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Press Release - March 25, 2020

Movie Poster for The Invisible Man Sold for $182,400 at Heritage Auctions

More than 1,500 bidders flock to online-only auction even during uncertain economic times

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The Invisible Man 1933 movie poster
DALLAS, Texas (March 25, 2020) — A rare stone lithograph one sheet Style B poster from The Invisible Man sparked a flurry of competitive bidding until it sold for $182,400 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction to total sales of $2,650,375, nearly double the total pre-sale low estimate of 1,389,250.

Featuring artwork by Karoly Grosz, the poster is one of just a handful known to exist and the first offered in a Heritage auction.

"Even in these uncertain economic times, this was a big success,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said.

1,501 bidders, about 15% more than usual for a Heritage Movie Poster Signature auction, participated even though this Signature auction, for the second time ever, was held entirely online. Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin said the success of the auction, with a sell-through rate of 96.7% by value and prices that nearly doubled pre-sale estimates, reflects the desire by some bidders to navigate the uncertain economic climate by seeking alternative investment opportunities.

"Individuals seem to be looking for ways to protect themselves against a possible inflationary effect of the massive government efforts to provide liquidity to businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis,” Halperin said. "The results of this auction and several other auctions held by Heritage over the past couple of weeks show an effort by many of our bidders to diversify their assets away from traditional investments and into high-end collectibles.”

The sale coincided with the 2020 remake of the timeless classic, which became among Hollywood’s first to go the route of video on demand.

A Stagecoach (United Artists, 1939) One Sheet climbed to $84,000 to finish atop the selection of 171 posters consigned by producer/director Mike Kaplan. The demand soared, in part because of the artwork on the poster and also because of the rarity of the paper that had not been offered through Heritage Auctions in five years, driving the final result to nearly three times the low pre-auction estimate of $30,000. This copy has been displayed previously at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Grand Lobby Gallery, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum, as well as in Reel Art, Great Posters from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen (Abbeville Press, 1988) by Stephen Rebello and Richard Allen.

Numerous bids poured in for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) Title Lobby Card until the final result climbed to $72,000. One of the most popular and important films ever made, Boris Karloff’s portrayal of the Monster evolved into the greatest cinematic monster and made Karloff the top leading actor for horror films. No genre of movie posters is as eagerly pursued and collected as posters and lobby cards for the original Universal horror films, and among collectors, no film surpasses the demand for Frankenstein paper.

Horse Feathers (Paramount, 1932) Autographed Three Sheet prompted numerous bidders until it closed at $66,000, more than doubling its high pre-auction estimate of $30,000. This poster for the Marx Brothers classic about the efforts to help down-and-out Huxley College pull off its first football victory in more than 40 years, is signed by Groucho.

A Horror of Dracula (Universal International, 1958) Italian 2 - Foglialso more than doubled its high pre-auction estimate of $30,000 when it drew a winning bid of $66,000. Posters for this classic always are in high demand, including this exceptional Italian 2 – fogli, which has never been offered by Heritage before. Part of the appeal is due to the fact that it features a different image than that which appears on other Italian paper and most foreign posters created for the film. This classic, starring Christopher Lee as Dracula, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough and Melissa Stribling, played a significant role in Hammer Films’ success with its string of gruesome Universal horror remakes.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

The Jazz Singer (Warner Bros., 1927) Six Sheet: $57,600

Casablanca (Warner Bros., R-1953) Italian Locandina: $50,400

A Fistful of Dollars by Fred Otnes (United Artists, 1967) Original Mixed Media Poster Artwork on Illustration Board: $50,400

Bordertown (Warner Bros., 1935) One Sheet: $33,600

The Divorcee (MGM, 1930) One Sheet: $28,800

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.


Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations
214-409-1871; EricB@HA.com

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