It was 10 years ago when the collective hobby of vintage movie posters was set abuzz with the news that a family in Wellington, New Zealand had found a stash of mint condition Universal Studios 1930s horror movie titles, the most sought after titles in the world. Imagine, then, setting out to renovate your house, pulling up your old floor and there, perfectly preserved through more than six decades, is what turns out to be upwards of $1 million worth of posters.
The titles in the find were names like The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Dracula’s Daughter. The prize title in the stash, however, was The Bride of Frankenstein, represented by five posters: two Style A half sheets and three Style B half sheets. It is one of those two Style A half sheets, the only two copies known to exist, that is providing the early buzz for Heritage’s July movie poster auction.
“For collectors of vintage movie posters it can’t get much more exciting than the New Zealand Collection,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage, “and this Bride poster is quite spectacular. It’s got a superb image of Boris Karloff and is in amazing condition.”
The last time Heritage sold a half sheet of The Bride of Frankenstein, in July of 2007, it was the more common style B and it brought more than $65,000. This much more desirable style and condition half sheet should bring well in excess of $100,000.
“It’s every collector’s dream to stumble upon a group of posters secretly hidden decades ago,” Smith said. “For most of us, owning one of these posters from an actual find like that is as close as we’re ever likely to get.”
Rivaling the iconic Bride in the auction is Hollywood’s quintessential femme fatale, Rita Hayworth, looking every bit the seductive vamp in a very scarce style B one sheet of the 1946 noir classic Gilda. The twisting plot involving Rita Hayworth’s tortured, headstrong heroine and Glenn Ford’s obsessive anti-hero twisted in and around a classic film noir plot that locked Hayworth’s place in the pantheon of America’s greatest sex symbols. With her wild hair, slinky dress, dangling cigarette and sultry looks, as produced so beautifully on this rare one sheet, Hayworth posters just do not get any better than this iconic image from Gilda.
To view full color downloadable images, and to read detailed descriptions of each lot in this auction, go to www.HA.com/7008.