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Auction History Result

Lot #: v019 SON OF KONG linen 1sh '33 Ernest B. Schoedsack

Date Sold 12/17/2005
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.
Appears in Vintage Hollywood Posters 9
CATALOG SOLD OUT

The image at right appears in the auction catalog we published as shown above and was sold long ago and we do NOT have it available for purchase.



An Original Vintage Theatrical Linenbacked One-Sheet Movie Poster (measures 27" x 41") (Learn More)

Son of Kong, the 1933 Ernest B. Schoedsack fantasy horror action adventure thriller sequel ("LAUGHS! THRILLS! PATHOS!"; "New Thrills! New Adventure! New Romance!"; King Kong was SO successful that RKO rushed out a very rare same-year sequel!) starring Robert Armstrong (reprising his role as Carl Denham from the previous King Kong), Helen Mack, Frank Reicher, John Marston, Victor Wong, and Edward Brady
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that RKO KNEW they had a monster hit in "King Kong" in 1933, and so they printed an incredibly lavish pressbook, and offered a larger than normal number of large sized posters, and even lowered the prices on those posters, in an effort to get theaters to order huge numbers of them, so as to spread the word that much faster of just how incredible "King Kong" was. This must have worked, for not only are there a much greater than normal number of regular sized posters known to exist on "King Kong" (probably more than on any other 1933 release), but there are also a far greater than normal number of large sized posters known to exist (lots of three-sheets, several six-sheets, even a 9 foot standee). Perhaps this was because of the lowered prices on the posters, or perhaps it was because of how wonderful and colorful the posters were, which maybe caused lots of people to beg, borrow, or steal the posters from theaters!

The exact opposite is true of "Son of Kong". After the huge success of "King Kong", RKO rushed out this sequel movie the very same year, and undoubtedly had to rush the posters as well, and the movie has a very odd ad campaign, where the actual "Son of Kong" does not appear on very many of the posters! In addition, it seems that not enough posters were made, for it has been very true for many years in collecting circles that posters larger than a window card from this movie were not known to exist at all, even though many collectors were very actively searching for them. Last year, one of each style three-sheet and the "style A" one-sheet were sold. The "style A" one-sheet (which does NOT picture the Son of Kong at all!) sold privately for around $20,000, likely because it was the very first "Son of Kong" one-sheet to ever surface. The two styles of three-sheet were sold at public auction. One style, which again, does not picture the Son of Kong at all, sold for over $20,000! The other style, which solely has the Son of Kong in the bottom left of the image, sold for over $50,000!

Now, the "style B" one-sheet, the only one of the four posters to have a large central image of the Son of Kong, is offered at auction. This is a poster that is not in the collection of ANY of the world's foremost horror collectors (Borst, Fishler, Thomas, Schacter, Hammett, etc, etc)! This poster is truly being sold with no reserve, so on December 17, some ONE horror collector will have this great poster in their collection (perhaps one of the above), but only one!

Condition: very good. The image area of the poster was in quite nice condition prior to linenbacking. There was tiny paper loss at each crossfold and a few minute areas of paper loss on the foldlines. There were some tiny tears and tiny pinholes around the edges of the image. The only other extremely minor defect in the image area of the poster was a stamp on the back of the top of the "G" of "KONG", which extremely slightly bled through to the front. Other than the above truly minor defects, the image areas of the poster was in excellent condition. The borders of the poster were quite a different story. They were tattered, with many tears and areas of paper loss. The owner of the poster wanted to make the borders of this poster look as wonderful as the image area, and because of its great scarcity and value, he did NOT have the restorer place new paper over the original borders (a technique that is used by a great number of restorers, sometimes without the knowledge of their customers!). Instead, he hit on an unusual solution. He found another 1933 RKO one-sheet (but one from a minor movie), and he made sure that the size of the image area of that poster exactly matched that of this poster (not at all surprising, since posters at that time were printed in an assembly line fashion, and posters from one studio from one year almost always had the same size image area as another from the same studio from the same year). He then had the restorer precisely cut the image area out of the second poster, and had all of the borders precisely cut off of this "Son of Kong" poster! The restorer then merged the two posters together, and I am 100% sure that 99.9% of collectors would not realize this had been done unless I told them that it had been done, even if they spent time studying over the poster from inches away (and if this poster were sold at any other auction, I would say it is a virtual certainty there would be no mention of the replaced borders). Rather than cut around the litho number at the right of the poster, the owner had the correct litho number painted in in the right corner (he could read it on the border of the original poster, even though it was tattered). While this is certainly unusual, it must be far better that this poster now has borders that are from a 1933 RKO poster, rather than replacement borders, and I have poured over every inch of the image, and it has NO defects, other than the very minor ones described above. The poster looks fantastic, and I am sure it will occupy a place of honor on the wall of the collector who purchases it on December 17!
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