Over the course of the last year, Hake’s Auctions has repeatedly broken house records as they propel sales forward with more and more desirable material for pop culture and historical collectors. The last three record-setting auctions have totaled over $6 million in sales, enticing more collectors to consign their treasures at Hake’s.
Capping off their 51st year in business, Hake’s will have poster collectors clearing off wall space for new purchases. Auction #225, which goes online October 23 and closes on November 13-15, 2018, will contain 300 posters for movies, magic, war, advertising, political, and music. Over 100 of them are linen-mounted and over 100 are movie related, that include one-sheets, three-sheets, six-sheets, half-sheets, lobby cards, and window cards. Several of these posters are rarely offered and some are coming to auction for the first time ever.
Universal Monster artwork tops the list for most movie poster connoisseurs, especially when centered around marquee characters. The Invisible Man Returns linen-mounted one-sheet features refined horror actor Vincent Price in the titular role for the 1940 Universal film. The second movie in the popular Invisible Man horror series, it was directed by Joe May and also stars Cedric Hardwicke and Nan Grey, among others. This auction marks the first time that Hake’s has offered the poster.
Another popular entry from the Universal Monster canon is The Mummy’s Hand linen-mounted one-sheet. Directed by Christy Cabanne and starring Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, and Tom Tyler (in his only outing as the Mummy), the 1940 film was the second in The Mummy franchise. Unlike other Universal Monster Movies, this was not rereleased by Realart, making this the only vintage poster release for the film. It is rarely available for sale and this is the first time Hake’s has offered it.
Charlie Chan’s Courage linen-mounted one-sheet advertises Warner Oland in his fifth outing as the detective. Directed by George Hadden, the 1934 Fox Picture film is a remake of the 1927 silent film The Chinese Parrot – both are considered lost films. Paper material from this movie rarely comes to the market and this marks the first time the original release poster has been offered at auction.
An energetic offering in the auction, is the Hi-De-Ho linen-mounted one-sheet. The 1947 All-American Entertainment musical was directed by Josh Binney with an African-American cast led by Cab Calloway, who performed numerous songs, like “Minnie Was a Hep Cat” and “St. James Infirmary.” The lithography was done by Globe Poster Corp. of Chicago, IL. The film saw limited release, due to the social attitude of the time, making it a very rare poster.
Attention turns to space for the Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars linen-mounted one-sheet that depicts a collage design of both photo images and artwork. The 1938 Universal 15-chapter serial starring Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, and Charles Middleton is based on the Flash Gordon comic strip. This poster, made for chapter 9 “Symbol of Death,” is the only known example of the one-sheet for this chapter. All of the posters from this serial are rare and this auction marks only the second time that Hake’s has offered any one-sheet from the film.
Another very rare original release poster is the Little Black Sambo ComiColor cartoon linen-mounted one-sheet. Based on the controversial children’s book of the same name, the 1935 film was directed and animated by Ub Iwerks. The stone lithography has stereotypical depiction of Sambo climbing a tree and throwing coconuts at his dog who is outfitted to resemble a tiger.
Outside of movie posters, the Uncle Sam “I Want You for U.S. Army” World War I linen-mounted recruitment poster leads the charge. This large size 30” x 40” stone litho displays the iconic Uncle Sam image by James Montgomery Flagg, which has become synonymous with the U.S. and is one of the most popular of all war posters. The inspirational art on the © 1917 Leslie-Judge Co. poster was so popular that it was repurposed for recruiting in World War II.
James Brown – Mr. Dynamite, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business – anchors the concert section. The poster advertises “The Fabulous James Brown Famous Flames” concert at W.C. Taylor High School in Warrenton, VA on March 8, 1962 – just five months before Live at the Apollo was recorded. In addition to Brown’s natural energy, the large poster has outstanding graphics and day-glow inks.
A Bill Haley and His Comets concert poster keeps the party going. Depicting the band, their tagline “The Shake Rattle and Roll Boys,” and three song titles, the poster promoted a concert in Himmelreich’s Grove near Womelsdorf, PA. “Rock Around the Clock” had charted only eight days before this show and became the first rock ‘n roll song to top the Billboard Pop chart. This 14” x 22” thick cardboard poster is one of only two examples known to Hake’s Auctions.
The Marvel Superheroes 1969 Toys for Tots poster with Jack Kirby art saves the day for kids and comic book fans. The 17” x 22” promotional poster for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve event shows Thor, Captain America, and Spider-Man handing out toys to kids. This is the scarcer color version (it was also issued in black and white) and marks the first time Hake’s has offered the rare 1960s Marvel item.
