Brisk bidding and strong prices paced Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 12 Vintage Movie Poster Auction, realizing a total of $1.486 million in its impressive debut at the company’s Beverly Hills location. All prices include a 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.
“Beverly Hills and vintage movie posters are a perfect fit,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage Auctions, “as evidenced by the great prices we saw across the board – steady pretty much all the way.”
True to form in Heritage Movie Poster Auctions, the most active bidding came on some of the scarcest items in the auction, including a superb 1935 Universal Werewolf of London half sheet movie poster, which brought $47,800 and a simply stunning oversize 1933 Austrian King Kong movie poster, featuring RKO’s most famous monster atop a city building, clutching Fay Wray in one hand and crushing an ill-fated biplane in the auction. After several rounds of fierce bidding the poster finished at $38,838.
“Both the Werewolf of London half sheet and the Austrian King Kong, like the best movie posters do, doubled as much as pieces of cinematic history as they did as a pieces of graphic art,” said Smith. “Both of these gorgeous pieces will now be prominently featured as key pieces in advanced collections.”
Other highlights of the auction included a beautiful portrait lobby card from Dracula (1931), featuring the immortal Bela Lugosi as the Count as he leans in for a bite on the exposed neck of Frances Dade as Lucy, which brought $31,070, while a wonderful early Bette Davis one sheet for the Pre-Code comedy Ex-Lady (1933) brought $19,120 and a beautiful Italian 4-foglio Style B poster to the Fellini classic La Dolce Vita (1959) brought $14,340.
World Record prices were realized for several posters, including the one sheet to the Robert Mitchum film noir classic Out of the Past (1947), which brought $17,925, while an insert to the Rat Pack classic Ocean’s 11 (1960) came in at $10,755 and a gorgeous and rare mini (or midget) window card for Boris Karloff, looking as creepy as he ever did in any role, in The Walking Dead (1936) sold for $14,340.
Other notable prices include the $10,755 final price realized for both the gorgeously Art Deco one sheet to Dodsworth (1936) and an unrestored copy of the one sheet to John Ford’s classic Grapes of Wrath (1940).