Items from the early days of Hollywood can be highly collectible, but also sorely overlooked by many. On November 19 and 20, Heritage is offering fans and collectors a chance to win some unique and interesting items from the early days of cinema. Posters, lobby cards, and more are available and waiting for the right bidder!
The Pioneer and Golden Ages of Hollywood are regarded as one of the highest points in cinema. The blossoming new medium evolved quickly, introducing moving pictures to elated audiences before introducing sound (or talkies) to the delight of millions. This era also gave the world some of the most celebrated Hollywood icons — Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, James Dean, and Katherine Hepburn.
In 1918 silent film comedian Charlie Chaplin released A Dog’s Life, his first movie with First National Films. This was also the first film where he had full creative control, which enabled him to truly show off his skill set. A Dog’s Life featured The Tramp, Chaplin’s iconic character, who is taking care of a stray dog. The film is only 33 minutes in length but is still watched and celebrated over 100 years later.
This set of eight lobby cards prominently features the Tramp. Heritage notes that the collection has overall light border toning, but if taken care of properly they can still be enjoyed for decades to come. Heritage also estimates these lobby cards to be worth $3,000 – $6,000. In July 2022 another set of eight sold for $2,640 on Heritage.
In 1930 MGM released Madam Satan, the second all-talking picture, and the only musical by director Cecil B. DeMille. The movie revolves around a married couple Angela and Bob Brooks, who are having marital issues. Bob has been unfaithful, but Angela has concocted a plan to both teach him a lesson and win him back by donning a seductive devil costume. Madam Satan is considered to be a pre-code sex film and was a flop when released. The imagery of the character is a sight to behold and can be appealing to a number of collectors.
This title lobby card is a rare and beautiful find. It caught my eye immediately and would look great framed, but this lobby card does deserve to be preserved in some way. Heritage notes that there are some minor color touchups among other things, but otherwise, this lobby card presents well. The last time a Madam Satan lobby card was offered on Heritage, it sold for $3,900 in June 2015.
One of the more well-known pre-code gangster films, The Public Enemy came out when interest in organized crime was at an all-time high. While the movie wasn’t exactly well received on its release, The Public Enemy became a pop culture fixture and one of the more iconic movies from the era. An animatronic scene from the film was included in the Walt Disney World Resort’s The Great Movie ride located inside the Hollywood Studios park. In 1998 the film was preserved by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry. It has been included in several best-of lists and is still celebrated to this day.
This lobby card is a true gem, featuring the main cast front and center. This is a rare find and deserves to be the centerpiece for a myriad of collections. Heritage notes some minor flaws, but this lobby card is in overall Fine condition. Heritage estimates this lobby card to be worth between $5,000 – $10,000.
Metropolis is my favorite movie of all time, so finding anything from its original theatrical run is a thrill. This German lobby card features a scene from the groundbreaking Fritz Lang film, where the working class toils in the world beneath the reaching skyscrapers. Metropolis would go on to inspire an entire genre, including Star Wars. While there had been rumors of a remake, nothing has been official. Personally, I don’t think it needs to be remade — Metropolis is perfect as it is.
This lobby card from Germany is one of the rarest finds in this auction. If you collect lobby cards or Metropolis items, this is a grail item. Heritage noes minor wear with the card, but it is in overall Fine condition. A colorized, US version of this lobby card sold for $36,000 in July of 2022. However, Heritage gives this an estimated value of $1,000 – $2,000.