Unique 1928 Mickey Mouse Poster, Hidden For Decades, Sells for $101,575
(Dallas, Texas) — A unique 1928 Mickey Mouse movie poster, owned for decades by a late San Francisco, California area collector who kept it hidden and didn’t tell his family about it until his health began to fail, was sold for $101,575 in a public auction conducted today in Dallas, Texas and online by Heritage Auctions (www.HA.com). The pre-sale estimate was $20,000.
“It’s the earliest known surviving movie poster of the world’s most famous mouse and an important piece of pop culture treasure,” said Grey Smith, director of movie poster auctions at Heritage Auctions.
“Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928, and the first 12 Mickey cartoons were distributed in 1928 and 1929 by Celebrity Pictures, a very low budget distributor. This is very likely the only Mickey Mouse poster created until 1930 when Disney cartoons began to be distributed by Columbia Pictures,” explained Grey.
The 27 by 41 inch full-color, one-sheet poster advertises “A Walt Disney Comic.” It depicts a smiling Mickey waiving his gloved left hand, and the text describes him as “the world’s funniest cartoon character” and “a sensation in sound and synchrony,” a reference to the early use of synchronized sound on the film.
The poster was obtained in 1988 by Crowell Havens Beech of Belvedere, California who died at age 86 in 2010. His family thought he’d sold all his posters in the late 1990s, but he secretly kept the 1928 Mickey Mouse poster hidden on top of a dresser covered with a piece of wood to keep it flat, and then covered with a tapestry.
“I’m really excited,” said Tracy Leighton, one of Beech’s daughters. “I don’t know who bought it, but I hope it’s someone who has the capacity and the place to display it and honor it and make it available for the world to see. This poster was the crowning jewel of my father’s collection.”
The name of the winning bidder was not disclosed by Heritage Auctions. The winning bid of $101,575 includes a 25 percent buyer’s fee.
For additional information, contact Heritage Auctions, (800) 872-6467, or visit online at www.HA.com.