Everything you wanted to ask about the auction, dream posters and collecting
How did you start to work with the Prop Store and become an expert on posters/cinema history?
I began working with Prop Store (PS) in 2019 with this April auction being my third live poster auction and with the inclusion of the Feref Archive Collection lots I personally think it’s our best auction to date. Being based locally to PS, it was a great fit. Being a huge film fan I had of course heard of PS and their incredible prop archive and was really excited when approached by them to head up their newly formed poster department. My ‘new’ ideas on content and to concentrate on what PS customers are interested in has helped our auctions go from strength to strength and I’m particularly proud that together we have been a major factor in raising the interest level and collectability of the Alternative Movie Poster (Mondo) category.
I personally have always been a massive film and pop culture fan and started out collecting in comics (Batman being my favorite) this developed into related fields with movie posters quickly becoming a passion. I regularly attended the film fairs of London, Manchester, and Liverpool as a much younger man and my collection grew accordingly. This was in a pre-internet time so authenticating and gaining knowledge on posters, paper, printers, artists from around the world was very much a hands-on experience and something that has been picked up over time. It was always my original intention to turn my collecting hobby into a business with a film poster gallery being the most obvious but due to a sports injury I picked up in 2005 that pretty much left me housebound I had a lot of time on my hands and decided to dive into the emerging market of a website and I’m happy to say that has been running now for fifteen years and has provided me the platform to work in the media and on TV with the BBC, Channel 4, SKY, Discovery Channel and most recently with the Production Company AR Media for a forthcoming documentary celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the iconic British gangster movie – “Get Carter”.
Registration and online proxy bids are now open at https://ukm.propstoreauction.com/m/view-auctions/info/id/276 for the Cinema Poster Live Auction on April 22, 2021 (London).
Did you get to tour the collection and point out items for the Prop Store?
Although Feref is still a very successful company the focus in terms of movie advertising has shifted away from physical products – posters etc which was one of the reasons that after many years Feref approached PS to appraise the tangible effects from their history with a view to selling them. The complete archive was housed in a dedicated advertising-specific storage facility in Norfolk and PS was consigned the entire collection for appraisal and eventual sale.
I’d like to learn how the Feref Archive Collection and the Prop Store worked to select items.
Feref were responsible for promoting some of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history as well as a number of lesser-known titles and once cataloged we had in excess of over 2,000 individual pieces, some to be lotted individually and others in small groups. We decided at an early stage that to test the market appetite for this type of memorabilia by having around 200 lots in what will be the first part of the Feref Archive Collection and wanted to include something for every film fan and their differing budgets hence not just the popular genre favorites of Star Wars, Aliens, Top Gun, The Beatles but personal favorites, feel good and cult titles including Batteries Not Included, Cocoon, Highlander, Flash Gordon, and Basic Instinct plus some very British themed lots with Carry On and Michael Caine in Get Carter and the Ipcress File.
Did you see any items that you would have liked to offer in the auction?
I can honestly say that for this initial Feref offering there isn’t a title or lot I would change. I am very pleased with the content for Part 1 of the Feref sale and the response from our buyers in pre-auction bidding has far exceeded expectation.
Do you have an item that you’d like to add to your collection?
From this auction I really like two lots, both Feref pieces – the Chinatown lot which features Jack Nicholson. This design has never been seen before and just looks great and even though he has his back to camera you just know it’s Jack (well I do).
The other lot is more personal and is related to where I live in Old Amersham. It is the Dance With a Stranger lot consisting of two portraits by Jim Stanes. The subject matter is the tragic story of Ruth Ellis and her lover David Blakely. Ellis was the last woman hanged in Britain and is buried in an unmarked grave in the cemetery at the back of our house and her story particularly touching and was something that my Mother used to dwell upon and never forgave the Government for doing.
What’s your ‘White Whale’ poster that you’d like to either have for your personal collection or have for auction?
For me to own personally or to include in a future PS sale would be the British UK quad for Jacques Tourneur’s ‘Night of the Demon’. Rightly regarded as a genuine high point in both British horror and British cinema, Night (or Curse as it’s known the USA) Of The Demon is that rarest of rare things – a scary horror film and a true high point in poster artwork. It’s not just the value ( I would estimate £20,000-30,000) it would also be the satisfaction and kudos for PS to offer something so incredibly rare and British that hasn’t been seen for open sale or at auction for several decades.
For people interested in purchasing a poster how do you recommend they display them?
I would always recommend consulting a professional framer when looking to display your vintage poster and insist upon museum quality conservation materials which contain no traces of acid or any other chemical that may degrade or effect the paper or colours over time and always frame using a UV glass or Perspex to protect from sunlight. For the more modern double sided poster I would recommend looking into displaying them in a lightbox. These are relatively inexpensive (around $200) and give the same effect as displaying the poster in a cinema. With easy access through the flip frame design it also means you can change the posters regularly if you wish. Being backlit really enhances the look and detail of some designs enabling you to see previously ‘hidden’ features.
About Prop Store
Operating since 1998, Prop Store sells original movie props and costumes, posters, and related memorabilia, regularly hosting live and online prop, costume, and cinema poster auctions.
Since their first Cinema Poster Live Auction in June 2018, Prop Store have become a well-established vendor in the world of poster collecting and have achieved some remarkable results, including selling Short Circuit original poster artwork and a James Bond: Dr. No UK Quad poster for £12,000 each. In late 2019, Prop Store hosted the largest ever auction of James Bond posters and have offered items from the personal collections of Star Wars film producer Howard Kazanjian, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund and Mondo artist Jock. Now partnering with veteran poster expert Mark Hochman, they are striving to continue collating an assortment of original and rare poster-related content to bring to the auction market.