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Poster Art

A week or so ago I received a call from the Rust‘s resident expert on sports memorabilia Ivan Conway that there was a online auction by Christies of early James Bond ‘s film posters. He remembered I had one and thought it was the same as one of the lots. I duly checked and it was.

I acquired a poster of Dr No, the first Bond film, earlier this year at an auction after a lunch for £700. Unlike Ivan I am not a dedicated collector but over the years have amassed a reasonable collection of black and white film stills, paintings of legendary film stars and posters. This particular poster was designed by Mitchell Hooks and United Artists director David Chasman and features Sean Connery, the 3 female roles, notably in the left a front and back of Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder. It also featured for the first time the 007 motif with the 7 as the gun barrel.

The reserve was £880-1000 and I began to follow the bidding. The last bid I saw – and I don’t know if it was the closing one – was £3200. This strikes me as excessive. After all it may not have any rarity value as I cannot imagine I and the seller have the only two. If the film is remembered for one thing – as one of our more obsessed Rust correspondents will attest – is the scene were Ursula Andress emerges from the water , dagger in sheath strapped to that magnificent thigh alongside the white bikini. She designed the bikini herself and I learned that this was sold for £40000 at Christies but it is a one-off. The poster is not. It’s not even the only poster as Christies were selling a better one of Dr No.

I said to my wife Gail that we should sell off part of the famous Neil Rosen film collection. Auction houses seem rather proficient in hyping up sales. True, according to Ivan, you have to pay a seller ‘s premium of 25% (there is a buyer’s premium of 25% plus VAT too) but the prices being achieved for memorabilia for all sorts are breathtaking. Roger Bannister’s running shoes as the first sub 4 minute miler went for £220,000.

I also spoke to the Rust‘s financial expert Bob Tickler:”I’m googling film poster shops now. I know of no share that has increased in value by at least 500% in 6 months”. Bob did believe – as with classic cars, fine wine andstamps – these alternative markets are hard to predict for middle to long term value. I suspect that every time a new Bond film appears my poster will increase in value.

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About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts