Broons and Oor Wullie books break auction records

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THREE of the earliest The Broons and Oor Wullie annuals broke records at an auction today after being discovered in a loft.

The rare editions of The Broons annual number one, Oor Wullie annual number one and The Broons number two sold for £18,750 during Bonhams Scottish Sale in Edinburgh.

Experts at the auctioneers said they had achieved the highest price seen at auction for first editions of the annuals.

The Broons and Oor Wullie were both the work of artist Dudley D. Watkins and writer RD Low and made their first appearances in cartoons in The Sunday Post newspaper in the 1936.

The Broons and Oor Wullie annuals were then published in alternate years, starting with The Broons in 1940 and running to the present day.

The Broons annual number one was published after the popularity of Watkins’ weekly cartoons grew.

It sold for £6,875 (including buyer’s premium) - surpassing its estimate of £4,000 - as did the Oor Wullie annual number one - going for £3,375 more than its estimate of £3,500.

The second ever The Broons annual was also included in the sale and sold for £5,000 (including buyer’s premium).

Experts at the auctioneers described the early editions of the paperbound comic annuals as particularly scarce, and the ones discovered are “in exceptional condition”.

They were sold to private collectors but will remain in Scotland.

Henry Baggott, book specialist at Bonhams, said: “This is the record not just for Bonhams but from any auction, as far as our records show.

“All three of the annuals made more than any record that has been held before.

“They all did about 30 per cent to 40 per cent above the previous record holder.

“The previous record holder was also a first edition.”

“It is extremely unusual to find these early annuals.

“They do not turn up often at all.

“When they do they have often been manhandled by children, but these editions must have belonged to very careful children as they are in exceptional condition.

“They were found in the loft of a private home in Scotland. They were put away and forgotten about.

The Broons and Our Wullie have proved among the most enduring characters in comic strip publishing anywhere in the world.

They were written by RD Low, managing editor of The Sunday Post during the 1930s. Low modelled Maw and Paw Broon on his own parents and Oor Wullie on his son Ron.

Watkins was also known for his early contributions to the comics The Beano and The Dandy.

Mr Baggott added: “The Broons and Oor Wullie items are very popular and we have often see them sell for way beyond their estimates so we are very pleased with this sale and the fact that a record has been set.