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Auction History Result

Lot #: #186 UNKNOWN 1sh27 Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford

Date Sold 12/16/2003
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.
Appears in Vintage Hollywood Posters 6
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.



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

The Unknown, the classic 1927 Tod Browning silent bizarre circus romantic revenge melodrama (Tod Browning is best remembered for "Freaks", but this movie is equally outrageous, and maybe even more bizarre!; Chaney is a knife thrower in a circus, who advertises himself as the "Armless Wonder", because he throws his knives with his feet, but he actually does have arms, he just cleverly keeps them hidden under his costume!; his assistant, who he throws knives at, is beautiful Joan Crawford, and she can't bear to be touched by any man, which makes her comfortable around Chaney; Chaney kills the circus manager, and he is witnessed stabbing the man by Crawford, but she only saw his hand, so to cover up the crime, Chaney gets a doctor to actually amputate his arms, which will prove that he could not have stabbed the man, plus he thinks it will mean Crawford will finally make love to him, but he finds that she has fallen for the circus strong man, and Chaney tries to kill the strong man, but being armless, he ends up dead himself!) starring Lon Chaney Sr., Joan Crawford, Norman Kerry, Nick De Ruiz, and John George
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.

Condition: good to very good. The poster is linenbacked; prior to restoration the poster had areas of paper loss, creases, tears, and smudges in the blank borders; the foldlines had light stains from tape that had bled through to the front (fortunately Chaney's image was almost completely unaffected by these stains and only a small portion of Crawford's stomach and part of her legs were affected); there were a few tears from the borders that extended into the edges of the background; in 1990, master linenbacker Igor Edelman backed the poster. He placed new paper over the old borders. It was expertly done and most people would not realize it was done if it were not pointed out to them. He then masterfully painted over the areas of the folds that had the bleed through and beautifully matched the blue background areas so that it is extremely difficult to see what part of the blue background has paint on it and what part does not. He touched up those small areas of Crawford's body that had discoloration, and again did a beautiful job. This poster was then auctioned in Hollywood Posters I in December of 1990 (in Bruce Hershenson's first major poster auction) and it sold for $12,100! I am pretty certain it was the only known example of the poster at the time, and that no other example has surfaced in the intervening 13 years. The poster still looks just as nice as it did in 1990, a tribute to the quality of Igor Edelman's work. One would assume it will look just as nice decades from now!
Learn More about condition grades

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