Rare Beano sells at auction for twice the estimated price

Keys head of books Robert Henshilwood with the 1940 Beano Annual. Pictures: Andy Newman

Keys head of books Robert Henshilwood with the 1940 Beano Annual. Pictures: Andy Newman - Credit: Archant

A rare copy of the first Beano book, which pre-dates much-loved comic character Dennis the Menace, has sold at auction for almost double its pre-sale estimate.

A spread from the 1940 Beano Annual. Pictures: Andy Newman

A spread from the 1940 Beano Annual. Pictures: Andy Newman - Credit: Archant

The annual, published around the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, had a pre-sale estimate of £1,200 to £1,500 and fetched £2,700 at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham yesterday,

It is the first of 79 Beano annuals published to date and features comic strips, stories and illustrations - but does not include mischief-maker Dennis the Menace, who made his first appearance in 1951.

His pet dog Gnasher was introduced in 1968.

The weekly Beano comic was first published by Dundee-based DC Thomson in July 1938.


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Robert Henshilwood, head of books for Keys, described the Beano as the 'archetypal kids' comic', adding: 'It is very rare to see a copy of the first ever Beano annual, especially in such good condition.'

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