LOS ANGELES (CN) – A poster for a vintage Dracula movie could have brought $950,000 at auction if it were real, but a Calabasas-based auction house claims the poster was a fake, and the man who consigned it knew that. Profiles in History sued Thomas Rega in Superior Court.
Profiles says it agreed to sell the “Dracula style B one-sheet poster,” at Rega’s request. It says that the poster, “if original and authentic, would be one of only three of such posters known to exist, one of which was being publicly offered for $950,000.”
But Profiles says, “The Rega defendants were not truthful. Of 11 posters that the Rega Defendants offered and subsequently consigned to Profiles, two were withdrawn from auction and returned to the Rega defendants because they were determined to be fakes. Profiles subsequently discovered that the Dracula Poster was, itself, a fake. Upon discovery, Profiles learned of the ‘restoration’ process which the Rega defendants accomplished. This involved taking a professionally made very fine modern re-print of the Dracula Poster, removing the bottom edged with contained the re-print designation, and enlisting one or more restorers to refinish the bottom edges to include written descriptions, including copyright information, from the original vintage poster.”
Profiles says Rega deceived the restorers as well, never telling them that he intended to sell the poster as an original. Profiles says it contacted the “reputable” restorers that Rega had used and they confirmed that they had worked on the reprint.
“The representations were made in order to induce Profiles to accept the assignment and to offer the ‘fakes’ at auction, for the sole purpose of making substantial sums of money for the Rega defendants by claiming that they were original and authentic,” the complaint states.
Profiles says it was so excited about the rare find that it put the bogus poster on the cover of its auction catalog. It seeks damages and interest for fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
Profiles is represented by Robert Enders.