Free gift helps Dandy hit record auction price

A first-edition copy of The Dandy has been sold for a record-breaking price of £20,350.

The comic, dated 4 December 1937, is one of only about 10 copies known to exist, but is believed to be unique in that it came with its free gift of the Express Whistler – a miniature pan pipes, and a flyer advertising the new comic’s arrival.

The sale, at London-based Comic Book Postal Auctions, easily beat the previous record for a British comic sold at auction – established in March by a first edition of The Beano that fetched £12,100.

The first-edition Dandy was bought by the same man who bought the firstedition Beano – an Essex businessman in his late 30s.

Before The Dandy was launched in 1937, comics had been broadsheet and lacking in colour, but the tabloid adventures of Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and Keyhole Kate held new appeal for young readers.

The DC Thomson-owned Dandy made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest-running comic when its 3,007th edition rolled off the presses in July 1999.

Morris Heggie, who has been editor of The Dandy for 17 years, said: “The fact that this comic had the gift intact is amazing. I have only ever seen a picture of it and I am amazed it made it through the years intact. It’s very rare to have a first issue in mint condition – in those days no one thought they would be collectors’ items.

“Also, during the war, in the pages of The Dandy and The Beano, we were encouraging people to recycle … so it’s lucky this has survived.

“I would have loved to have brought the first issue here, but I’m afraid that The Dandy tea fund didn’t stretch that far.”

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