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Auction History Result

8s027 MARX BROTHERS personality poster 1930s ultra rare portrait of Groucho, Chico & Harpo!

Date Sold 8/19/2018
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.


An Original Vintage Theatrical Unfolded Personality Poster (measures 22" x 28" [56 x 71 cm]) (Learn More)

The Marx Brothers were five American brothers who formed a legendary comedy act, first on the stage with four brothers, then briefly with all five, but Gummo left the act before their first movie, "Animal Crackers", in 1930. Zeppo would appear in their first few films, but then he left the act as well. Of course, the most famous of the brothers were Chico, Harpo, and Groucho. They initially worked at Paramount Pictures, and then shifted to MGM. In the late 1940s, they split up, and Groucho went on to a very long and successful solo career, including hosting the classic TV show "You Bet Your Life". Some of their best movies include: Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Go West, and Horse Feathers
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that starting in the very early 1910s (around 1912, when studios realized that people were more likely to go to a movie if it had a star they liked in it), studios created sets of special "personality" posters, which theaters that showed their movies could hang in their lobbies. These had a big advantage over posters for specific movies, because they could be used whenever a movie with that star was shown, which meant they could be used over and over! Because studios realized this, they made these posters on a high quality paper stock, sometimes with a "linen" texture, and sometimes with elaborate border designs, and almost always with great quality color printing. They almost always measured exactly 22" x 28", the same as "half-sheets" (which were then known as "displays", except that they were taller than they were wide, and that the images almost always had a "full bleed", meaning that there were no blank borders. They almost always showed a head and shoulders image of the star, and the image on these posters is often very close to actual life-size! They almost always have the name of the star and the studio they worked for at the bottom. Even though there were many sets of these from many studios over a period of approximately 30 years (they were rarely made after the early 1940s), very few survive, likely partially due to World War II paper drives, and partially due to the fact that they were never folded and the paper they were made of sometimes aged poorly. We at eMoviePoster.com were just consigned a very special collection of 99 of these "personality" posters, which we are auctioning in separate auctions. They were collected starting in the mid 1980s, and the collector who assembled this collection tried to "upgrade" condition whenever possible over the years, so many of them are in excellent condition (sometimes likely the best surviving example), and on the ones where they are in lesser condition, it is because the collector never could find one in better condition! Now he has consigned them to us, and they will find new owners. If they were kept together, they would surely make an incredible display for the walls of any place where lots of people gather, like a museum, a restaurant, or any similar place. Of course, it is more likely that these will find many, many separate new homes, but we hope that they end up publicly displayed wherever they end up!

Note that MGM became a major studio after its creation (through merger) in 1924, and at some point in the 1920s, they created two different sets of personality posters to promote their stars, and in the 1930s, when they had "more stars than there are in Heaven", they created four more sets! You can tell the sets apart in two ways. One is that all of the posters from a set have the same border design and the stars and studio names are written in the same font and layout. The other is that you can look at the age of the star in the image (although that might possibly be deceptive, because they might have sometimes used a slightly younger version of a star!). The MGM sets were likely made every two to three years, and some major stars carried over from set to set, but with the passing years, some stars would be dropped and new stars added. These posters are extremely rare as it is likely few theaters ordered them, and fewer still saved them, and in addition, they could be easily torn, and if they were not stored carefully, they would become fragile, and it is likely many were damaged and discarded for that reason! Note that the high quality paper stock these posters were printed on does not always age very well, and can become fragile (usually resulting in chips around the edges of the poster). Because of their fragile nature and their age, we intend to send all of these personality posters in large flat packages, and never roll them into tubes (unless the buyer insists)! PLEASE DO NOT BID ON THIS POSTER, UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY THE COST OF SHIPPING IT IN A LARGE FLAT PACKAGE!

Condition: very good. The poster has a thin strip of slight darkening across the top (see our image). It also has some smudges in the right of the bottom border and tiny pinholes scattered around the edges. Otherwise, it is in really nice condition, and is not at all fragile!
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