A collection of rare movie posters from the early ’30s discovered in Berwick, Pennsylvania went for $503,000 at an auction by Heritage Auctions.
The most rate item in the collection was a 1931 one-sheet from Dracula, just one of four known copies in existence, which fetched $143,400, slightly below its initial estimate of $200,000.
A one-sheet from Cimarron, the 1931 classic that was the first Western to win a best picture Oscar sold for $101,575 almost ten time its initial estimate of $12,000.
The $503,000 received for the entire collection of thirty-three posters in the “Berwick Discovery” was more than double the initial estimate of $250,000.
“These posters are among the rarest, most sought after ‘Holy Grail’ pieces,” said Grey Smith, Director of Heritage Vintage Movie Poster Auctions. “The Public Enemy one sheet picturing James Cagney and Jean Harlow is particularly stunning and has never been offered at auction and the Little Caesar one sheet is one of only two known copies, making this a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right collector.”
The Berwick Discovery was found at an auction in the small Pennsylvania town. The posters were stuck together with wallpaper glue. and had apparently been used for insulation in a house’s attic. Smith and his team carefully separated the posters, carefully using steam to melt the glue.