A piece of original art featuring the most famous vampire in the history of film and literature soared to nearly four times its high pre-auction estimate to lead Heritage Auctions
' Movie Posters Auction to $2,224,433 in total sales April 27-28.
Five world records were set in the event, which drew nearly 1,800 bidders and boasted sell-through rates of 96.1% by lots sold and 94.9 by value sold.
Dracula by Basil Gogos (2002) Signed Original Acrylic Artwork on Canvas drew nearly two dozen bids before it reached $78,000, against a high pre-auction estimate of $20,000, to claim top-lot honors. The one-of-a-kind image of Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, offered for the first time at Heritage Auctions, comes from the artist who gained his fame largely by illustrating magazine covers for Famous Monsters of Filmland, including Frankenstein's Monster, the Phantom of the Opera, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Gill Man, King Kong and Bram Stoker's infamous count.
"This is extraordinary artwork for one of the most popular and important films in the horror genre," Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. "It's a powerful, dramatic image from an important artist known as one of the best at creating movie monsters."
Lots that set new world records included:
$55,200: The War of the Worlds (Paramount, 1953) Half Sheet Style B is quite possibly the best and most well-preserved half sheet for the film, one of the most popular titles among sci-fi collectors, ever offered through Heritage Auctions. Posters for the film, including this style B half sheet, are notorious for their spectacular graphics; this one is one of very few U.S. posters to show the Martian war machines.
$52,800: A Werewolf of London (Universal, 1935) Title Lobby Card comes from one of the top horror movies of all time, the first werewolf story in a feature film. This rare title card show the title character after makeup artist Jack Pierce's work was toned down to reveal more of Henry Hull's actual appearance, the end result of which was the title character with which film fans are so familiar.
$28,800: Help! (United Artists, 1965) Door Panel Set of 4 is a rare quartet of door panels for the Beatles' second film, and the only set produced for any of the band's films. Door panels rare were ordered by theater owners, because so many venues had no place to display them and because of the prohibitive cost.
$26,401.20: An Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Allied Artists, 1958) One Sheet with Reynold Brown Artwork is one of the most readily identifiable images of 1950s sci-fi. The film has grown in popularity in mainstream pop culture, making its posters coveted must-have items for sci-fi collectors.
$6,000: A Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Bros., 2004) Lenticular Standee, depicting Harry Potter's godfather, Sirius Black
A Citizen Kane (RKO, 1941) One Sheet Style A, from the film that has been called the best movie of all time, more than tripled its low pre-auction estimate when it finished at $45,600. Heritage Auctions has offered only a few style A one sheets from the classic that earned nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.
An exceedingly rare Horse Feathers (Paramount, 1932) Three Sheet drew a winning bid of $40,800. This extraordinary stone litho three sheet, now almost 90 years old, captures the Marx Brothers in one of their funniest Paramount films, in which Groucho is the new president of Huxley College, which has not won a football game in more than 40 years.
A Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) One Sheet more than doubled its low pre-auction estimate when it brought $36,000. It trumpets Michael Curtiz's landmark film that was nominated or eight Academy Awards and won three, and elevated Julius and Phillip Epstein's bittersweet tale into a piece of cinema legend.
A Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) Half Sheet Style B reached $33,600. From one of the most popular films ever made, the Style B half sheet is among the film's most popular posters, widely accepted as the more desirable of the two half sheet styles produced for the film. The focus is on the portraits of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in their most beloved roles, and includes images of five of their co-stars: Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre and Hollywood newcomer Sydney Greenstreet.
Other top lots included, but were not limited to:
Cover Girl by Anselmo Ballester (Columbia, 1951) Signed Original Mixed Media Poster Artwork on Illustration Board: $23,400
A Monsieur Beaucaire (Paramount, 1924) One Sheet: $19,200
A Through the Back Door (United Artists, 1921) One Sheet: $18,000
A Vertigo (Paramount, 1958) Signed One Sheet with Saul Bass Artwork: $15,600
World War II Propaganda (Ministry of Information, 1939) Full-Bleed British Double Crown "Keep Calm and Carry On.": $15,600
The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) with Al Hirschfeld Title Lobby Card Artwork: $15,600
A One Sheet from A Clockwork Orange (Warner Bros., 1973) with David Pelham Artwork: $15,000