Much of that stuff isn’t so much a collection as an accumulation. I purchased my first movie still at the age of 12; it cost just 25 cents, and launched a lifelong obsession with 8x10 stills. Had I bought posters instead, I could probably retire quite comfortably, but somehow they didn’t hold the same allure to my youthful self. I also didn’t buy anything with an eye toward investment. The posters I did seek out were those that had particular meaning for me. Since I was hooked on cartoons and short subjects, I set out to acquire at least one sample from every series. Most of these aren’t worth a lot today, excepting a pair of one-sheets for Columbia Pictures comedies starring the ever-popular Three Stooges. Like many short-subject posters these were cheaply produced, but only a handful survive, which has made them particularly desirable. (No one is beating down my door to purchase my one-sheets for MGM’s Pete Smith Specialties, even though they’re much more attractive.)
When I met my wife Alice, she started eyeing posters in some of our friends’ houses and we became more avid collectors, at the tail end of the time when this kind of paper was still affordable.
Over the years we’ve had a number of lucky breaks, and engineered a few trades, which is how we added to our stash. Our all-time favorite pieces adorn the walls of our home. It’s frustrating not to be able to display even more, and we’ve never adopted the m.o. of pioneering collector Clark Wilkinson, who shellacked extremely rare 1910s one-sheets into the floor of his house in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Instead, we’re pruning our collection and hope these lobby cards and one-sheets find good homes.
The official auction days are Thursday and Friday, but the entire catalog is available for browsing HERE.