Rare 1932 ‘The Mummy’ Poster Could Fetch Record-Breaking US$1m

An original copy of the poster for 1932’s horror classic ‘The Mummy’ is up for auction at Sotheby’s with an estimate of US$1m-1.5m. Once the piece is successfully sold, it will become the world’s most expensive movie poster.

The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy (1932) is the original one

Speaking of ‘The Mummy’, some may immediately think of the 2017 Mummy’s film starred by Tom Cruise while some may remember the classic one in 1999 featuring Brendan Fraser. However, many of us may not know that they are the remake and reboot of the original ‘The Mummy’ in 1932.

Following the success of the film 'Frankenstein' (1931), Universal Pictures presented an Egyptian-themed horror film 'The Mummy' in the year after. Boris Karloff, who portrayed Frankenstein's monster, also starred as the antagonist in film.

Original poster of 1932 The Mummy. Estimate: US$1m-1.5m

Boris Karloff and Zita Johann

Designed by Karoly Grosz, Universal’s advertising art director, the poster was exclusively created for theatres’ promotional purposes and never made available to the public. It is one of only three examples known to still exist and remains in its original, unbacked state. One of them is privately owned by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Original poster of 1932 The Mummy

Measuring 104.1 x 68.6 cm, the poster previously set the record for the highest price achieved for a film poster when sold by Sotheby’s in 1997. It is now estimated at US$1m-1.5m, an auction record for most expensive poster once it is successfully sold.

The record for the most valuable expensive poster sold at auction is now held by a movie poster of the 1931 film ‘Dracula’ (image below), which was sold for US$525,800. But the highest price for a movie poster was paid in a private sale when nine early film posters, including a rare poster of the 1927 ‘Metropolis’ (image below), were sold for US$1.2m.  

The online bidding will close at 12 am (HKT) on 1 November. If you want to get your hands on this unique poster, you can offer your bids through the official website.  

The 1932 Mummy Film Poster

Lot no.: 1
Size: 104.1 x 68.6cm
New York, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000, 1999

Estimate: US$1,000,000 - 1,500,000
Auction house: Sotheby’s
Online auction date: 11 -31 October 2018