Christopher Reeve's Superman Cape Sold for a Record $193,750
No superhero costume may be more iconic than the red and blue suit worn by Superman. First seen in the pages of Action Comics #1 in 1938, it's been a frequent presence in a variety of live-action adaptations.
Apparently, you don’t even need the entire ensemble to command a premium price. This week, Julien’s Auctions announced that the cape worn by actor Christopher Reeve in 1978’s Superman: The Movie sold for a staggering $193,750.
The red cape, which features Superman’s distinctive insignia in yellow, was part of the company’s Icons & Idols: Hollywood auction held Monday, December 16. According to Julien’s, the sale price set a world record for the highest amount paid for a superhero cape.
While Reeve went through a variety of costumes for the film and its numerous sequels, this one had an intriguing provenance. It was the grand prize in a fan promotion dubbed the Great Superman Movie Contest organized by DC Comics in 1979. Entrants submitted answers to trivia questions on a postcard, which were then evaluated by editors. Reportedly, only a few dozen fans got all the answers correct. Those entrants were then put into a drawing with the winners pulled from a pile by Reeve. The 10 second-place winners received a page of original comic book art by Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte. The 10 third-place winners received a two-year subscription to a DC Comics title of their choice.
Presumably, the winner will understand the cape does not grant the gift of flight. Halloween costume manufacturer Ben Cooper did not take this for granted, slapping a warning on their 1950s Superman suit that read: “Remember, this suit will not make you fly. Only Superman can fly.”
Julien’s also auctioned off a screen-used Starfleet uniform worn by Patrick Stewart for Star Trek: The Next Generation ($28,800) and the Ghostbusters jumpsuit worn by Dan Aykroyd for 1989’s Ghostbusters II ($32,000).