Posts Tagged ‘research’

Be Careful

April 19, 2012

Kerry Haggard of Commerce, Georgia was sentenced recently to 6 ½ years in prison for selling fake movie posters as the real thing. He had a New York City printing company make copies of movie posters, such as The Mummy, Frankenstein, Murders in the Rue Morgue and others, he then sold them on Internet auction sites as  authentic movie posters. His scheme was eventually discovered and he was charged and sentenced. Still, many people were fooled by these posters and lost a good deal of money because of Haggard. So, I figured now would be a good time to post some tips to keep in mind if a movie poster purchase is in your future. Yes, I’ve written about this before, still it is a good idea to know what to look out for, so that you won’t be fooled.

Know What You Are Buying
Do as much research as you can on the poster you want to purchase. Google images of the poster and search for information about the movie in question. Sometimes the actors pictured or other features in the poster can increase or decrease the value. If you going to buy a movie poster from a movie that was made before 1980, you need to learn what the dominate sizes were, how many versions of the poster were used during the film’s initial release, whether the poster was rolled or folded, if it has a National Screen Service (NSS) number and so on. There are two websites that I want to mention that can help a collector learn about movie posters, one is Movie Poster Grading Company (http://www.mpgrading.com) and the other is the Learn About Movie Posters website(http://www.learnaboutmovieposters.com/).

The Movie Poster Grading Company was established so that movie posters can be authenticated with a tamper proof tag that lists identifying aspects of the poster such as the title, size, grading, history and other information. This website has a list of known fake movie posters. So, it is a good idea to check out this site before you buy a movie poster. The Learn About Movie Posters website has information about poster sizes, publicity photos and stills from movies, as well as information about preservation of the movie memorabilia and the different kinds of movie posters used in different countries. The more you know about movie posters, the less likely you are to be fooled by a fake.

Ask Questions Of The Seller
A reputable seller, whether online or bricks and mortar welcomes any and all questions, even the dumb ones. If you aren’t getting any answers, you don’t like the answers you are getting or you have a feeling that something isn’t right, don’t deal with the seller.

If A Deal Fell Through, Don’t Feel Bad
If for whatever reason, you weren’t able to get a particular movie poster and you still have your money, don’t feel too bad. If you couldn’t come to an agreement on price or other features, then it was for the best that you didn’t make that purchase. That isn’t to say that the other party was out to cheat you. Still, when making a purchase of an item like a movie poster, things should feel right. If they don’t, shake hands and walk away. Somehow you’ll get the movie poster of dreams. You just need to be patient and educated.

If Something Is Too Good…
Yes, it is cliché, yet true. If you find a Bride of Frankenstein movie poster at a flea market, more likely than not, it is a fake. If someone offers to sell you a Casablanca movie poster for $99.99, more likely than not, it is a fake. While technology helped someone like Haggard to produce a fake movie poster, educating yourself can go a long way in preventing you from being fooled by those who sell fakes.

Of course, my advice remains to not to purchase a movie poster for investment purposes, rather to purchase it for your own personal enjoyment. You can’t go wrong when you buy something that you like.

NOTE: I am not endorsing any company that authenticates movie posters, nor am I endorsing any website that has information about movie posters.  The websites and companies mentioned in this blog entry were listed for informational purposes only.

Sources:
http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=247420

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-11/frankensteins-fraudster-sentenced-to-6-dot-5-years-in-prison

http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20120412/NEWS/120419957/1008/sports?Title=-A-look-at-movie-posters

Movie Poster Grading Company http://www.mpgrading.com

Learn About Movie Posters http://www.learnaboutmovieposters.com/

If Something Is Too Good…

July 7, 2011

In April, a Federal judge postponed a status hearing regarding a Georgia man who sold counterfeit movie posters. According to a news story in the Athens (Ga) Banner-Herald, Kerry Haggard of Commerce, Ga was indicted on mail fraud charges for selling fake vintage horror movie posters. While it was good that this person was caught, there are still others out there who have the means and the guts to pass off fake movie posters as real. So, it is important to be vigilant. In that vein, here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a movie poster. Yes, I’ve covered this subject before, but it never hurts to get a reminder.

Know What You Are Buying
Do as much research as you can on the poster you want to purchase. Google images of the poster and search for information about the movie in question. Sometimes the actors pictured or other features in the poster can increase or decrease the value. The more you know about the poster, the less likely you are to be fooled by a fake.

