Bradford film posters collection sell for £165k at auction
Man Of Zion
March. 03, 2020
A collection of original film and circus posters sold for £165,000, three times the estimated auction price.
Bradford-based W E Berry Ltd produced them for Disney, Rank, Universal, Columbia Pictures, Paramount and Ealing Studios from the 1920s.
Auctioneers said the sale exceeded the top estimated asking price of £55,000.
Creature from the Black Lagoon was the single highest selling poster fetching £22,000. It was expected to reach between £2,000 and £4,000.
Artwork for the Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers, sold for £8,000 more than five times the predicted £1,500 asking price.
While a poster of Alfred Hitchcock's 1937 thriller Young and Innocent fetched £4,400, which was estimated to go under the hammer at a guide of £200-£400.
Ewbank's Auctions said film and circus fans, collectors and museums were among the bidders with the auction running for "seven hours". Details of the buyers have not been disclosed.
The posters went under the hammer on Friday in Surrey.
Ewbank's Auctions had said the collection was rare because of the firm's original "bright and striking" hand-painted artwork.
The firm was founded in 1888 but the production of film posters started in the 1920s when W E Berry was introduced to Fred Martin at Paramount studios.
Notable films for which W E Berry produced posters include The Ten Commandments (1923), Oliver Twist (1948), Carry on Up the Khyber (1968), Star Wars (1977) and Flash Gordon (1980).
The company also printed designs for railway companies and Bertram Mills Circus.
It was one of only three printers in Britain that specialised in printing large posters for cinemas, Ewbank's Auctions said.
But financial losses in the early 2000s forced the company into administration and it closed in 2004.
The University of Sheffield described the firm's work as "some of the most iconic British posters of the 20th Century".
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