A rare Italian Casablanca poster will lead a sale of vintage movie posters in Dallas later this month.
The poster will be offered by Heritage Auctions for the first time in the company’s history on July 29- 30, with an estimated price of $180,000 – $360,000.
This high estimate would set an auction record for any Casablanca poster, which comfortably place it amongst the most valuable movie posters ever sold.
"This Casablanca rarity is one of the finest in the entire hobby," said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Posters at Heritage Auctions. "To own this poster is on par with owning the pinnacle of poster art."
Although Casablanca originally hit theatres in the U.S in 1942, its release across Europe was delayed during WWII and it finally arrived in Italy in 1946.
A series of new posters were created for this release, featuring artwork by Italian artists, and today these are regarded as some of the most beautiful examples ever produced.
The poster offered at Heritage Auctions is a large ‘4 – Fogli’ or ‘4-sheet’ poster, and features artwork by Luigi Martinati
"Italian posters are well known for being superior to their American counterparts, but this illustration by Luigi Martinati is perhaps the best image found in any of this film’s numerous advertisements," said the auction house.
"Certainly a stunning treasure coveted by many a collector, no true fan would consider letting this chance opportunity pass them by."
Due to its status as a timeless classic, Casablanca posters are amongst the most sought-after by collectors, and two examples currently place amongst the 20 most valuable movie posters of all time.
First is an original ‘insert’ poster from the films 1942 U.S release, which sold in 2012 for $191,200; followed by an Italian one-sheet from the film’s re-release in 1953, also featuring artwork by Luigi Martinati, which sold in 2016 for $203,150.