$402,111 bid not enough to win 1942 Superman #14 cover at auction

What may be the earliest and most important piece of original comic book art in existence—Fred Ray's patriotic 1942 cover to Superman #14—almost also became the most EXPENSIVE cover. But last night's final bid of $402,111 wasn't enough to top an auction house's reserve price.

The cover was from the collection of Jerry Robinson, who among other things was the first to draw Batman's archenemy, The Joker. Also at auction—and also failing to meet its reserve price—was the original to Detective Comics #69, drawn by Robinson himself, for which bidding hit $213,000.

The Superman cover WOULD have set a new world record for a piece of original comic-book art if the reserve at Comic Connect had been met. Because it failed to sell, the current record holder remains the cover to Weird Science-Fantasy #29 by Frank Frazetta, which sold for $380,000 in June.

Which makes us wonder—what WAS the reserve for that Superman cover? How much did Robinson want before he'd let it go? Did a bidder need to cough up $500K before the original could be his? $750K? $1 million?

Not that we could ever afford it, but we'd sure like to know!

(via Bleeding Cool)

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