The Louis Leithold collection of vintage movie posters brings $425,000

Collectors, connoisseurs and movie-buffs alike packed the Sunset Boulevard galleries of Bonhams & Butterfields on December 5, 2005 to take part in the auction of vintage Hollywood film posters
from the collection of Louis Leithold — property from the noted educator, collector and dealer was offered to a standing-room-only audience, bringing more than $425,000.

“It was a strong sale reflecting the continuing interest in vintage and contemporary Hollywood history,” said Dr. Catherine Williamson, specialist-in-charge and the sale’s auctioneer. Surrounded by the “who’s who” of
poster collectors from Southern California, Dr. Williamson called bids from many vocal and competitive clients – both on active phone and in the room.

“We are very pleased with today’s result,” said Greg Shaw, Rock and Entertainment Memorabilia Department Consultant. “We will continue to seek out the very best of both new and old Hollywood collectibles to offer here.”

The Louis Leithold Collection of Vintage Film Posters contained nearly 2,000 collectible titles spanning the history of cinema — from the silent era to contemporary blockbusters. A collector, connoisseur and dealer, Leithold focused on classic Hollywood cinema, including the varied genres of film: noir, musicals, comedy, drama, westerns, and science fiction/horror.

Post-sale highlights include:

$7,638 paid for a Gone With the Wind insert for the 1939 MGM
film… est. $3/5,000

$6,463 paid for a one-sheet for Laura, the Gene Tierney/Dana
Andrews film released by 20th Century Fox in 1944… est. $5/7,000

$6,463 paid for a rare one-sheet for Suez, the 1938 20th Century
Fox release starring Tyrone Power and Loretta Young… est.

$5,288 paid for a one-sheet for Paramount’s 1941 release
The Lady Eve, directed by Preston Sturges and starring Barbara
Stanwick and the bewitched and bewildered Henry Fonda… est.

$5,288 paid for a poster promoting the first full-length talkie
starring Laurel and Hardy, a one sheet for Pardon Us, MGM, 1931…
est. $2,500/3,500

$5,288 paid for a one-sheet created to promote You Can’t
Take it With You, Frank Capra’s star-studded extravaganza
based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play… est. $1,500/2,500

About Louis Leithold

Louis Leithold was a major figure in national High School Advanced Placement (AP) circles, known not only for his workshops for AP calculus teachers, but also the development of the textbook credited for changing the method of mathematical study — “The Calculus.” Passing on just days before his calculus class at Malibu High School was to take their AP calculus exams, the 16 students vowed to honor their long-time teacher. Fourteen students received 5s–the highest possible score on a five-point scale–while two earned 4s. It was the best performance of any class taught by Leithold, who began teaching at Malibu High in 1998 at the age of 72.

Leithold was a mentor to many for generations of math teachers, including Jaime Escalante, portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the film Stand a nd Deliver, who gained recognition for his success teaching calculus to inner city students. The legacy of Liethold lives on through his publications and teachings.

Leithold also owned a contemporary art gallery in the 1960s and 1970s, and was a representative for artist Stanley William Hayter, among others. The Leithold Estate contains paintings, prints, sculpture, and furniture as well, these lots to be auctioned by Bonhams & Butterfields in the Spring of 2006.

For more details visit the Bonhams web site.

Leave a Reply