Bankruptcy forces sale of world's most valuable sci-fi poster

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Dec 17, 2012

Comic books aren't the only sci-fi collectibles selling at record highs these days. Rare movie posters are also getting in on the action, and the bankruptcy case of a well-known collector means the rarest poster of them all is about to head to auction. So what's it worth?

The poster in question is an art deco piece promoting Fritz Lang's 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis. It's one of only four believed to survive from the film's original run, and the combination of its rarity, the film's status and the design led one expert to call it "the crown jewel of the poster world."

Collector Kenneth Schacter paid $690,000 for the poster back in 2005, a sales record that still stands. But as it heads to auction again, it's estimated that the piece could be the first poster to break the $1 million mark. Also headed to auction are Schacter's 1933 King Kong poster and a 1933 teaser poster for The Invisible Man. The Kong piece is estimated to be worth nearly as much as the Metropolis poster, and Schacter's entire collection could be valued at as much as $5 million.

So why does Schacter have to unload all these goodies? Well, it's not really up to him anymore. His financial troubles date back to December of last year, when he filed for bankruptcy protection after he couldn't pay back a loan to an investor who lent him $500,000 to buy posters that would then be sold for profit. Back in March, the Metropolis poster turned up for sale on an auction site for $850,000, though Schacter estimated its value at only $250,000 in his initial bankruptcy filing. The attempted sale of the poster led to a court ruling that changed Schacter's filing from a Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation. The three posters were seized (a list of Schacter's entire inventory was also provided), and after an investigation they will be auctioned off.

The exact date of the auction has not been announced, though it'll likely happen by the end of the year, and probably through famed collectible house Heritage Auctions. Check out the full poster below and start thinking about what you can do to raise enough cash to get your hands on it.

(Via THR)