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Australia Day Movie Poster Auction
An original Wizard of Oz poster hidden under floorboards of a country NSW home for 75 years is for sale as part of the Australia Day Movie Poster auction.
The 1940 poster is among some of the rarest movie posters ever unearthed in Australia and will be sold in a unique auction which commenced on Australia Day, 2015.
The auction on new collectors’ website Bidll will feature the biggest collection of Australian movie memorabilia ever assembled for one sale. The Australia Day Movie Poster Auction is limited to original movie memorabilia printed in Australia and original posters for Australian movies.
The titles read like a who’s who of Australian cinema, including Jedda: The Uncivilised, When the Kellys Rode, The Overlanders, Mad Max, Stone, and Crocodile Dundee.
There are also original Australian printed posters for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1929 film Blackmail, Gone With the Wind, Of Human Bondage, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Postman Always Rings Twice, White Cargo, The Day The Earth Stood Still, a 1937 Disney film The Old Mill and many more.
Bidll owner David Rew said the Wizard of Oz poster was one of several posters placed under the floorboards by a former projectionist when he built his home in the 1940s.
“They had been used for insulation,” Mr Rew said.
“The house is now being renovated and the new owners found the small pile of posters. Most of the posters were in poor condition or not of great note, but the Wizard of Oz Australian one-sheet was an exceptional find,” Mr Rew said.
Many of the posters in the Australia Day Movie Poster Auction have no reserve and should attract bids of several thousand dollars.
In some cases only a handful of the posters remain and some have never been previously sold at auction. There are only two known copies of the Blackmail long daybill and it is understood less than 10 copies survive of Gone With the Wind.
There will be hundreds of posters ranging in price from $10 to $10,000 in the auction that runs from January 26 to January 31.
Bidll was launched late in 2014 as a place for collectors and dealers to buy, sell and auction from their favourite hobbies.
Bidll owner David Rew said the auction was a unique display of Australian cinema history through the design of movie posters.
“To our knowledge this is the first time there’s been an auction purely dedicated to Australian film and Australian-printed memorabilia,” Mr Rew said.
“Australian movie memorabilia is collected across the world and some items are so rare and collectable that they have sold for well in excess of $10,000,” he said.
“We want to make sure this material isn’t lost and that people appreciate their part in our history. “There will be some very rare posters, including some never before seen at auction.”
Mr Rew said the 1929 movie poster Blackmail was likely to fetch the highest bids. “It is ultra-rare and has the crossover appeal of both Hitchcock fans and general movie poster collectors,” he said.
Mr Rew added that collecting vintage movie posters is like collecting art and can be a strong long-term investment.
“Many pieces appreciate over the years. For instance there are only two known copies for Blackmail and one sold about five years ago for around $5,000; we expect the one in our auction sell for in excess of $10,000.”
Posters for films such as the 1974 biker movie Stone sold some 10 years ago for around $50 but now fetch $750-$1,000.
“Classic movie titles and films featuring classic actors and actresses are always in demand, as are franchises such as the Bond movies, Star Wars series, Back to the Future and Mad Max,” Mr Rew said.
The auction won’t only feature expensive and rare items.
“We will have many affordable posters, particularly from Australian films of the 1970s and 1980s that are becoming more and more collectable,” Mr Rew said.
The combined posters in the auction are worth a “substantial six figure sum”, Mr Rew added.