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.

Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes return to Potter and Potter with A Study in Sherlock Part II Feb. 15

First National Pictures title lobby card for the 1925 film 'The Lost World,' estimated at $5,000-$10,000 at Potter and Potter.

CHICAGO — The second wave of Robert Hess’ massive Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes collection hits the market Thursday, February 15 at Potter and Potter. The first sale in April 2023 was just a sampling of the amazing collection that Hess has amassed since the 1980s. Bidding is now available at LiveAuctioneers.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is best remembered for his series of Sherlock Holmes adventures, but like other working authors of the period, he would accept commissions to write from outside parties. One such work, titled Uncle Bernac, was written by Doyle as part of the Gerard Saga, which appeared in The Queen and Manchester Weekly Times. Written completely by hand and apparently with much consternation (“I am labouring heavily over that wretched little Napoleonic book. It has cost me more than any big book. I never seem to be quite key, but I must slog through it somehow”), it was completed in 1896 in both Egypt and London. The lot is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, a 1912 adventure about dinosaurs roaming the earth, would become a huge silent film hit worldwide. This first English edition, second issue of the large paper edition of the book comes with an incredibly rare dust jacket featuring a dinosaur footprint, and is noted by Potter and Potter to be the first such copy ever to appear at auction. It has an estimate of $15,000-$18,000.

First National Pictures licensed The Lost World for its 1925 adventure-romance film that is best remembered for the amazing stop-motion animation of Willis O’Brien, who would go on to animate King Kong in 1933. Potter and Potter believes this title lobby card is the only example to remain in existence, and gave it an estimate of $5,000-$10,000.

Sidney Paget (1860-1908) served as illustrator on Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes works. This dressing gown, aka bathrobe, was the inspiration for Paget’s illustrations of Holmes wearing a dressing gown in at least six illustrations (out of a total of 13 illustrations of Holmes in a dressing gown). It is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

The Sign of Four was a British motion picture released in 1932, just two years after Conan Doyle’s passing. Starring Arthur Wonter as the esteemed detective, the film is an adaptation of Doyle’s second novel, originally released in February of 1880. These two British half-sheet theatrical posters have been professional restored and present very well. Together they carry an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.

Silent films to encore in Dartmouth-backed lobby card project

In this December 2022 photo, collector Dwight Cleveland holds a lobby card from his extensive collection. He has entered an agreement with Dartmouth College to digitize his silent movie-era lobby cards for preservation and publication. Image courtesy of Dwight Cleveland.
In this December 2022 photo, collector Dwight Cleveland holds a lobby card from his extensive collection. He has entered an agreement with Dartmouth College to digitize his silent movie-era lobby cards for preservation and publication. Image courtesy of Dwight Cleveland.
In this December 2022 photo, collector Dwight Cleveland holds a silent movie-era lobby card from his extensive collection. He has entered an agreement with Dartmouth College to digitize his lobby cards for preservation and publication. Image courtesy of Dwight Cleveland.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Missing Millions is a 1922 silent film with a darkly prescient title – like the vast majority from that era, the movie all but vanished in the ensuing century, survived mostly by lobby cards. Scarcely bigger than letter paper, the cards promoted the cinematic romances, comedies and adventures of early Hollywood. More than 10,000 of the images that once hung in movie theater foyers are now being digitized for preservation and publication, thanks to an agreement between Chicago-based collector Dwight Cleveland and Dartmouth College that all started when he ran into a film professor at an academic conference in New York.

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New York show spotlights women’s contributions to the silent film era

‘Adam's Rib,’ 1923. Famous Players Lasky – Paramount story and screenplay by Jeanie MacPherson; film editing by Anne Bauchens; costume design by Clare West. Photo credit: Dwight M. Cleveland Collection
‘Adam's Rib,’ 1923. Famous Players Lasky – Paramount story and screenplay by Jeanie MacPherson; film editing by Anne Bauchens; costume design by Clare West. Photo credit: Dwight M. Cleveland Collection
‘Adam’s Rib,’ 1923. Famous Players Lasky – Paramount. Story and screenplay by Jeanie MacPherson; film editing by Anne Bauchens; costume design by Clare West. Photo credit: Dwight M. Cleveland Collection

NEW YORK — A major exhibition of lobby cards from the silent film era highlighting the untold stories of women’s contributions to the early film industry is on view at New York’s Poster House through October 9. Experimental Marriage: Women in Early Hollywood draws on a unique collection of posters and ephemera assembled by the Chicago-based collector Dwight M. Cleveland, who has spent nearly half a century accumulating what is believed to be the largest privately-held film poster archive in history. The exhibition marks the first time that these lobby cards, a recent addition to Cleveland’s collection, have been exhibited in a museum setting.

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