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Auction History Result

6s033 MASTER MYSTERY linen chap 9 1sh 1919 Harry Houdini's 1st movie, serial w/1st robot in movies!

Date Sold 6/9/2019
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.


An Original Vintage Theatrical Linenbacked Chapter #9 (The Madagascan Madness) One-Sheet Movie Poster (1sh; measures 27" x 41" [69 x 104 cm]) (Learn More)

The Master Mystery, the 1919 Harry Grossman & Burton L. King silent mystery magic crime serial ("A super-serial"; "By Arthur B. Reeve and Charles A. Logue"; Houdini is an agent of the Justice Department, sent to investigate a bogus giant company, which is well guarded, especially with the help of a robot, in the movie called "The Automaton", which was the very first robot ever to appear in any movie!) starring Harry Houdini, Marguerite Marsh, Ruth Stonehouse, Edna Britton, and William Pike. Note that this serial movie was Houdini's first appearance in a movie, and the producers knew what his fans wanted, and almost every chapter ended with Houdini captured, and the next one began with him making an amazing escape. Note that 13 of the 15 chapters of this movie presently survive. A restoration was made of the remaining 13 chapters, and title cards and images were used to fill in the missing plot of the two lost chapters, and that reconstruction of this movie is available to be viewed! The great magician Harry Houdini only appeared in this movie and four others, and none of those were serials. Movie paper of any kind from any of those five movies is incredibly rare!
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Important Added Info: As noted above, this movie was Harry Houdini's very first movie, and it was his only serial, and it had "The Automaton", the very first robot in a movie. So it is certainly a very historic movie. Posters from it were unknown until around 35 years ago, when the son of the man who produced the movie surfaced, and he had one one-sheet from each of the fifteen chapters! Those were quickly sold, and over the years, a very few of them have returned to auction (we have auctioned four different chapters, and we were later re-consigned two of them, so we have auctioned six posters, but two of them were reruns of previous sales, and each was the only example of that poster we had ever auctioned). In 2013, we auctioned a one-sheet from "The Grim Game", another Houdini movie, but not a serial, and that poster auctioned for $67,166, a world record for a Houdini poster (either movie poster or magic poster)! Now, we are auctioning a chapter that we have never auctioned before, and this one shows Houdini pointing a gun at the Automaton, in a room filled with human skulls! And the fact that this is 2019 is also significant! That is because this is no longer a "collectible movie poster", but it is now an "antique movie poster", because just about everybody defines an "antique" as being a century old, and this poster now is a full 100 years old!

What IS linenbacking? Learn More

Overall Condition and Pre-Restoration Defects with Quality of Restoration: very good to fine. The poster had tiny paper loss at the top crossfold, with a tiny bit of paper loss 1/2" to the right of that. It had a 1 1/2" diagonal tear just above the top horizontal fold 3" to the right of the top crossfold, solely in the brown background area. The poster had two tiny bits of paper loss in the center of the bottom blank border. It had a few small scuff marks scattered in the left blank border and some tiny tears scattered in the middle of the right blank border, with a few very minor smudges in the other blank borders. Other than the above extremely minor defects, the poster is in really excellent condition, and was in "very good to fine" condition prior to linenbacking. It did not have any restoration, because it didn't need any. At some point after the poster was backed, it was slightly roughly handled, and there are some creases in the excess linen, with one crease in the bottom right corner, slightly touching the bottom right blank corner of the poster.
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