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Firm tallies more than $10M in vintage poster auction sales during 2017

Two world records and more than $10 million in vintage poster sales were the driving forces behind Heritage Auctions' reporting a 27 percent increase in posters sold at auction in 2017.

DALLAS — Setting two world records and tallying more than $10 million in sales of rare and vintage posters maintained Heritage Auctions’ dominance in the vintage poster field in 2017. The year marked a 27 percent increase in total sales over 2016.

Rareties Accent Vintage Poster Market 

Casablanca, Italian release vintage poster

Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1946), first postwar release, Italian 4 - Fogli (55.5” x 78.25”) Luigi Martinati artwork, Fine/Very Fine on linen, $478,000. (All photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

The firm set a world record for the most valuable movie poster ever sold at auction. This came about when one of just two surviving copies of the style A poster for the 1931 horror classic Dracula (Universal, 1931) sold for $525,800 in November. The sale is on the heels of another world record set in July 2017. During this sale, the only known surviving Italian issue movie poster from 1946 for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1946) sold for $478,000. The sale matched Heritage’s world record price from November 2014. The 2014 sale was for an only-known 1927 copy of the poster for London After Midnight (MGM, 1927).

“We’ve had an incredible year matching stellar rarities with motivated collectors,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Poster Auctions at Heritage. “It’s always exciting to set a world record in this field, but to set two such records in a row is just a thrilling career accomplishment.”

The year’s top 25 posters celebrated tremendous finds from landmark cinema classics. A Style A teaser for The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933) soared to $274,850 – more than four times its pre-auction estimate. Furthermore, the studio produced few teasers for their horror greats. In addition, this haunting poster features art by Karoly Grosz, a legendary designer of the 1930s.

Fresh to Market Draws Advanced Collectors

High on collectors’ lists, the first post-war release French Grande poster for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947) brought $239,000. In addition, a 1953 re-release, Italian four fogli from the film, featuring artwork by Luigi Martinati, sold for $107,550.

A special offering, the only-known Australian pre-war daybill for the genre-defining Metropolis (UFA-Cinema Art Ltd., 1928) sold for $215,100. The daybill is the only copy known to exist and is among the rarest in the business. Artist Bernie Bragg, once a draftsman and combat artist during World War I, brings Fritz Lang's famous Robotrix, now a timeless icon of science fiction, to life by capturing the essential elements of the film's dynamic cinematography.

Among rare paper from horror classics, one of only three copies known to exist of the one sheet for Supernatural (Paramount, 1933) sold for $107,550 and a one sheet for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) sold for $107,550.

In a surprise auction appearance, Albert Kallis’ original poster artwork for Invasion of the Saucer-Men (American International, 1957) ended at $107,550. The artwork actually inspired the creation of the movie and further solidified a cornerstone of the public's collective consciousness of “little green men” from outer space.

Additional 2017 Highlights

• $107,550: Casablanca (United Artists, R-1962), Italian 2 – Fogli, Silvano "Nano" Campeggi Artwork

Stagecoach six sheet

Stagecoach (United Artists, 1939), six sheet (78.75” x 80.25”), considered by many film historians to be one of the best Westerns ever made, Fine/Very Fine, $59,750.

— $95,600: The Phantom of the Opera (Universal, 1925), one sheet, style L

• $83,650: The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941), one sheet

— $71,700: The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939), half sheet, style A

In addition, Heritage Auctions presents a weekly Internet Movie Poster Auction on Sundays.

For more information, visit or 877-HERITAGE (437-4824).

Vintage Poster Highlights of 2017

Weekly Showcase



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