1935 "Bride of Frankenstein" Pressbook

Value (2013) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction

I was in Cincinnati. I got interested in movie posters. There happened to be a big collector in Cincinnati who I just called up on the phone and said, "Can I come over and talk to you about posters?" I went and this poster was on his wall. And I was just transfixed. It wasn't for sale at the time, but later on he called me up and said if I was interested... I took a big gulp and against probably the wishes of my wife I went ahead and bought it.

How much longer after you first saw him did it take for him to decide to sell it to you?

It was probably about three years.

So three years later he called you. And your big gulp was because... How much did you have to pay for it?

I paid $7,000 for it.

Okay, that's a big gulp kind of decision.

Yes, definitely.

It's actually not a poster, but I wanted to start with it on this side because you have it framed so we could see both sides of it. And the reason I started on this side is because we can see exactly what it is. It's the pressbook, press campaign, the ad campaign book that they would send out to show all the different options that you had for posters. We're talking about The Bride of Frankenstein, 1935, Universal Pictures. A lot of fun options here. Boris Karloff, one of his most famous roles. And the reason that you probably fell in love with it, I'm going to turn it around now, because this is the back cover of the book... And we'll take a look at the front. And so we see now on the front it's gorgeous. It might just be an ad campaign booklet, a press booklet, but it has some of the same graphics that were featured on some of the top posters from the film. And I know that your concern is that, you know, you did pay a decent amount of money for it back then. So, obviously, the question of the hour is, well, what is it worth now? And anything to do with these films are so rare. Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein. We all had a discussion at the table because none have come up publicly. But we feel very confident, given the information we have about the market for other posters from this film, that today, conservatively at auction, we would expect them to estimate at anywhere in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. And it could very well do much more than that. In 2013, just a title card from this film sold for $46,000. In 2007, which is the last time one of the one-sheets came up, it sold for over $334,000. And we also have had half-sheets sell for over $65,000. Now, granted, this isn't the actual poster, it's the pressbook. So it's a little outside the lane of some of the really picky poster collectors. But it doesn't matter because it's so beautiful and the graphic on it is so amazing that they're still interested because it's the same look and feel of the posters. They'd be just as interested in it today.

My wife will be so relieved.

I hope she is. You did make a wise investment.

Appraisal Details

The Collector's Lab
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2013)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)

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