“We knew collectors were going to be excited by this particular piece,” said Grey Smith, Director of Posters at Heritage. “Not only is it of unquestionable rarity, the fact it came from Lugosi’s private collection makes it a true piece of cinematic history.”
A rare Russian poster for one of the most effective propaganda films of all time sold for $108,000, beating high expectations. Never before offered by Heritage, the rare Battleship Potemkin (SovKino, R-1929) Russian Poster was one of a pair of Russian Constructivist posters offered in the sale. The second was a poster for October 1917 (Ten Days that Shook the World) (Sovkino, 1928) sold for $43,200. Constructivism is an artistic and architectural philosophy that started in Russia in 1913 by painter and architect Vladimir Tatlin, who wanted to “construct” art. Both posters were printed before World War II, which decimated so much of Russia, including paper goods. It’s believed only a handful of such posters survived.
A pair of Italian post-World War II photobustas for Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1946) brought $90,000 as a single lot. A photobusta is a poster of unique size, in this case 19-1/4 inches by 13-1/2 inches. The photobustas are from the film’s original Italian release, heightening collector demand. Three additional photobustas for Casablanca offered in the sale sold among the auction’s top 10 lots.
A stunning lobby card for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) ended at $78,000. The card is notable because the final image is from a test shot just before makeup artist Jack Pierce finalized the monster's makeup. The only difference between the final look and the image on the montage card are the prominent bolts on the forehead.