VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.
On occasion Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale. This interest may include guaranteeing a minimum price to the consignor of property or making an advance to the consigned property. Such property is offered subject to a reserve. This is such a lot.
The following sixty-five lots are an important and almost unique collection of U.S. one-sheet posters from a private American collector. Dating from the early 1930s, the collection includes rare posters never before seen at auction such as Supernatural, 1933 [lot 370], Murders In The Zoo, 1933 [lot 373] and Ladies They Talk About, 1933 [lot 321]. The scarcity of these posters can in part be accounted for by the actions of the Hays Office, which in 1930 created the Motion Picture Production Code, sometimes referred to as the Hays Code, which came into effect in 1934. Run by Will Hays, the idea of the code was to improve the image of the film industry following various well publicised scandals which had tainted the image of Hollywood. The code led to much of the advertising material for films in the early 1930s being destroyed. The highlight of this collection is The Mummy, 1932 [lot 374]. In 1998, a near mint condition poster for this title appeared for the first time at auction, and achieved a world record price for a poster of £252,109 ($410,000). The vendor has written the following account of the history of the collection.
The posters were given to me in the early 1950s by my father-in-law who had operated a movie theater in Jerome, Arizona in the late 1920s and early 30s. I was helping him clean out his garage and we ran accross five large pieces of heavy cardboard with old movie posters glued to both sides. I was very interested in them because five of the posters were of cowboy movies, starring a couple of my favourite cowboys. I had never seen posters glued to cardboard before, when I asked him about them, he explained: Jerome's movie theater didn't have display cases for the posters so they glued the posters to stiff cardboard and leant them against the front of the theater, the ones for coming attractions were positioned against the walls of the theater lobby. The five boards discovered in the garage were the ones in use when the theater closed, and he couldn't bring himself to throw them away. He said he had hauled them around for nearly twenty years and if I wanted them, I could have them and it would be my turn to haul them around, which I have for nearly fifty years, before they came back to life.
The posters included in this collection have been painstakingly restored. It should be noted that because of the way the posters were glued, most have suffered paper loss around the border, although the main body of the poster in most instances has retained the original colour without fading. The restoration is reflected in the condition grading in the catalogue description. In the instance of The Mummy, we have indicated in one of the illustrations which areas of the poster have been restored, and which are original.