Lobby card for The Mummy, 1932, $45,000 (£36,000) at Propstore.

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An original 1932 lobby card promoting The Mummy sold for £36,000 (26% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Los Angeles on April 18. 

The Mummy is a 1932 horror film directed by Karl Freund and starring Grammy Award-winner Boris Karloff and Zita Johann. An archaeological team discovers an ancient scroll and awakens a long-dead Egyptian prince who, once resurrected, goes in search of his long-lost love.

Auction house Propstore said “any posters from this horror classic are considered very rare”, but it was a 11 x 14in (28 x 35.5cm) lobby card scene that came up at this auction.

It was described as “Very Fine+” and on sale day took $45,000 (£36,000) against an estimate of $20,000-40,000.

Propstore added: “This lobby card scene is one of only two from the set that pictures Boris Karloff in make-up and is considered the best.”

Karloff was the professional name of the less exotic William Henry Pratt (1887-1969), who hailed from south London rather than the depths of a pyramid.

Lobby cards were still images printed on heavy cardstock paper that were placed, as the name suggests, in the lobbies of cinemas before films were released to promote the upcoming feature.