Not to be outdone by superheroes, a Thurston Master Mystery – Iasia linen-mounted magic poster is sure to mesmerize viewers. The artwork features a captivating image of Thurston on stage firing a pistol at a glass-front box suspended over the audience containing a young woman. This 13-3/4” x 41” poster was printed in 1920 by The Otis Lithograph Co. of Cleveland, OH.
Another example advertising the prestidigitator, is the rare Thurston the Famous Magician – East Indian Rope-Trick linen-mounted magic poster. It shows Thurston gesturing toward a boy who appears to float in midair on a magic rope as surrounding men react to the astonishing trick. Also printed by Otis Lithograph Co., the circa 1928 poster measures 13-1/2” x 41”.
Sherlock Holmes is dispatched for The Pearl of Death linen-mounted one-sheet. This 1944 Universal Pictures film marked the ninth of 17 times Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce played the famous detective and Doctor Watson, respectively. The stone lithography by Morgan Litho. Corp. of Cleveland depicts the pair looking down at Evelyn Ankers and the rest of the cast.
A linen-mounted one-sheet for The Gay Bride advertises the gangster comedy directed by Jack Conway, starring Carole Lombard and Chester Morris. This very rare stone lithography made by Tooker Litho. Co. of New York depicts glamorous artwork by Vincentini (Ted Ireland).
Matrimonial entanglements are on display for the Love’s Wilderness linen-mounted one-sheet. A love triangle involving a Southern Belle who discovers that she is married to two men unfolds in this 1924 First National Picture drama. The rare stone lithography was made by Ritchey Litho. Corp. of NY.
One of the most recent movie poster offerings is the Return of the Jedi advance one-sheetwl with original Revenge of the Jedi title. Star Wars creator and director George Lucas changed the title before theatrical release, but items had already been printed, including this 1983 teaser. Hake’s is offering the dated (there is also an undated) version of the Revenge teaser.
Artwork for Walt Disney films is popular with poster collectors, particularly for classics like Alice in Wonderland. The one-sheet for the 1951 animated classic adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories shows her at the tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare with the Dormouse, Caterpillar, and others from the beloved film.
Several rarities and gems from the earliest days of film will be offered in the auction. Linen-mounted examples include The House of Silence one-sheet for the 1918 Paramount Pictures silent drama that is now considered a lost film. The 1919 Fruits of Passion one-sheet depicts a story of self-sacrifice, adapted from Henry Russell Miller’s novel The Ambition of Mark Truitt. A Smilin’ Through one-sheet for First National’s 1922 film is based on the stage play which producer Joe Schenck reportedly paid $75,000 for the rights. The House of Bondage 21-1/4” x 28” poster for the 1914 film depicts stone lithography art by Acme Litho Co. of New York. Cecil B. DeMille’s 1915 Civil War drama The Warrens of Virginia one-sheet is a rarity depicting a Union soldier and his Southern sweetheart. Vitagraph Studio’s rare 1918 Misfits and Matrimony one-sheet for the silent film comedy depicts the leads at a kissing booth.
Another top poster beckoning visitors to the auction is the 1939 linen-mounted New York World’s Fair poster. Printed by Grinnell Litho Co. Inc. and © NYWF, the 20” x 30-1/2” poster promotes trips to the famous event through art by Smokey the Bear creator Albert Staehle. The image shows a fair guide wearing a Trylon and Perisphere button as she motions to the fairgrounds, dominated by the Trylon and Perisphere buildings.
Bringing things into the political arena is the Cleveland/Stevenson The Lost Bet poster. The 1893 example depicts a parade in Chicago with a banner featuring the duo in the background. At the parade’s center is a man, presumably a Harrison supporter, fulfilling his end of a lost bet by pulling a carriage which is carrying the victorious Cleveland supporter.
An anti-Andrew Jackson 1828 poster/broadside known as the “Coffin Broadside” is part of one of the first mass political smear campaigns in the U.S. While serving as a General in 1815, Jackson had allowed the execution of six militia men after a court martial for disobeying orders. Newspapers that supported John Adams seized the opportunity to vilify Jackson by portraying him as a murderer on artwork such as this.
These are just a few of the 300 posters that will be offered in Auction #225, which totals over 2,000 items. Bidding opens on October 23 and will close on November 13-15. Interested collectors can bid at hakes.com and learn more about the auction through the website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.