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Auction History Result

3p001 CLEOPATRA 1sh '17 incredible iconic stone litho art of Theda Bara as The Queen of the Nile!

Date Sold 9/9/2012
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

An Original Vintage Theatrical Paperbacked One-Sheet Movie Poster (1sh; measures 27 1/4" x 42 1/2" [69 x 108 cm]) (Learn More)

Cleopatra, the classic 1917 J. Gordon Edwards historical Ancient Egypt royalty silent romantic epic melodrama ("The Siren of the Nile"; "Direct from record engagement at the Lyric Theatre N.Y.") starring Theda Bara (in the title role "as Cleopatra, The Siren of the Nile"), Fritz Leiber (as Caesar), Thurston Hall (as Antony), Alan Roscoe, Herschel Mayall, and Dorothy Drake. Note that this movie, like the other most major movies of this time, initially played for six months at a single theater in New York City. We don't know what posters were exhibited during that six month time, but the one-sheet poster (with the most classic image of Theda Bara) was created immediately after that, when the movie was first released to other theaters! Also, note that this is a "lost" film which means that no surviving copies are thought to exist.
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that this is one of the most legendary posters in the history of the movie poster collecting hobby! It was first discovered in an incredible collection purchased by the famed Collectors Book Store in Hollywood, California, in a collection assembled by William Randolph Hearst. The poster was sold to one of the greatest early collectors of movie posters in the early 1970s, and he held the poster until 1995, when he consigned it to Bruce Hershenson's 100 Years of the Cinema auction at Christie's in New York City, which contained an incredible collection of posters, many of them one of a kind like this one. The poster sold at that auction for $27,600, and the purchaser at that auction has now re-consigned the poster to Bruce Hershenson, to be auctioned here! We have never seen or heard of another example of this poster, and it certainly transcends the movie and the star, and it is one of the absolute best and most recognized movie poster images ever created! Also note that this poster measures 27 1/4" x 42 1/2" [69 x 108 cm]. Also note that this poster has been paperbacked.

UPDATED 9/7/2012: Note that I wrote "we have never seen or heard of another example of this poster" above. It has been brought to my attention that there is a collector who has a poster with the same image as this poster, but it is not the SAME poster. What is that poster? It was pictured in the "50 Years of Movie Posters" book on page 17. That poster is almost identical, but in the oval at the bottom is "Fox Film Corporation". The collector who owns it will not share an image of the actual poster, so we can't see the small writing at the bottom (it was cropped out in the book), and the print quality in the book is not very good at all, so we can't compare the printing of that example to the example we are currently offering. So the question is, does the poster from the book date from the six months that this movie played at the Lyric Theatre in New York (and it also played at three other theaters during that time) or does it date from after this poster?
    Without seeing that second poster in person, it is difficult to know, but it seems that if they were making a one-sheet for the four theaters that premiered the movie then they would have either not printed posters at all (since they only needed a handful of them) or at least they might well have put something about the "world premiere" or "limited engagement" or something like that directly on the poster (especially since they DID think it was worthy to note that the movie had only played for six months on the poster we are offering).
    The other possibility is that the poster in the book was used AFTER it went into general release, and that it was no longer true that it was "direct from 6 months run". Certainly, it first played only in major theaters after that initial six month run, and after that time made the rounds of the country, at which time they would have needed a lot of posters.
    If I could see the other poster, I could see if the writing at the bottom is identical, and also if the printing is of the same quality as the poster offered here, but I can't, so it is difficult to judge which poster came first. But they are both surely from the "first run" of the movie, so in many ways the differences described above are "splitting hairs", but please read the above prior to placing a bid on this wonderful poster!

Overall Condition and Pre-Restoration Defects with Quality of Restoration: very good to fine. Prior to paperbacking, the poster had some tiny areas of paper loss in the right half of the top blank border and a few scattered down parts of the right blank border. There was a dime-sized area of paper loss at the middle crossfold and a thin strip of paper loss at the center of the top crossfold, and three tiny areas of paper loss near the center of the bottom foldline. Otherwise, the poster was in nice condition prior to paperbacking, especially considering its age. The poster was given to a museum restorer, who did a wonderful job of paperbacking it (to museum standards) and they solely replaced the missing paper in the areas described above, and they did so well that few, if any, people could tell where the restoration was, even from a close distance. This incredible poster will look wonderful when displayed, and I certainly hope it ends up on public display, so that as many people as possible can enjoy it!
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