Silent Movie Slides, ca. 1915
Appraised Value: $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:48)
APPRAISER: When you go to the movies these days, they show a little short before the feature that tells you about the concession stand and "Please don't talk." But what we have here are the forerunners of those. This is from the days of silent movies. And these were glass slides that were projected in the movie theaters onto the screen, to impart various forms of information. First of all, there was what you would call "coming attractions." These were films that were coming up. We have the "Adventures of Buffalo Bill" here, is one film. This is a Lillian Gish film: "Sold for Marriage." And William S. Hart, the famous Western star-"Selfish Yates." And not only did they promote films there, they also tried to get people to go to work. They ran, like, early classifieds. This is, "Typists-Stenographers Help Win the War." And they also had other advertisements, like this one for Swift's Premium. And... this beauty for Edison Mazda Lamps. So the had... they figured they had a captive audience there in the theater.
APPRAISER: Now these all date from about 1910 to 1920. That was the prime of this. And you came across these, you told me...? Tell the story.
GUEST: When I was a child in... sometime in the '50s, I'd say the late '50s, my father went to the city dump to throw some things away, and I went with him. And at that time, you could just kind of go into the dump and wander around. And while he was there, I looked... I was looking around and I found a box that had all of these in there-- all these glass slides. I just sort of picked them up, took them home and looked at them. And since that time, they've just been in the bottom of a closet, inside a box, just sitting around.
APPRAISER: There's a tremendous interest in collecting these. Number one, the movie ones like the "Adventure of Buffalo Bill," are a documentation of the history of that particular film. Some of these films don't even exist anymore. The advertising ones are almost unique. There's... very few of them have survived. They were made just to be projected in movie theaters. You have here approximately 75 of them. And you told me, this is... about how many of your...?
GUEST: Just about half.
APPRAISER: Half of them.
GUEST: I've got a few more.
APPRAISER: Well, I did some quick math before we came on. These sell anywhere from $60 to $150 apiece.
GUEST: Good gracious.
APPRAISER: And so if you average it out at about $100 apiece, and you say you have about 150, you're talking about a collection that conservatively, at a movie ephemera auction, like at New York or London, would garner close to $15,000 for this collection of glass slides.
GUEST: Good gracious! That's pretty...
APPRAISER: So not bad for finding at the dump. The markup's very good.
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