress bidding somewhat. To really get the market value, start it at 99 cents and let the bidders have at it. Since the painting was inherited, everything is pure profit.

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My ex-GF (not a famous artist) would routinely sell large (24"x48" or larger) canvases (all original art and no duplications) for around $900 (she is an abstract painter and works primarily in oils), so I think the magazine cover would easily be at the $1000 mark and likely higher, although I am a bit sceptical of $10,000...but you never know what people are willing to pay. More info about the painting would certainly help the appraisal process.

 

Reserves on eBay auctions tend to depress bidding somewhat. To really get the market value, start it at 99 cents and let the bidders have at it. Since the painting was inherited, everything is pure profit.

The high ($5k) reserve idea wasn't to sell it but to draw attention and see who is interested, at eBay's expense. Let it run for as long as possible.

Starting at .99 cents, with no reserve, is a good way for someone to buy cheap (so be weary of that). It offers no protection. It can pay off sometimes, but most of the time people miss it that might have been interested and it sell dirt cheap.

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The high ($5k) reserve idea wasn't to sell it but to draw attention and see who is interested, at eBay's expense. Let it run for as long as possible.

Starting at .99 cents, with no reserve, is a good way for someone to buy cheap (so be weary of that). It offers no protection. It can pay off sometimes, but most of the time people miss it that might have been interested and it sell dirt cheap.

 

 

Reserves are stupid and testing the market may alienate potential buyers. You're either selling or you're not. The more you float your item and not sell it, being a non-entity in the scene, the less credibility you have and the less people will trust you or bother with you. We've had people teasing items in the forums for years and all they end up with is ire and distrust.

 

Art isn't always original. Regular folks aren't good at figuring out what is original and what is not. This could be a print or poster, which would be worth a ton less. Messing around just draws doubt to the situation and people may lose interest.

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Reserves are stupid and testing the market may alienate potential buyers. You're either selling or you're not. The more you float your item and not sell it, being a non-entity in the scene, the less credibility you have and the less people will trust you or bother with you. We've had people teasing items in the forums for years and all they end up with is ire and distrust.

 

Art isn't always original. Regular folks aren't good at figuring out what is original and what is not. This could be a print or poster, which would be worth a ton less. Messing around just draws doubt to the situation and people may lose interest.

Wait, let me guess, you'd also rather him put it out at .99 cents and see where it falls (or like more of eBayers do and shill bid). Come on. Your reply only makes sense if that (reserve testing) is ALL you do.

 

This is a very specific piece that outside of "us" would even know what it was.

Do you really think that a magazine cover art piece without a back story or signature would be of interest to anyone other than eBay, AtariAge, etc. Where are you going to advertise it.

It's finding that one or two people that "need" it. And that they have disposable cash :)

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Wait, let me guess, you'd also rather him put it out at .99 cents and see where it falls (or like more of eBayers do and shill bid). Come on. Your reply only makes sense if that (reserve testing) is ALL you do.

 

This is a very specific piece that outside of "us" would even know what it was.

Do you really think that a magazine cover art piece without a back story or signature would be of interest to anyone other than eBay, AtariAge, etc. Where are you going to advertise it.

It's finding that one or two people that "need" it. And that they have disposable cash :)

 

First off, what do you do after reserve testing when it comes up for $1200 reserve not met? Do you go and try to sell it for $2000? or $10k? Makes no sense.

 

And seriously, there are some big spenders in classic collecting frequenting these boards. This is certainly the largest place to find them. The seller was smart enough to come here. What's next, Christies'?

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Thanks for your help, guys! It's much appreciated. I'll be taking some high-resolution shots soon of the art itself, and I'll post them here for anyone who might be interested.

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This piece if an original painting might sell at 500-1000 on the market today.

 

While I don't own any Atari Age covers I've bought a few (perhaps 10-20) videogame magazine cover paintings. Some as low as 300 most closer to 500 yet all of them less than 1000 and certainly not 10000.

 

As a seller I'd avoid Heritage. The fees are too high and the people who see it in a comic focused auction won't care about video games.

 

In fact I believe the cheapest one I ever bought was on Heritage. A DOOM Electronic Games #64 painting for less than 300.

 

http://comics.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=829&lotNo=42402

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Thanks for your help, guys! It's much appreciated. I'll be taking some high-resolution shots soon of the art itself, and I'll post them here for anyone who might be interested.

 

Also, the dimensions and the medium (best estimate if you are unsure) of the piece. What it was painted on (such as canvas) is also useful.

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I just showed the pic to George Perez and he said he did the penciling and Ernie something filled it in.

Yeah, I would have been surprised if Perez had done his own painting or coloring. Would be cool to know who that is.

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I think you have already started down the right path. Bring these kinds of things to the attention of the right people (places like AA), put it up for sale on eBay and be happy with what it brings. Something like this is perfect for an auction because it is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it. For my part I'll say I would be willing to bid more if you could provide proof of some kind that it is original and one of a kind. I couldn't begin to tell you how to prove those things as the market is pretty niche and we are always learning new things about old products.

 

Be sure to post here when you are selling, I can't bid if I don't know it's for sale!

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I just showed the pic to George Perez and he said he did the penciling and Ernie something filled it in.

 

Ernie Chan? :love: (Adrienne Roy did the ashcans.)

 

Confirmation on Perez is outstanding! :thumbsup:

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I don't think it was Ernie Chan. I'm aware of him and I didn't recognize the name. Sorry, I didn't want to bother him too much.

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I just showed the pic to George Perez and he said he did the penciling and Ernie something filled it in.

George Perez illustrated the Swordquest series like a comic book.He did the inks or the line art. Another colorist then made photocopies of those originals and colored them in. The photocopies that have been colored in are kinda sloppy. There are notes on the sides to indicate which colors to use. In general these colored sheets are not that sought after compared with the line art. You have neither of these. What you say you have is a painting which would have been done by an Atari staff artist.

 

If George Perez did the Atariage cover the original art would look like this.

 

image_zps7e4aaeb0.jpg

 

image_zpsf8ccb4a6.jpg

 

image_zps1faafa5a.jpg

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