Friday, December 14, 2012

Collector pays $1.2 million for rare posters, including 'Metropolis'

A film memorabilia collector paid $1.2 million for nine rare and early film posters, including the world's highest-valued poster of the 1927 film "Metropolis," in a bankruptcy auction in Los Angeles on Thursday, the trustee in the bankruptcy case said.

Ralph DeLuca, who owns New Jersey-based film memorabilia company Movie Archives Inc, won the bidding against three others in the court auction, said trustee John J. Menchaca.

Bidding for the lot of posters started at $700,000. DeLuca beat out memorabilia powerhouse Heritage Auctions.The "Metropolis" poster, the crown jewel of the collection, was purchased by California collector Kenneth Schachter for a record $690,000 in a 2005 private sale. But he was forced to sell the poster along with eight others after declaring bankruptcy.

The poster, one of only four known surviving copies, was illustrated by German Heinz Schulz-Neudamm, who depicted the film's dystopian future with towering, faceless skyscrapers and jagged script.

One copy is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which confers the poster's value as art, DeLuca said.

"It's 'The Scream,' the 'Guernica' of film posters," DeLuca said of the modernist masterpieces painted by Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso, respectively. "It's literally the 'Mona Lisa.'"  (source)

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