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Auction History Result

9g154 DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE linen 20x29 stage poster c1887 stone litho of evil Hyde hitting girl!

Date Sold 8/18/2016
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

An Original Vintage Linenbacked Stage Play Poster (measures 19 3/4" x 29" [50 x 74 cm]) (Learn More)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the circa 1887 stage play production (based on the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson). Note that this poster features wonderful art of Mr. Hyde accosting a woman at night. Note that this classic novella was first published in 1886, the work of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, about an English scientist who creates a potion which unleashes the evil side of his personality, and he alternates between being the kindly Dr. Jekyll and the completely evil Mr. Hyde, with tragic consequences. The following year, it became a stage play in Boston, written by Thomas Russell Sullivan, and it was a massive success, including a tour of England, and it ran for 20 years in all. After that, there was not another stage play production all the way until 1990, when the hit Broadway play "Jekyll & Hyde" was produced. However, there was a first movie version in 1908, followed by versions in 1912, 1913, and 1914, but several of these don't exist. The first major film version was in 1920, with John Barrymore in the lead role. If anyone knows more about this poster, please e-mail us and we will post it here.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Since this classic novella only had one stage version, this poster is surely from that version, but since it ran from 1887 to 1907, it theoretically could be from any of those years. We have seen two other posters on the Internet that are said to be from "the 1880s", but both of those have different printers and different typeface on the title from this poster (as well as different images). But there is a very strong clue to the year of this poster. The printer is "A.S. Seer's", and the only posters we could find in museum collections from that printer were from specifically 1886 and 1887. Since this play opened in 1887, there is certainly an excellent chance it is from the first year that it opened (and if it is not from the very first production, then it is surely from a very early production, likely also from the 1880s). But please do not bid on this incredibly rare and wonderful poster unless you can accept the uncertainty as to whether it is from 1887 or soon after! If anyone knows more details to exactly date this poster (especially whether or not it is from the very first production), please e-mail us and we will post it here.

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Overall Condition and Pre-Restoration Defects with Quality of Restoration: fair to good. Part of the blank borders were trimmed off and the poster was glued to a thin linen, surely soon after it was created. There is paper loss in the top center, and it affects the top of the house image (see our image). There are several tears going off from that paper loss area, two of which go through the title, and there is small paper loss in the middle of the "D" of "Dr." at upper left. There is a tear that goes down into Hyde's arm and one that goes to the right border, touching the very top of his hat. There are some tears and paper loss around the edges of the poster, more so in the bottom of the right border, and the right of the bottom border, but it only affects a little bit of the background area. There was a snipe glued to the bottom border and it was mostly removed, but some remains, affecting the bottom edge of the image. There is a long horizontal crease where the poster is rippled in the lower part of the image, running through the bottom of the dress and the legs, likely because it was not glued well. There are a few tiny areas of paper loss other than the ones mentioned above. While this poster has lots of defects, it is wonderful that none of them are in crucial areas, and virtually all of them can be dealt with by any talented restorer. Once a restorer very carefully removes the poster from the old linen and properly remounts it, they can take much care to do expert restoration to each of the above defects, and if it is done expertly, the poster will look incredible, and it will only have restoration in the exact areas that need it. I certainly hope the restored poster ends up in a museum or similar place where it can be exhibited to the public!
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