Incredible vintage poster collection curated by late London movie buff goes up for auction

Gareth Richman, Jacob Jarvis

A movie poster collection curated by a late London film buff over several decades is being put up for auction.

Anthony Duggan passed away two years ago, at the age of 63, and left behind a treasure trove a film posters, thought to have a value of around £100,000.

These are now set to be auctioned by Ewbank's on August 23, with collection highlights including 1977 Star Wars memorabilia.

His wife Helen said how, even when she first met him in 1980, his room at his parents’ house was adorned with film posters.

An early Star Wars poster is one of the items up for auction (Courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions)

“We were married for 35 years and his passion for film never abated for a moment,” she said.

“He was a very outgoing and engaging personality and became very well-known among cinema managers all around London, from Hampstead to Canary Wharf.”

Mr Duggan became such a familiar figure among cinema staff that when the films changed each week, they would automatically put the previous week’s promotional posters aside for him to collect.

A Rocky poster from the collection (Courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions)

This led him to gather around 2000 rare and striking posters.

Ms Duggan explained that every Thursday, when the weekly changeover of films at the London cinemas took place, Mr Duggan would leave home at about 10am and take in three or four of the latest releases before returning at midnight.

An iconic image form The Shining features on one poster (Courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions)

“His passion for cinema made him the ultimate collector,” she added.

He even collected cinema memorabilia. In fact, when we first met, I worked as an usherette and my family used to joke that what he was really after was my torch."

Topping the auction are three super rare Star Wars posters, three of which are from 1977 and coincided with the release of the first film 'A New Hope'.

Ewbank’s specialist Alastair McCrea said: Whether it’s Star Wars, the Bond franchise, action films, horror or westerns, this sale has it all for film buffs, those who enjoy retro design and people who simply want something highly decorative and interesting to hang on their wall at a competitive price.

Movie posters are one of the hottest tickets when it comes to collecting these days and this collection, because of its origins and associations, offers more rarities than most. It is one of the most impressive catalogues I have seen on the subject.