HERITAGE AUCTION March 2006 - An Australian perspective
The recent Heritage auction appears to have been another resounding success. I thought the 34 Australian posters performed extremely well with the highlights being a daybill for The Maltese Falcon which sold for US$8,625.00 and a one sheet for
which was hammered in at a very healthy US$10,925.00
I have never seen the Maltese Falcon daybill before and the image of Bogart is one of the few that depict Bogart from the film itself rather than the more commonly seen image of him that was used from High Sierra.
Australian posters that have sold for high prices in the past nearly always feature alternative artwork to the
versions and this poster is no exception. You even get a bonus image of a Falcon flying in the top left hand corner although I think an image of the statue might have been more effective. The poster was printed by Marchant and Co who produced daybills for a brief period in the early 40s. Their posters generally featured a blend of photographic images and artwork and were generally very striking. I particularly like their daybill for Air Raid Wardens.
Another daybill that has sold for high prices in the past is The Blue Dahlia with Richardson Studio art that is quite unique.
one sheet is also a rarely seen poster with images of all of the main characters which would have appealed to fans of the movie.
A Beau Geste Australian one sheet sold for US$3220.00. Not many people would be aware that the Richardson Studio produced two alternative long daybills for this title. Both are truly magnificent posters and it would be interesting to see how those would fare if they ever turned up at a major auction.
The two long daybills for "Meet Me in
" and "Strike Up the Band" were good buys. I have not come across either of them before and whoever purchased them did very well.
It was interesting to see a Halloween one sheet in the auction. The film still has a huge appeal and the image of a menacing Michael Myers on the stairs seems to always be the more sought after with daybills always selling well when they turn up. All of the Halloween one sheets I have seen seem to have suffered very badly from fold wear - so much so that I have never really come across one in a condition that I would happily sell. The fold wear looks very prominent against the glossy dark background and really detracts from the image. The poster in the Heritage auction was linen backed and I would have been interested to see how it looked. Many restorers say that touching up the foldlines on glossy posters like Halloween is a very difficult task and it may well have been quite time consuming to restore.
It looks as though all of the Australian posters sold with the lowest price going for the "Picnic at Hanging Rock" one sheet at $115.00. This is a poster that will probably be more suited to future auctions but nevertheless, it is one of those items that could always go for a high price on the day.
Perhaps the bargain of the sale was the long daybill for "The First Rebel" aka "Allegheny Uprising". At $218.50 this was a great buy.
Grey Smith has turned up some extremely rare Australian posters over the last few years. Hopefully, the consignors have been happy with the results because, ultimately, this will produce more sought after posters. It will always be the case that some posters appear with monotonous regularity in auctions but there are still many Australian posters for great films that have never surfaced.
You can see all of the results for Australian posters at the Heritage auction here
Heritage Australian Auction Results