One place to learn about movie posters is the website for the Movie Poster Grading Company (www.mpgrading.com). The website has a list of known fake movie posters. So, it is a good idea to check out this site before you buy a movie poster. This company was established so that movie posters can be authenticated with a tamper proof tag that lists identifying aspects of the poster such as the title, size, grading, history and other information.

Ask Questions Of The Seller
A reputable seller, whether online or bricks and mortar welcomes any and all questions, even the dumb ones. If you aren’t getting any answers, you don’t like the answers you are getting or you have a feeling that something isn’t right, don’t deal with the seller.

If Something Is Too Good…
The saying is cliché and it is still true. If you find a Bride of Frankenstein movie poster at a flea market, more likely than not, it is a fake. If someone offers to sell you a Casablanca movie poster for $99.99, more likely than not, it is a fake. Note: Bride of Frankenstein is a rare movie poster. The Style E version, of which there is only one in existence, (pictured below)

was to expected to sell at auction in 2010 for $700,000, but it failed to make reserve. So, it didn’t sell. As for Casablanca, a one sheet (27 x 41 inches) poster sold at auction in 2005 for $20,700. (pictured below)

While technology can make it easier to produce a fake movie poster, educating yourself can go a long way in preventing you from being fooled by those who sell fakes.

Of course, my advice remains to not to purchase a movie poster for investment purposes, rather to purchase it for your own personal enjoyment. You can’t go wrong when you buy something that you like.

NOTE: I am not endorsing any company that authenticates movie posters.  The  movie poster authenticating company mentioned in this blog entry was listed for informational purposes only.

Sources:
http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/041911/new_816833389.shtml

http://www.mpgrading.com/Default.aspx

http://movieposters.ha.com/c/ref/worth.zx?&ic=althome2-Center-WhatsValuable-102009

http://www.ha.com/c/press-release.zx?releaseId=993

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/coming-soon-a-film-poster-to-break-all-records-2127352.html?action=Gallery.

What Lurks In Your Walls Or Some People Have All The Luck

October 20, 2010

As I have stated many times before, I love the Antiques Roadshow[1].  I especially love hearing the stories of how people happened to find their treasures. Usually people find things at yard sales, estate sales, tucked away in an attic, a basement, a closet or even curbside. Well, not too long ago there were two people who found treasures in their home that would astound the appraisers at the Antiques Roadshow.

First there’s Blair Pitre of Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. He bought a turn of the century bungalow and started work on renovating it.  As he was tearing down the walls, he found movie posters from the late 1920’s/early 1930’s featuring actors such as Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin and Joan Crawford. This is an important period in the history of motion pictures because the industry was transitioning from silent to talkies. The previous owner, an 80-year-old woman who died in 2009, was the granddaughter of an early twentieth century movie theater owner in Pitre’s town. As to why the posters were in the wall, most likely she used them as insulation and never thought that they would be worth anything. Pitre had the posters auctioned off to help pay for renovation of his house. One poster, Bulldog Drummond, a drama from 1929 sold for $9,000. Pitre hopes to find more posters in his home. In particular, he is hoping to find Metropolis, since that poster is worth a million dollars.

Next there’s retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Martin Kober. For as long as he could remember, a painting of the Virgin Mary crying over the crucified Jesus has been in his family.  Family lore said that the painting was a Michelangelo. The item hung over the sofa of his parents home, until the day when the younger Kober threw a tennis ball and knocked it off the wall. His parents then wrapped it up and kept it behind the sofa. When Kober retired in 2003, he decided to research the history of this painting. One expert, Antonio Forcellino says that the painting is a actual Michelangelo painting, another expert, William Wallace says that it isn’t. Forcellino bases his claims on his expertise as a restorer, as well as the painting’s similarity to a drawing Michelangelo did that is now at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Wallace states that while the piece is impressive, it was not done by Michelangelo. So, who’s right? Time and more examination by experts will tell.

Still, what I want to know is why are Pitre and Kober so lucky? How come their treasures were right under their noses and all that’s in my walls is insulation and all that is behind my sofa are dust bunnies? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Sources:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Lost+found+Vintage+movie+posters+fetch/3300921/story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/10/12/new.york.painting


[1] Antiques Roadshow is the American version of the BBC television show of the same name that airs on PBS. This show has people bringing their antique and collectible items to appraisers and the appraisers tell them if their items are worth anything. Sometimes the items are worth something and sometimes they aren’t.