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Collector Profiles
Niels Solberg
Special Interest
Norwegian actresses
Here is the 13th in my series of collector profiles. This week I profile a collector from Norway, Niels Solberg, who provides a lot of insight on the differences between collecting in Europe and in the United States. Let him tell you in his own words: "It has been with great joy that I found out that collecting original movie material like posters and lobby cards is possible. Living in Norway and being a collector seems like a lonely hobby. Out of the Scandinavian countries I think Norway might have the least exciting movie poster tradition. Sweden and Denmark were in the early film making days one of Europe's forerunners in producing and importing films. They printed their own posters and many of them is in circulation among collectors. Who have ever heard of a Norwegian film poster? What we did in this country was to use the American and paint over the title and glue it on brownpaper. Well, that pretty much sums it up, they are worthless. I started collecting seven years ago. I studied theatre at an American college in the early eighties and wish I was more aware of this business. When I bought the book Graven Images by Borst it opened up a new world, so to speak. The science fiction images were just out of this world, and I had to have them all. Well, I wish it was possible. When I first started of collecting I went through many dealers. Some were fair, some were outrageous and some of them shipped me material that did not fit the condition described. For some reason calling from Europe seem to make some dealers believe we are all millionaires! To be honest with you, most European collectors seem to have an average income and can not afford to spend thousands of dollars on one poster. I have in all gotten myself a pretty good science/fiction and exploitation collection. I have attended several conventions in London and picked up some great items for a fair price. A poster at a convention might be priced £20, and in one of the Soho shops the same one goes for £100. A year ago I picked up a US one sheet of THERE IS NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS from a dealer in America for $150 while the poster in Soho was going for £500. The galleries can be outrageous, especially Hammer Film material. But I tell you, some of those posters can hang in the stores for years. Most fine collectors know what a poster is worth, so who pays those prices is a mystery for me. The conventions in London also have dealers in Belgium posters and some of the prices are great. In average I pay $25 for a original 1950's sci-fi poster that goes for $75-150 in America. Titles like SHE DEMON, CULT OF THE COBRA WOMAN, HUMAN MONSTER (and other Lugosi material), AIP and American International posters are gorgeous. Most of them have the censor stamp so you feel safe purchasing them. Also wonderful old Photoplay, Picturegoer, Motionpicture with full color portraits of Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Jayne Mansfield are selling for $10. It is much more fun when you are getting good prices. I have seen American dealers at those conventions bringing titles with such high prices that nobody visit the stand. Since studying in the US I have been more aware of the Norwegian actresses that came to the US and left some impression in Hollywood; Sonja Henie, Sigrid Gurie, Greta Nissen, Greta Gynt, Vera Zorina, Anna-Lisa and Julie Ege (mostly in Britain). Some of them I have interviewed and in the upcoming number of PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO there will be a great interview with Greta Gynt. If anyone has any interest in these actresses and might have some material they are interesting in selling; please contact me via e-mail at nielspe@online.no

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