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Sigmund Freud, if he were alive today, might be interested in psychoanalysing the reasons why adult collectors pay five- and six-figure sums for emblems of the monster movies which enthralled their youth – among them the Bride of Frankenstein lobby card, which arose at the Christie’s South Kensington, London sale of vintage film posters on September 11.

There is no doubt that the 1930s horror movies which revived the fortunes of Universal Studios – The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein (and the Bride thereof) – are the biggest auction house draws, their enduring popularity testified by their continual remastering on DVD and conventional video, as well as the iconic status of actors Boris Karloff (as featured in the Christie’s card) and Bela Lugosi. The highest price ever attained for a cinema poster was $450,000 paid for The Mummy, a Universal production of 1932, at Sotheby’s New York in 1997, and while this lobby card would not fetch even a tenth of that price, the eventual purchaser, Bruce Marchant of the Reel Poster Gallery, estimated that a full scale cinema poster of the same film would fetch in excess of $100,000, though the London dealer says that no such poster has ever appeared on the open market in the 15 years he has been in business.

This was the primary reason why he was prepared to go above the estimate of £3000-5000 to £12,000 (plus 17.5 per cent premium) for a lobby card of above average size, 17 by 14in (43 x 35.5cm), which had been consigned in remarkably good condition.