Rogers Jones’ 70-lot auction of vintage film posters was led by one for Stagecoach, the 1939 film which catapulted actor John Wayne to fame. Little known in this large 12-sheet variation, the poster features pictures of the nine leading cast members.
It was contested between several bidders before being knocked down for £31,000 to a buyer in Texas via thesaleroom.com.
“It was a surprise,” says auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones. “We expected that the results would be pretty even throughout and though many were in the hundreds, a few came in well above estimate.”
Though there were some British buyers in the room, interest in the top sellers came primarily from the US market.
The Stagecoach buyer also snapped up the second-highest seller, a poster for the 1940 Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone hammered down for £13,000 as well as several others.
“He told us that there is quite a good market in the US for posters that suggest the British stiff upper lip,” Rogers Jones added.
The collection of posters was discovered 32 years ago during the renovation of a house in Penarth, south Wales, when two local builders found the assortment of cinema ephemera.