Superman's cape just sold for nearly $200,000

Superman's cape, as worn by Christopher Reeve in Superman (1978), sold at auction yesterday for $193,750. From Julien's Auctions:

Includes a copy of Superman #331, which advertises on a banner above the front cover logo “YOU COULD BE A WINNER IN THE SECOND SUPERMAN MOVIE CONTEST!” Within the comic book is a full-page advertisement for the contest that lists “FIRST PRIZE” as “THE ACTUAL CAPE WORN BY CHRISTOPHER REEVE IN THE FILMING OF SUPERMAN THE MOVIE!..."

Accompanied by nine pages of supporting documents of authenticity, including a letter to the winning recipient of the cape, signed by DC Comics President Sol Harrison and dated February 27, 1978, and a letter from DC Comics’ Steven Korte to Sotheby’s, New York, dated October 21, 1997.

Read the rest

Heartwarming story about how Olivia Newton-John got back her iconic Grease leather jacket

Olivia Newton-John recently auctioned off hundreds of personal items from her career to benefit the Cancer Wellness & Research Centre she built in Australia. The big ticket item was her leather jacket from Grease that sold for almost $250,000. Turns out the buyer, a Grease superfan, is a wealthy physician and entrepreneur who returned the jacket to Newton-John. From CNN:

"This jacket belongs to you and the collective soul of those who love you, those for whom you are the soundtrack of their lives. It should not sit in a billionaire's closet for country club bragging rights," the anonymous buyer said in Los Angeles this weekend, in a video posted on Facebook by Julien's Auctions. "For this reason I humbly and respectfully return it to its rightful owner, which is you."

The buyer wanted to remain anonymous, so his face is blurred in the video...

"You're the best, you're the best! I'm so grateful," Newton-John said, while hugging the jacket and then the buyer. "This is the most beautiful present, but mainly it's your heart that I'm grateful for."

She seemed thrilled when the buyer asked if she would put it on display in her cancer center.

"Yes, it was was always my dream to do that, so yes!" Newton-John said.

Here's Julien's Auctions video of the moment posted to their Facebook page. Read the rest

Kurt Cobain's "Unplugged" cardigan up for auction

The green cardigan that Kurt Cobain wore during Nirvana's classic MTV Unplugged performance in 1993 (see above) will be on the auction block at the end of the month. The sweater last changed hands following a November 2015 auction, selling for $137,500. This time, the minimum bid is set for $200,000 and it's expected to go for more than $300,000. It has not been washed.

“It’s very important that we don’t wash it,” Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions said in Rolling Stone. “The stains are still there. There’s even cigarettes burns that you can see on the sweater.”

From Julien's Auctions:

The Manhattan brand sweater is a blend of acrylic, mohair and Lycra with five-button closure (one button absent) with two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near left pocket and discoloration on right pocket. Size medium. The sweater was obtained from Jackie Farry, a close friend of the Cobain family, and is accompanied by both a handwritten letter and a typed, signed letter from Farry.

Read the rest

Auction: the only moon rocks retrieved from the lunar surface that can be legally sold

In the United States, it's illegal to buy and sell moon rocks retrieved from the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. However, the law doesn't apply to the tiny moon pebbles seen above that a Soviet robotic probe drilled out of the lunar surface and sent back to Earth in 1970. In 1993, Sotheby's auctioned these "Soil Particles From Luna-16" off for $400,000. Now, they're going on the block again and expected to go for twice that amount or even more. According to Sotheby's, "the sale will mark just the second time that an actual piece of another world has ever been offered for public sale." From Collect Space:

The lunar samples were originally presented by the Soviet government to Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, the widow of Sergei Korolev, the "Chief Designer" of the Russian space program. Under Korolev's direction, the Soviet Union successfully put the world's first satellite into Earth orbit and launched the first human into space. His unexpected death in 1966 came before he could see the outcome of the space race to the moon.

Four years after Korolev died, the Soviets launched Luna 16, the first of three robotic lunar sample return missions. Touching down after the U.S. Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts had come and gone from the moon, Luna 16 deployed an extendable arm to drill and extract a core sample 14 inches (35 centimeters) deep. The 3.5 ounces (101 grams) of soil and rocks that it collected were then deposited into a capsule for their return to Earth.

Read the rest

Infamous "Inverted Jenny" Stamp No. 49 resurfaces a century later

100 years after a printing error created one of the most legendary stamps in philatelic history, one of the 100 Inverted Jenny stamps from the only known sheet of misprints has been confirmed as legitimate. Read the rest

Stranger than friction: when matches were dangerous

In the latest in its ongoing series about objects the world once considered indispensable but has somehow managed to live without, Collectors Weekly turns its attention to match holders, which were popular from around 1826, when the friction match was invented, until the 1920s, when matchbooks and lighters rendered them obsolete. For its story, CW turned to one of the definitive works on the subject, Match Holders: First-hand Accounts of Tinderboxes, Matches, Spills, Vesta Cases, Match Strikers, and Permanent Matches, which is filled with photographs taken by New Zealand collector Ian Spellerberg and diary entries written by his late match-holder mentor, John McLean.

Snip:

Match Holders begins with a chapter on tinderboxes, which were a popular form of portable fire-making prior to the invention of the friction match by an English pharmacist named John Walker. Tinderboxes consisted of three basic ingredients—a piece of steel, often called “fire steel”; a stone flint; and tinder, usually some dried fungi or charred linen. “With practice and patience,” McLean writes, “sparks could indeed be produced by striking the steel against the stone flint. If a spark landed in the dry tinder, care was needed to coax the spark into a smouldering piece of tinder then a flame.” As McLean recounts, the clink, clink, clink of steel coming in contact with stone was once a common early morning sound, as must also have been the curses that bounced off the rafters when cold, numb hands caused a hard chunk of steel to miss its mark. Read the rest

A Life at sea, on land

How far would you go to rescue the remains of a bygone world you've loved since you were a kid? Peter Knego went to Alang, India, and then did it again and again, to save what he could of the great ocean liners being scrapped there. But he didn't just want to save the ships. He wanted to live in one. And to a remarkable degree he's succeeded, filling his home in Oceanside, CA with a breathtaking array of maritime memorabilia. 

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., one man's mission to recreate, in landlocked miniature, the great days of the oceangoing ships. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | RSS

Check out all the great podcasts that Boing Boing has to offer! Read the rest

Radioactive glassware and the collectors who love it

Collectors Weekly has a great gallery and profile of uranium-infused glassware from the early 20th century. They ask experts: is it safe, and why does it glow under UV light? Read the rest

Your favorite horror icons as evil vinyl figures

Just in time for Halloween, check out these cool vinyl figures of some of the most iconic characters in the horror genre, courtesy of A Large Evil Corporation. Read the rest