1960s lobby cards for Batman, A Hard Day’s Night, and more star at Meadow Lane Feb. 18

1966 Batman movie poster lobby card #4, featuring the Batboat, estimated at $100-$200 at Meadow Lane.

GLENVIEW, Ill. — A star-studded collection of movie memorabilia, including lobby cards and one-sheets, take the spotlight at Meadow Lane Auctions as part of its 100-lot Vinyl, Trading Cards, Antiques, Cels, Toys sale on Sunday, February 18. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

It’s difficult for contemporary fans of pop culture to grasp how revolutionary and popular Batman was when it debuted on ABC stations nationwide in 1966. Starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, the series’ campy style and jarring day-glo color palette was previously unheard of on American television. Storylines were broken into two parts, allowing for cliffhangers for the twice-weekly program.

The show was such a hit that 20th Century Fox, which produced the program for ABC, greenlit a filmed version of the series, reprising most of the original characters and villians for the big screen. The sale includes a nearly complete set of 1966 Batman lobby cards (the eighth, the title card, is not included). The card featuring the rarely seen Batboat (created for the film by boat builder Glastron) is a fan favorite; its only appearance on the television show was through the use of movie outtakes, so expensive was it to film on water. The card is estimated at $100-$200.

The Beatles were more than just musical icons of the 1960s, they were a merchandising juggernaut. Spurred by their manager Brian Epstein, the band licensed their name and likenesses to a dizzying array of products, from Beatle wigs and board games to trading cards and even an Australian-produced ABC Saturday morning cartoon show. But it was the movie contract signed with United Artists that would help make the Beatles stars of the silver screen. Their first release, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, is today considered a classic and was an instant smash hit, even earning two Academy Award nominations. The sale includes a single A Hard Day’s Night lobby card from the eight-piece set, featuring the band peering out at screaming fans from a passenger train window. It carries an estimate of $100-$200.

A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester tapped Beatle guitarist John Lennon for his adaptation of the hit novel How I Won The War. The film was shot in 1966 and as part of his role, Lennon wore circular granny glasses that would later become his trademark. A single lobby card from the film depicts John Lennon as Musketeer Gripweed and Michael Crawford as Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody peering down their rifles during a battle sequence. It is estimated at $100-$200.

Though it seems almost ridiculous to the contemporary eye, the Supermarionation of Gerry Anderson reached a fever pitch with the 1965 British television debut of Thunderbirds. Set in a future world with marionettes, voice actors, and incredible special effects using miniatures, the series is still viewed and enjoyed nearly 60 years after its debut. The sale has a number of Thunderbirds lots, all drawn from the motion picture releases made concurrent to the series. The star lot is the one-sheet from 1966’s Thunderbirds Are Go, estimated at $100-$200.

Beatles-signed and -inscribed photo beats down estimates at Chiswick

Beatles signed photo

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LONDON – Leading the Autographs and Manuscripts sale at Chiswick Auctions on October 10 was a promotional photograph of The Beatles. Not only was it signed in blue and red ballpoint inks by all four members of the band, it was additionally inscribed by Ringo (Geoff, Best wishes from the Beatles) and George (To Geoff, Best wishes). The signatures were obtained for the vendor by his brother, who, in 1964, worked as an assistant director on A Hard Day’s Night at Twickenham Studios. He includes his recollections of his meetings with the Fab Four, including after-hours phone calls from Paul McCartney to discuss the progress of the movie. Estimated at £5,000-£7,000, it made a cool £18,000 or $21,900 (£22,500 or $27,300 including buyer’s premium).

There was also strong competition for a possibly unique pair of portrait photographs of the young Edward VIII. It was thought they were once owned by the English socialite Freda Dudley Ward, who had a long affair with the then-Prince of Wales.

The photographs, signed by the Bassano studio of London with photographer’s pencil marks along the margins, show the prince in mirror-like head and shoulders profile poses. Each image is signed and dated E.1919 on the front and David, Aug 1919 on the verso. They were consigned by a vendor whose grandmother was Freda Dudley Ward’s personal maid in the 1920s. Offered together with a full-length photograph of Freda Dudley Ward (1894-1983) holding her two Yorkshire terriers with an estimate of £1,000-£1,500, they took £8,500 or $10,300 (£10,625 or $12,900 with buyer’s premium).

Although she married Dudley Ward in 1913, Freda had a relationship with Edward from 1918 until 1929. She was supplanted in his affections, first by Thelma Furness (1904-70) and then by Wallis Simpson.

A collection of correspondence penned by giants of the 20th century to an Oxford academic raised more than £20,000 ($24,300) for charity. The 22 letters from people including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Charles De Gaulle and Chiang Kai-shek were recently given by the family of Sir William David Ross (1877-1971) to an Oxfam store in west London.

Ross, a Scottish philosopher, translator and civil servant was provost of Oriel College, Oxford from 1929-47, and vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1941-44. Sitting on many governmental committees, his address book included many members of the great and the good of 20th-century society.

One of two letters to Ross from Albert Einstein was written (in German) from Cromer in Norfolk on October 1, 1933. At the time, Einstein and his wife Elsa, who had fled from Germany when Hitler came to power, was receiving brief refuge in the U.K. before moving to the U.S. on October 17, 1933. Concerned for the well-being of a colleague, he wrote: “Professor Zangger at the University of Zurich, asked me to make you aware of Prof. Stenzel in Kiel, who lost his position. He researches the history of science in ancient Greece and he is not in the position to contact you from Germany. The question is if there is a possibility to invite this gentleman to England or America as a guest lecturer.” Einstein suggests Ross contact Zangger directly “especially as I will be soon travelling to America (Princeton)”. Professor Julius Stenzel, a classical philologist and philosopher, was a member of a disciplinary committee that had expelled some Nazi students from the university in 1930. In 1933, he was transferred to the University of Halle, where he died two years later.

The letter sold at the top estimate of £6,000 or $7,300 (£7,500 or $9,100 with buyer’s premium).
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Promotional photograph of the Beatles signed by all four band members, which sold for £18,000 or $21,900 (£22,500 or $27,300 including buyer’s premium) at Chiswick Auctions.
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Possibly unique photos of Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom (here as Prince of Wales), which sold for £8,500 or $10,300 (£10,625 or $12,900 with buyer’s premium) at Chiswick Auctions.
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Albert Einstein-signed letter to Sir W.D. Ross, provost of Oriel College, Oxford, which sold for £6,000 or $7,300 (£7,500 or $9,100 with buyer’s premium) at Chiswick Auctions.
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Movie posters aplenty at Opportunities 2’s April 15 auction

Half-sheet poster for the 1963 film ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla,’ estimated at $500-$5,000

 

Half-sheet poster for the 1963 film ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla,’ estimated at $500-$5,000

Half-sheet poster for the 1963 film ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla,’ estimated at $500-$5,000

 

MACON, Ga. – Opportunities 2 Auction House, a newly formed firm based in Macon, Georgia, will introduce itself to the collecting community with an online auction of original, unrestored vintage movie posters on Saturday, April 15, starting at 10 am Eastern time. More than 140 lots will be offered for bid from a single consignor. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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