Auctions | November 1, 2016

Rare "Casablanca" Posters Open Heritage Auctions Vintage Movie Poster Sale

Casa copy.jpgDALLAS - Two movie posters for the Oscar-winning Casablanca, a Half-Sheet Style B (est. $40,000) and an overwhelming Italian 2 Fogli measuring 3-feet by 4-feet (est. $50,000), headline a collection of nearly 1,000 lots in Heritage Auctions’ autumn Vintage Poster Auction. The Nov. 19-20 event offers extraordinary pre-war paper rarely seen at auction. Many of the lots are making their first appearances with the world’s largest auctioneer of vintage movie posters. 

“The number of striking posters is in the hundreds and few top the eye appeal of the Casablanca Italian 2 Fogli,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Posters at Heritage. “This is only the second time we’ve offered this poster, and I’ve been hunting for another for decades. This will make for a shining gem among any collection.”

Featuring an image so striking that the presence of the Casablanca title is nearly superfluous, artist Luigi Martinati provides one of the most stunning illustrations ever printed for this Michael Curtiz masterpiece. The exceptional illustration palpably exudes all of the drama, tension (no comma) and romance from one of cinema’s greatest love stories. 

Early paper for the 1932 box office bomb and exploitation film Freaks is highly sought after today and a Pre-War Belgian Poster for the original release ranks among the most impossible to find (est. $40,000), Smith said.

“Due to its negative portrayal of people with physical handicaps, the film received so much bad press and created such ill will that MGM was forced to withdraw the release from circulation and suffered a loss of approximately $164,000 in Depression-era money,” Smith said.

A group of posters depicting the various roles of Boris Karloff, the king of 20th-century horror ranges from a rare, art deco-inspired British Three Sheet for The Ghoul (est. $30,000) to a Title Lobby Card for Son of Frankenstein (est. $6,000).

Additional posters for horror classics include a One Sheet for 20th Century Fox’s 1939 hit The Hound of the Baskervilles (est. $15,000); a First Post-War Release Italian 4-Fogli for The Wolf Man (est. $10,000); two separate Lobby Cards for the 1920 thriller The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (est. $8,000); and a marvelous 1954 One Sheet for Creature from the Black Lagoon (est. $7,000).

This season’s auction offers a rare group of original art, such as Jack Davis’ Signed Original Watercolor and Gouache Painting for the 1968 film The Party (est. $20,000); the mesmerizing Signed Original Gouache on Board for The Strange Case of the Man and the Beast by Anselmo Ballester (est. $6,000); and Al Hirschfield’s Original Mixed Media Artwork on Illustration Board of Laurel and Hardy, which MGM commissioned to promote the duo's 1936 film releases The Bohemian Girl and Our Relations (est. $5,000). Others include the dramatic Signed Original Gouache Painting Poster Art for The Hidden Fortress from 1959 (est. $4,000) by Luigi Martinati.

An unusual collection of motivational posters directly from the offices of social networking site Facebook makes its auction debut. The screen print posters were produced in the early 2010s by Ben Barry, a designer who worked in the marketing department. Posters range from the company’s most famous saying "Move Fast and Break Things" to reminding employees “Don’t Mistake Motion for Progress.”

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

Suspicion (RKO, 1946), the First Post-War Release French Grande (46.5" X 63") featuring Bernard Lancy Artwork (est. $12,000).

Captain Blood (Warner Brothers, 1935). One Sheet (27" X 41") (est. $10,000).

The Three Stooges in Calling All Curs (Columbia, 1939).One Sheet (27" X 41") (est. $10,000).

Madame DuBarry (UFA, 1919).Austrian Poster (74" X 99") featuring Theo Matejko Artwork with provenance from the Albertina Collection (est. $10,000).

Out of the Past (RKO, 1947).One Sheet (27" X 41") (est. $10,000). 

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 950,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit 

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