The adaptation of the HG Wells novella was produced in 1933 by Universal Studios, which did not usually release advance or teaser sheets.
So there were high hopes for this one-sheet teaser designed by Karoly Grosz Art. It reflects the atmosphere of the film which capitalised on special effects and the creation of a mood to thrill viewers, rather than the gore employed by contemporaneous horror flicks.
“Some of the most advanced collectors have never seen this poster in person,” said Heritage Auctions’ poster specialist Grey Smith.
It ultimately exceeded expectations, taking a premium-inclusive $274,850 (£219,715) against a pre-sale high estimate of $80,000.
Another top-seller was a Casablanca poster which took $107,550 (£85,975) including buyer’s premium. The Italian 4-Fogli piece was designed by Luigi Martinati and shows Ingrid Bergman in front of Casablanca. It was on very fine-grade linen and was one of several examples in the Heritage sale, with the next two highest selling each taking $89,625(£71,646) including buyer’s premium.
A Wizard of Oz poster also attracted interest from a number of bidders. The poster had small tears in the border, creasing in the upper left and pinholes, but, due probably to the film’s enduring popularity, it eventually realised a premium-inclusive $71,700 (£57,317).
The sale took place from March 25-26.