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Black Cat movie poster leaps to $334,600 at auction

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 12:04
Only known Style B one-sheet poster promoting the 1934 horror classic The Black Cat, starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

DALLAS – Anyone doubting the legitimacy of vintage movie posters as an art form might change their opinion after consulting’s archive of prices realized from past sales. Movie posters are true Americana, with an appeal to all ages and an affordability that runs from less than $100 to nearly half a million dollars.

Consistently, it is horror movie posters that have earned the most money at auction, like the Frankenstein one-sheet that made $207,000, inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium. It was Heritage Auction Galleries’ turn to take the spotlight on Nov. 12-13 as the only known Style B one-sheet movie poster for the 1934 Universal classic The Black Cat rang the register at $334,600 (inclusive of 19.5% buyer's premium).

The Black Cat was the first collaboration between Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and many would argue their best.

“The graphically spectacular red, black and white stone lithograph Black Cat movie poster is that rare collectible that transcends its genre,” said Grey Smith, director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage. “Yes, it’s a gorgeous movie poster, but it also carries great appeal as a piece of art, as a piece of pop culture and as an important piece of cinematic history. There’s no other movie poster like it in the world, as far as we know, and it’s worth every cent paid for it.”

The poster came to Heritage from renowned collector Todd Feiertag, whose collection also supplied the copy of
The Mummy, which sold for $453,500 in 1997 at a different auction house. The $334,600 price paid for the poster ties it for fourth place overall on the all-time list of top-selling movie posters, together with a Style D one-sheet for The Bride of Frankenstein, sold at Heritage Auctions in November 2007.

“As ever, classic horror is the top in the world of vintage movie poster collecting,” said Smith. “It was a thrill to auction this poster, and we can't wait to see what turns up next.”

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 13:09

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