Rare Mother Goose, Wizard of Oz, The Klondike Kid, Stagecoach Movie Posters at Heritage Auctions

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DALLAS—A collector favorite—the coveted one sheet movie poster for the 1931 classic Cimarron (est. $50,000+), bursting with color and boasting provenance to the storied Berwick Discovery—could take top lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction July 25-26 in Dallas. The auction’s nearly 1,000 famous movie posters are punctuated by several fresh-to-market collections from around the globe.

“Our summer movie poster auctions are known for rarities, but this season we have several private collections that haven’t been seen in a generation or more,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Posters at Heritage Auctions. “This is the perfect event for collectors to pick up classic posters—many of which are in surprisingly original, untouched condition.”

The Cimarron one sheet came out of an attic in 2012 and was found in a small country auction in Berwick, PA, with several other posters stuck together with wallpaper paste, which had preserved them for more than eight decades. 

A style C one sheet for Universal’s 1936 film My Man Godfrey is one such extremely well-preserved find poster. The rare and highly significant one sheet rarely appears at auction and the art deco infused style C version features artwork by the venerably Karoly Grosz  (est. $35,000+).

one sheet for Stagecoach, one of the hobby’s rarest movie posters, survives in rich, stone litho colors (est. $30,000+). Much like the film, the poster perfectly captures John Ford’s auteur as he directed John Wayne to stardom in what is considered a classic Western drama.

The auction also stars The Three Stooges across four, rare one sheet finds and five collectible lobby cards. A scarce one sheet for Playing the Ponies (est. $20,000+) will cross the block as will an exceedingly rare silk screened stock poster of the timeless comedy trio (est.  $6,000+).

An important collection of 60 animation-themed movie posters includes a rare one sheet for The Klondike Kid (est. $30,000+). The Mickey Mouse cartoon was considered an instant classic when United Artists released it in 1932 and its poster is highly sought after for both its composition and colorful depiction of the short’s three main characters. A larger than life three sheet stock poster promoting Mickey Mouse dates to 1932 (est. $20,000) and a scarce one sheet for RKO’s cameo-packed Mother Goose Goes Hollywood from 1938 (est. $15,000+) is also another highlight.

A private collection of 40 rare Swedish one sheet posters encompass some of the most breathtaking poster art ever used to promote film. “Predominately from American films and many from the 1920s, it's a true blessing many of these vintage posters have survived in such a high grade, due to the notoriously fragile Swedish paper used in that era,” Smith said. “Many are sexy, sultry, and use amazing imagery of stars and typography.” The collection offers a poster for The Wizard of Oz (Fribergs Filmbyra, 1925) from the first and only 1920s adaptation of the novel (est. $6,000+). “This is the first time Heritage - or anyone that we are aware of - has presented this poster in auction and it is in pristine condition,” Smith said. Another rarity comes from The Man Who Laughs, a romantic horror story based on the novel by Victor Hugo (est. $6,000+). It's the story of Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) who, as a boy, has a hideous smile carved on his face by King James II as payback for his father's treachery. Comic book fans know the story because Veidt played the part so well his performance would provide inspiration for the creation of Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker. 

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

Romance of the Redwoods (Paramount-Artcraft, 1917), featuring Mary Pickford, (est. $10,000+).

The Oregon Trail (Republic, 1936), depicting a bold portrait of John Wayne, (est. $12,000+).

King Kong (RKO, 1933) Argentinean one sheet poster, (est. $8,000+).

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of approximately $900 million, and 900,000+ 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 HA.com.

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