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Movie Poster Auctions

Published by Ralph DeLuca on October 31, 2011 - 9:10pm

I often get asked by people if it is a good idea to sell their antique movie posters or lobby cards through either online poster auctions or an auction house. There are several auction houses that occasionally have poster auctions and consigning your vintage art to them can be an option. However, unless you find a serious and educated appraiser and collector like myself, people can have a difficult time selling their vintage art for a good price. One of the main reasons I started my website is so collectors of posters, or anyone who has memorabilia can find me and deal directly with a collector; myself. What I do not think most people realize is the fees and commissions associated with selling movie posters through an auction house.

Here is an example:

A very rare horror movie poster sells for $100,000 final price (including buyers premium, which is usually 20%), which means the hammer price was around $80,000 or 20% less the the total selling price after auctioning. Now the seller has to pay his fee to the auction house (yes the buyer AND the seller pay fees to the auctioneer, which is common practice) which is at least another 20% and sometimes even more, plus photography fees, cataloging fees, etc (depending on which auction house the seller chooses). That means the seller of the poster would get a check for approximately $64,000 pre-tax (see your account to find out your exact tax liability). Also be aware that from the time you submit the poster to the auction house, until the day their check arrives in your mailbox, can be as long as 6 months. Not to mention the risk of chancing your poster at auction where it may sell very low, or not at all.

When you deal with a private poster collector such as myself, you can be paid in cash on the spot, with no waiting and no commissions. Even if I already have, or do not want what you have, I have lots of fellow movie poster collecting friends I am happy to refer you too. Any further question please feel free to call me anytime at 800 392-4050


Movie Poster Grading Services?

Published by Ralph DeLuca on September 11, 2009

As a follow up to the post I made the other day about third party poster authentication, the subject also brings up the issue of third party movie poster grading. Typically collectors counted on the dealers and auction houses they bought their posters from for grading, and of course would use their own eyes once receiving the poster to back that up. It has been this way for over 20 years, and some ask why should that change.

Well, with the recent events of fraudulent movie posters being made to look old with fakes stamps, marks, and even poster restoration, this has become a much harder task for the collector to determine what he or she is actually getting.

Restoration (i.e linen backing, paper backing, cleaning, bleaching, recreation etc.) is acceptable in the movie posters hobby and in my opinion will continue to be.

BUT full disclosure needs to be presented to the buyer at or before the time of purchase, so an informed decision can be made. I have several movie posters, window cards, and even lobby cards in my collection that have had restoration ranging from minor cleaning, to actual areas of the poster recreated where paper was missing. The difference is that I knew the condition of the posters I was buying, and decided to do so based on that poster's rarity or my desire to own a copy now, with the anticipations of upgrading to one with a better condition when another one became available at a later time.

Third party grading and authentication companies as I mentioned in earlier posts are done for several other hobbies, and typically the grading system is on a numbered basis from 1 being the worst to 10 being mint.

In comic books there are two separate grading systems, one for restored books, and another for unrestored comics. As you would guess the same comic in unrestored shape is worth much more than a book that has had restoration. The one factor with this type of grading is the item has to be encapsulated in a tamper proof holder and cannot be removed or it will void the grade and guarantee from the grading company.

I do not think this will work for movie posters for three main reasons;

1. Restoration is accepted in our market place and is sometimes needed to preserve the paper and save the poster. (Remember movie posters were not made to be collected like comic books, baseball cards, etc. They were made on cheap pulp paper and meant to last a year or less hanging or glued to walls to advertise a film while it was in therters, or before it was released to movie theaters)

2. Rarity - Even the most common of movie posters from pre-1950 that are still around today number much less than 100 copies, and some do not exist at all. There is simply not enough supply out there to make this a viable business for a company to invest in.

3. Encapsulation - I do not know of any serious collectors, myself included, that would want to take their posters out of a frame or display book, send them out to a company to encase them in some plastic holder, making them very hard to store, or display nicely.

I am not saying this is a dead issue but we need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

At least that is my two cents worth.


Movie Poster Authentication service?

Published by Ralph DeLuca on September 9, 2009 - 8:04pm

With the recent events of all the fake horror lobby cards and movie posters, collectors and dealers are now pondering the idea of a third party company that will authenticate and possibly grade movie posters. It has been done with coins, stamps, baseball cards and even comic books, so movie posters may be the next logical choice.

