The Heirloom Vintage Dracula Picture That Could Be Yours
The other day I was in an antique/thrift store looking for a vintage light fixture when I came across this picture.
I thought it looked old and cool and might be worth something. So I bought it and started researching. I was ecstatic to find that a similar image sold at auction for $45,000 last month. Woo! Would I be one of those people on Antique’s Road Show whose retirement was earned off a $5 thrift store purchase??!
Long story short, this picture isn’t what I thought it was. Know how I felt when I found that out? Relieved. Physically relieved, like Dracula had just removed his fangs from my neck. Not sure why, but I think it was the pressure: if a thing is something, something “valuable,” then it becomes an obligation. Restore? Conserve? Insure? Keep? Sell? How? Auction? Private? Who to trust? How much? On and on.
The joy of nothingness and the burden of wealth are conversations for another day.
For now, I’ve decided to sell this picture on ebay >here to hopefully recoup my investment.
For your convenience, I’m publishing the listing here too (enhanced version) so that you might enjoy the opportunity to be next in the noble provenance line. The auction just started so, yay for you, the current bid is still the starting bid of $6.32. Good luck!
PS The first person to correctly answer the riddle at the end of the listing (below in Comments) wins a Toad Love™ cup! Happy spring!
11″ x 14″ 1931 Dracula Movie Picture, Terrible Condition
This is most likely a newspaper ad for the 1931 Dracula Vampire Thriller film.
It’s been lovingly glued to cardboard (painted blue) and vigorously sprayed with varnish in indiscriminate swirly patterns of varying thicknesses.
After several days of intense research and consultation, it is my unprofessional opinion that this is NOT a title lobby card. I base this authentication on the following criteria:
1. It appears to be newsprint
2. It appears to have been cut with bluntish scissors
3. Professional assessment:
- “Laura, I’m sorry but don’t feel we will be able to assist with this as the printing is just not sharp enough, in my opinion, to be an authentic lobby card.” — Heritage Auctions
- “[silence]” –Christy’s Auction House
So, moving forward.
Overall Grade: D+
As stated, this picture is in terrible condition. The D+ rating has been given because it has every conceivable type of damage possible to printed media EXCEPT the following:
- pet urine/feces*
- fire damage
- teeth marks
- water damage
- tire marks
- food/saliva stains (evidence of licking)*
In other words, when you place the winning bid for this item, you will be purchasing a picture with approximately seventeen (17) pin holes; forty-two (42) wrinkles; three (3) tiny tears; five (5) eddies; fading; yellowing; water (or urine) stains; cardboard backing (adhered); missing bits (upper left); handwriting (bottom); raggedy edges.
But let’s not dwell on the negative.
What You Will Be Purchasing
That’s right, side-by-side Daisy Rifle and Tarzan ads!
And how about the mysterious hand-writing?
Know what I think? I think this was written by the original graphic artist, overwhelmed by a violence of achievement at seeing his/her first-ever printed newspaper ad. He was inspired to clip it, touch it up
and do it all over again. Sixty-six times. As Christmas gifts for his friends & family. Sixty-six of them.
Each ad was numbered and dated by the artist (adding value) because in the 1930s color newspaper ads, especially large unfolded ones, were rare and collectible. Neither he nor Debby Cloud should be blamed for the fact that at some point prior to 2015, she (Debby) chose to sloppily affix her gift to cardboard and varnish the hell out of it, intending to preserve it for all eternity. Essentially ruining it.
But ruin is a relative term.
In my opinion, considerable value has been added to this item by the artist, Debby, and me. Because now it’s not just a damaged picture, it’s a story. One that you will think about every time you see it hanging on your wall. One that might even bring you joy.
How much is that worth?
- Comes with free, authenticated print version of this listing
- Recommended framing: Sandwich between two pieces of glass so it’s “reversible”
- Shipped flat, in plastic, nestled between four (4) sturdy pieces of cardboard via insured USPS Parcel Post (better chance of getting lost)
- US shipping only unless you can answer this riddle and then I’ll consider shipping outside US (for actual cost): “What do vampires cross the sea in?”