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Press Release - July 2, 2014

Only Known Snow White Billboard From 1937 At Heritage Auctions

Spanning 20 feet long by 9 feet high, British 24-sheet poster may bring $10,000 July 19-20 in Dallas

DALLAS — A one-of-a-kind billboard created in Britain for the 1937 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — spanning an incredible 20-feet wide by 9-feet high — may sell for $10,000+ when it crosses the block in Heritage Auctions' July 19-20 Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction in Dallas. The stunningly pristine 24-sheet poster was printed in England to promote the film and was recently restored after spending 15 years in a private collection.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (RKO, 1937). British 24 Sheet
"Collectors knew this billboard was out there, but it was missing the bottom left panel," said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage. "The decision was made to finally restore and preserve the poster and we worked closely with experts to ensure this rare piece of popular culture would survive well into the future."

The 1937 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs resulted in one of the largest publicity campaigns in movie history. Dozens of posters, banners and standees in various styles were produced to promote the film, but just a handful of billboard-sized posters were produced. The poster was produced in 24 separate sheets before coming together to form a beautifully lithographed image featuring the main characters of the film in three distinct and iconic images.

"The poster itself is based on the work of artist Gustaf Tenggren, a chief illustrator for The Walt Disney Company and instrumental in crafting the familiar characters not only in animating Snow White, but Fantasia, Bambi and Pinocchio as well," Smith said. "So this poster is about as close as you can get to the heart of the film and the animation that literally built Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s."

Smith led the effort to reproduce the missing bottom left panel of the poster based on images he discovered in a rare press book on the film. Once replaced, the entire poster was professionally restored and backed with archival linen. The entire effort to preserve the rare piece of Disney memorabilia exceeded $3,000. The fact it was missing a panel may actually have played a role in its survival.

"As is often the case with billboard posters, if they are missing a panel they will survive because bill posters would not use them if it was incomplete," Smith said. "We are excited to play a role in preserving this rare find for another century. This billboard truly is rarest of the rare."

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