Slabbing is the term used for those other collectibles, meaning the item is placed inside a tamper proof plastic case with a unique serial number. I am on the fence about this one, as I would hate to see my posters encapsulated in plastic cases, instead of the beautiful frames and binders they are in now. I think that once the criminals who started this are brought to justice, and the collectors, dealers, and restorers in this hobby learn how these fakes were created, so it never can happen again, things will calm down.


Horror Movie Poster Fakes

Published by Ralph DeLuca on August 31, 2009

There has been some great concern lately, and rightfully so, about a major scandal going on in our hobby about fake posters, lobby cards, and window cards.

Unfortunately I was one of the victims, and am very familiar with the situation and all involved. Consequently, I felt in necessary to report the following:

To date, the ONLY items being faked are 1930's-1940's, horror movie posters, window cards, and lobby cards, including all known reissues for the Universal horror films.

This has been going on for less than 3 years as far as we can tell and involves at least one known collector and a west coast poster restorer.

It was being done using original posters and lobby cards of little to no value and the restorer sanded or peeled the image off- (I am not aware of the exact science to this) and glued quality reproduction from to the old original backing.

These were meant to defraud us collectors. The people behind this have sold other non horror posters and lobbies, but they all checked out to be good so far. I really think it is limited to Horror ONLY, and if you did not buy (or trade for) any horror cards or posters in the last 3 years or less, you have nothing to worry about.

I was burned by 2 very expensive lobby cards which turned out to be high quality forgeries- but my losses were small (around $20k) compared to some friends who are out $100,000's. Our our attorneys have directed those people involved in the investigation, myself included, to not name names. But by asking around, you should be able to find this information by yourself.

It does not makes sense to spook everyone in our hobby, especially those who DO NOT collect horror material, just to feel important by spreading gossip.

Many serious "horror" collectors are taking some big hits right now... As for myself, I still love this fascinating hobby and will continue to buy all genres (even horror), just with a bit more caution in who I deal with.

This problem will sting for awhile but I think it will be under control very soon, and the guilty parties will be brought to justice.

Anyone who feels the material they have may be fake can send it to : John Davis at Poster Mountain, or Carol Tincup, in Orange, CA.

hey are the ONLY restoration professionals that I know of who handled and authenticated all the posters so far and help expose this crime.

Do not guess for yourself, if you feel you may have something that might be a fake or know someone that does.

I am always happy to help any collectors who have questions on this matter.

You will see for the below list, other than Mark of the Vampire, it seems almost exclusively the Universal Horror films that were faked. So please be cautious of ANY Universal Horror Title, including re-issues!

Here is a partial list of some of the fakes that were manufactured to look old. Some even have marker and grease pencil writing on the back as well as fake NSS (national screen service) and poster exchange stamps too.

Please note that on some of these it has been estimated that between 5-10 fakes were made...

  • Frankenstein: 1931 Title card and scene lobby cards, 1938 Lobby cards, 1947 one sheet, 1951 realart 1/2 sheet
  • Dracula, 1931 Window Card, Title Card, Scene lobby cards, 1938 re-release lobby cards, and 1947 Re-release one sheet.
  • The Black Cat, 1934 One sheet, scene lobby cards
  • The Raven, 1935 Half Sheet, title card, scene cards
  • The Ghost of Frankenstein, 1942 Three Sheet, Insert, all lobby cards
  • The Mummy's Hand, 1940 Half Sheet, Insert, lobby cards
  • Mark of the Vampire, 1935 Scene lobby card (close up of Lugosi and Borland)
  • The Old Dark House, 1932 Insert, Lobby cards
  • The Wolfman, 1941 Lobby card set, Re-release Film Classics Insert
  • Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1932 window card, lobby cards
  • The Mummy's Ghost, 1944 Half Sheet, lobby card set
  • The Invisible Man, 1933 Window Card
  • the Mummy's Tomb, 1942 one sheet, insert, lobby card set
  • The Mummy's Curse, 1944 half sheet, insert, lobby card set
  • Son of Frankenstein, 1939 lobby card set
  • Werewolf of London, 1935 lobby cards
  • Bride of Frankenstein, 1935 lobby card set
  • House of Frankenstein, 1944 one sheet, lobby cards

Please see attached the two PDFs prepared by Poster Mountain

The Mark of the Vampire Fake.pdf

Son of Frankenstein Fake.pdf



Silent Movies Are Subject of New Library Publication

Published by Ralph DeLuca on November 6, 2007

From their birth in the 1890s with the earliest narrative shorts, through the full-length features of the1920s, silent movies have captured the American imagination. These artifacts of a fledgling industry continue to engage viewers 80 years after the release of "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson, the first full-length feature film to incorporate synchronized dialogue and thereby herald the age of the "talkies."

