Monday, March 23, 2015

RARE FRANKENSTEIN THREE-SHEET COULD BREAK ALL MOVIE POSTER SALES


Poised to break all records as the most expensive movie poster in history to be sold at auction is a super-rare three-sheet poster from Universal's FRANKENSTEIN (1931). MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD previously reported a poster from MGM's LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT selling for almost a half a million dollars. Could the FRANKENSTEIN poster beat it? We'll know when the gavel drops.

Here is the story from Heritage Auctions newsletter: 

Hot on the heels of November's auction of the most valuable movie poster ever sold at a public auction, Heritage Auctions' Movie Poster Signature Auction returns March 28-29 with a selection of large-size rarities never before offered to collectors. A monstrously-sized Style C three-sheet movie poster for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) — the only copy known to exist — lurches ahead of the group with a $100,000+ pre-auction estimate.


"Only a small handful of one sheets including one teaser, one six sheet, one insert, and a restored half sheet are all that have appeared of the Frankenstein posters," said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage, "and this poster is the only known copy of either of the two style three sheets created for the debut of the film."

The three-sheet poster was found in the early 1970s in a long closed and boarded over projection booth in a remodeled theater. It had apparently been used as a display for a number of reissues of the film with its counterpart for Dracula, as was so often the case throughout the 1930s and 1940s. After expert restoration, the poster is electric in its depiction of the monster and a vulnerable Mae Clarke as Elizabeth, Dr. Frankenstein's fiancée.

Argentinean poster for The Bride of Frankenstein The three sheet is one of 27 lots associated with the Frankenstein movie and its sequels, including a scarce Argentinean poster for The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935), an incredible stone litho poster featuring a close-up of actor Boris Karloff (est. $20,000+).

Another stand out three-sheet in the auction, is from the 1927 classic Lon Chaney film London After Midnight (MGM, 1927). Heritage set a world record in November 2014 when it sold the only-known U.S. one sheet from the film for $478,000. "The three-sheet is equally as rare and in this case the copy that surfaced required an extra level of restoration to make it presentable," Smith said. Heritage, working in orchestra with restoration specialists, carefully reproduced a bottom missing panel from the poster using the reference of the press book image (est. $100,000+).

Here is the description of the lot up for bid: 

Frankenstein (Universal, 1931). Three Sheet (41" X 78.5") Style C.
To say that the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein was monumental is an understatement in the impact it made on the audiences of the day and remains as THE link that gets us where we are today in the evolution of the essentials of the horror film. Every cliché of cinema horror was created with this film: the mad scientist, the misunderstood monster, the angry villagers carrying torches, the dark laboratory filled with science fictional devices, and the creepy assistant. And doesn't every dark, silent cinema monster owe its existence to this giant creature with the electrodes protruding from his neck? From the Creature of the Black Lagoon, to Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw, to Jason of Friday the 13th, and to all of the undead Zombies that followed, the hulking horror created by Boris Karloff, James Whale, and Jack Pierce influenced them all. They can all be traced back to the appearance of Karloff in the role of the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Posters for this film have always been infamously difficult to find! Only a small handful of one sheets including one teaser, one six sheet, one insert, and a restored half sheet are all that have appeared of the posters, not including lobby cards. Offered in this lot is the only known copy of either of the two style three sheets created for the debut of the film. This is the Style C and is arguably the best graphic of the two styles. The poster was found in the early 1970s in a long closed and boarded over projection booth in a remodeled theater. It had apparently been used as a display for a number of reissues of the film with its counterpart Dracula, as was so often the case throughout the 1930s and 1940s. It had been trimmed of its borders and there was paper trimmed around the monster's head, on the right side of the poster above his shoulder and upper portion of the small space to the left side of the monster's head. There were quarter size holes taken from the monster's eyes as well as a chip from his upper forehead on the left of image and one next to his left eye, poster right, just before his left ear. There was approximately six inches of paper trimmed from the bottom of the image which extended into the woman's hand and a spot extended up to just into her hair and into the far left side of her face. There was approximately ¾ to 2 inches trimmed from the left side of the image and approximately 1 inch to the right. The top of the monster's head was intact. There was some paper chipping in the upper folds of the poster as well as some chips from the monster's chin and just to the right of his mouth. There was a much larger piece missing in the image area just above the woman's body and into the credits above. There was a chip in the last "N" of "Frankenstein" and a smaller chip in the "F." The title and credits have been airbrushed. There were other minor spots of paper loss within the image that have been touched up. Professional restoration has addressed all of these condition issues and the poster now displays beautifully. Fair/Good on Linen. Estimate: $100,000 - $200,000.

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