Holy Grail of Collecting: Wizard of OZ
The Most Desirable Movie Poster that has Alluded Collectors for Three-Quarters of a Century!
Being a collector of vintage Hollywood memorabilia for over 30 years I have seen pretty much every rare artifact appear on the market for sale at one point. However, one particular piece that collectors have inquired about for decades is an original 1939 release of the “Wizard of Oz” one sheet. And my answer has always been the same; none have ever appeared on the market, one has never been found. Well after more than three decades I will no longer be able to say that. As the most feverishly anticipated find that has alluded collectors for over 70 years is now an amazing reality! This weekend, October 13, 2012 a genuine 1939 "Wizard of Oz" movie poster one sheet will be auctioned.
Since 1924, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios most recognized star has opened every one of the movie studio's blockbuster films with his legendary roar. Leo the Lion has become the most recognized icon in motion picture history, and soon many rare and unusual items from this famous feline's career and the motion picture industry at large will be made available to serious collectors, museums, and other institutions. What is being billed as the most important and RARE find of Hollywood treasures comes from the estate of Leo the Lion's trainer Volney Phifer.
This is an unprecedented find of extremely rare and one-of-a-kind Hollywood and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios memorabilia and artifacts. Many of these rarities were thought lost to time or not known to be in existence. From the estate of internationally known animal trainer and performer Mr. Volney Phifer, we have discovered what can only be described as an oil well, waiting to become a gusher of treasures
from the beginning of the motion picture industry.
Mr. Phifer was with Leo for the first recording of the lion's roar, when the Tarzan movies were filmed, and countless other events from which he kept many souvenirs. In a career that lasted for over 60 years covered the globe, Volney Phifer gathered priceless pieces of history from film locations and studio back lots along his journey.
• Photographs dating from 1916 of circus acts, MGM stars, promotional tours, and other milestone events spanning decades
• Movie props and set pieces; the wagon used in the burning of Atlanta scene from the classic film "Gone With the Wind"; a large wagon used in the 1937 film "The Good Earth" starring Paul Muni; Dog sleds and snowshoes from the 1933 Academy Award-winning film ";Eskimo";
But, what may be the crown jewel and a true "Holy Grail" to serious vintage movie collectors is a never before seen 1939 "Wizard of Oz" one sheet movie poster. Although images of this poster have appeared in movie memorabilia books, a real poster has never appeared on the market for sale. I wouldn’t be surprised if this extremely rare piece fetches beyond $250,000 and one Very lucky collector!