In his new book, "Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture," Peter Kobel has created the definitive visual history of silent film. Published this month by the Library of Congress in association with Little, Brown & Co., this richly illustrated work draws on the Library';s extraordinary collection of posters, paper prints, film stills and memorabilia';most of which has never been in print. More than 400 images capture the birth of film and the rise of such icons as Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Clara Bow and Rudolph Valentino.

"For more than a century, motion pictures have documented American life and culture," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The Library of Congress has been actively involved in preserving the history of cinema since 1893 when Thomas Edison's assistant, William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, submitted the first copyright registration for a commercially distributed movie, which marked the beginning of the film industry in America. Today, the Library makes accessible to scholars and researchers the largest collection of films in the world."

With a foreword by legendary director Martin Scorsese and an introduction by filmmaker and film historian Kevin Brownlow, "Silent Movies" also looks at the technology of early film, the use of color photography and the preservation and restoration work being spearheaded by the Library of Congress and some of Hollywood's most important directors.

Peter Kobel is the former managing editor of Premiere magazine. He has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly.

The book is dedicated to David W. Packard "in recognition of his support of film preservation at the Library of Congress." Packard is the benefactor of the Library's new Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., which houses the Library's film and sound collections.

The publication of "Silent Movies" coincides with the launch of a traveling film series, which begins at the Library of Congress on Nov. 9 and continues in November at venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area (National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Goethe-Institut Washington and AFI Silver Theater). The series then continues in December at several venues in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For more information, go to

"Silent Movies," a 320-page hardcover book with 400 illustrations, is available for $45 in bookstores nationwide and in the Library';s Sales Shop, Washington, D.C., 20540-4985, (888) 682-3557


Theatrical Poster for Juno Revealed

Published by Ralph DeLuca on August 30, 2007


A possible version of the movie poster for Jason Reitman's newest movie, Juno, is available on the internet. Reitman also is responsible for the movie: Thank You for Smoking




To Sell or Not to Sell?

Published by Ralph DeLuca on August 26, 2007

If you're wondering whether you should sell your movie poster or hang onto it a little longer, contact me to find out how much the poster might increase in value if you hold onto it longer. Remember that I pay top dollar for movie posters if they're something I'm looking for to complete my collection.


Selling Movie Posters

Published by Ralph DeLuca on August 20, 2007

Speaking of selling movie posters (sorry, I'm an avid movie poster collector!), I understand completely if you want to talk to one or a few possible buyers before selling your movie memorabilia. It's smart. All I'm saying is contact me too. I spend a lot of money to acquire the movie posters I want. If you're selling a movie poster, selling a lobby card or selling any kind of movie memorabilia, you'll want to talk to me.


Sell Movie Posters

Published by Ralph DeLuca on August 8, 2007

So you're looking to sell a movie poster?

There's a lot of information out there on the web about how much it might be worth. If you want someone's opinion who has been in the business for 'quite a few years', make sure to contact me before you sell the movie poster to someone else.

Talk to the others too if you want, but I'm a serious and avid collector. Huge finders fees paid immediately!



Movie Poster to 'Lost' Creator Abrams' Mystery Project Leaked

Published by Ralph DeLuca on July 26, 2007

According to a blog source:

What is believed to be the poster for the film appeared briefly in the window of a South California collectibles shop "Frank and Sons", and was subsequently removed as the shop shut down. Currently, signs advertising Comic Con and the G4 network are hanging in the place of the poster.

The blurry composite above is from Cloverfield Clues blog, which has been tracking the developments of the project since it first arrived on the seen.

What you can see is a headless Statue of Liberty overlooking New York. In the lower right hand corner is the release date of 1-18-08, and across the top is what could potentially be the title of the mysterious film, "Monstrous".

Could be a good movie, maybe.


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