Playing the Ponies Stooges poster to make $40,000?

A very rare one sheet poster promoting The Three Stooges' 1937 release, Playing the Ponies, is to cross the block at Heritage Auctions on July 27-28.

The remarkable one sheet - an entertainment industry term denoting a single document that summarises a production for publicity - is estimated to be worth $20,000-40,000.

three stooges poster
The Three Stooges in 1937’s Playing the Ponies

A vintage poster advertising the Stooges' 1939 comedy, Three Little Beers, sold for $50,000 at Heritage Auctions in November 2011, suggesting great demand for such items exists.

The present poster features the American vaudeville trio in jockey caps, hinting at the film's plot: the Stooges are tricked into swapping their restaurant for a hopeless racehorse named Thunderbolt, whom they decide to enter into an important race…

A poster pertaining to the Stooges' short film Mutts to You is also to star in the sale, alongside a group of 13 Stooges lobby cards. The individual lots are expected to achieve $15,000 and $6,000, respectively.

"This is the largest and most diverse vintage Stooge poster and lobby card collection offered at one time that I can remember," said Grey Smith, director of movie posters at Heritage.

"These are posters that really seldom turn up, to the tune of 17 different varieties, all relating to the golden age of the careers of the Stooges and some of their greatest comedy." 

As well as The Three Stooges offerings, this unique Frankenstein insert is anticipated to sell for $100,000+.

Film star art collector Leonardo DiCaprio recently told the Wall Street Journal that he considered vintage movie posters "a really undervalued marketplace".

"Some of these lithograph prints of film posters were essentially put up on the walls as advertisements, but a lot of them are one of a kind pieces," he told the publication.

We currently have a number of valuable posters in stock, including this incredible California League of Sexual Freedom poster - a must see for any collector.

Recent and related articles

Sound of Music costumes to auction for $1.2m with Profiles in History | 4 July 2013

1887 Old Judge poster could see $100,000+ at Robert Edwards Auctions | 4 July 2013

The Rolling Stones - a history through collectibles | 3 July 2013

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Images: Heritage Auctions

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