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Once Upon a Time in the West poster value?

JuliaBancJuliaBanc Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
I've been given a poster of "Once Upon a Time in the West", along with a signature of the director, Sergio Leone, to sell for a charity auction. The signature is on a separate piece of card, framed with the poster, not on the poster itself.

I have no idea what it might be worth, or how to tell if either poster or signature are genuine. Obviously, I want to make as much money as possible for a worthwhile charity, but I also don't want to rip the buyer off if it's not genuine, but we've told them it is. I have no idea how much it would be worth if it is genuine, either. I don't know if it's from the original release, or from a later re-release.

A few photos are here:

Any advice as to how to proceed would be very welcome. thank you


  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,301 admin
    It's very hard to say.  The poster shown is not common - What is the size?  I am not sure the value of a Leone signature but I would think you could push $150 at a normal auction and for charity you might be able to break $400 if the provenance is documented... Maybe others will chime in.
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • CSM_2_Point_0CSM_2_Point_0 Member, Super Sleuth Posts: 1,042 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    The poster looks very, very small if the signature is at a 'normal' size

    There's a street of lights

    A long dark night
    Restaurant scenes
    And dark machines...

  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
    Yeah, what size is the poster?  To me it looks like a copy of full size poster reduced.  If that is the case, the poster has zero value and you really only have whatever value his signature usually brings...assuming it's real.

  • JuliaBancJuliaBanc Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Thank you for your comments.

    The visible part of the poster is about 11 inches by 14 inches - I assume there's a small amount hidden behind the mount.

    I have no documentation for the signature or poster, unfortunately, so can only say that it was given in good faith, which I guess doesn't count for much!

    Do you have any ideas where would be a good place to auction it? We have put other donated items on eBay - are there other, more suitable sites we could offer it on?

    many thanks :)


  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,232 admin
    The design seems to be based on the three sheet (which is 41" x 81" and which this is clearly not); the fold marks match up with the three sheet folds but seem too many for a poster so small. I wonder if the fold lines are printed into the poster?

    From what I read Sergio Leone was notoriously difficult to get a signature out of, so a commercially produced run like this seems unusual.

    The signature appears to be close to what I have found, but not exact - I am no expert and one could split hairs eg his 'S' is normally leaning over, the o is always an 'o' or the 'Leo' is often found to be separate from the second part but at the end of the day I think without documentation you might struggle to get top dollar.  Because it is framed then you are restricted as to where you could send it to sell by auction, but taking it apart apart all you really have is a signature and some repro art.

    eBay may indeed be the best place, stick a reserve on it and hope for the best - but there are a pile of fakes on eBay asking a whole lot more than what Charlie suggest you might get.

  • JuliaBancJuliaBanc Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Thanks, that's helpful :)

    I now know that the poster is a reduced size reproduction, and as the signature is undocumented, I can be clear about that too.

    One final question - what would you suggest as a reserve?

    Thanks for your advice

  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,232 admin
    Armed with the information you now have (including Charlie's valuation), I guess that really depends on what you value the piece at and what you feel you couldn't bear to let it go at.
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector

    I'd start with whatever the lowest price is you would be happy to take, and no reserve.

    Reserves tend to put buyers off I think.

    Your issue is you have nothing to say that this is a legitimate signature (really the only thing in the piece worth anything if real).  If you can somehow get it authenticated then that would change things a fair bit.  Then it would be a rather nice memorabilia piece, presented very nicely.

    Have a look on ebay to see what similar things are being listed at, which are correctly attributed - as David said, soooooo many fakes to weed through.  This will give you a rough idea of where the best place to start might be.

    Best of luck.

  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    "Autographs" that are sold without any sort of provenance have very little value. If you sell something like this, the buyer will be hoping the signature is genuine but will never know for sure and I don't think anyone can honestly attempt to authenticate the signature.

    If you describe it accurately, the reality is that it shouldn't go for much although you never know with charity auctions. I think I might be looking at prioritising other consignments and maybe leaving this one out.

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