Rare vintage movie posters discovered beneath Pennsylvania floor

Paper Chaser

Paper Chaser

2015-11-20 10:03:50

A treasure trove of 1930s movie posters discovered beneath a floor in Pennsylvania could sell for more than $140,000 at auction this week.

The 17 vintage posters had been used for cushioning beneath a linoleum floor, and were found by brothers Bob and Dylan Basta whilst renovating their father Robert's newly-purchased home.

"When you work on homes like this all your life you always dream of that day when you actually find something rare and it seldom comes," said Robert Basta. "I'm excited for my boys, now they have a story and a memory that will last their lifetimes."

After examining the posters and researching some of the obscure titles, the family quickly learned they were sitting on an important find. "It took a day or so to sink in until we realized these weren't going to a local auction," said Basta. "That's when we found Heritage."

"The Movie Posters Under the Floor Find all restores several missing chapters of Hollywood history," said Grey Smith, Director of Posters for Heritage Auctions. "Little did they know they were standing on a small fortune."

Amongst the posters is the world's only known example of the 1932 Style D one sheet for Tarzan the Ape Man, described as "a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen-piece of Hollywood history", and valued at $40,000+.

The find has also revealed the only-known examples of posters for Congorilla (Fox, 1932), an early 1932 documentary filmed in Africa (est. $4,000+);  Sporting Blood (MGM, 1931), Clark Gable's first starring role (est. $5,000+); Tess of the Storm Country (Fox, 1932), an Academy Award nominated film starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell (est. $1,200+); and Any Old Port, an MGM short starring the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy (est. $8,000+).

 The collection, now known as The Movie Poster Under the Floor Find, will cross the block in Dallas as part of the Heritage Vintage Movie Poster Signature Auction on November 21-22.

Robert Basta said the discovery will help him afford retirement and make life just a little bit easier. "I know this is a blessing for me," he said. "I don't know where it will take our family, but I know this is a blessing."

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