Early cinema films set to star in sale

An unusual collection of early 16mm cinema films, including Charlie Chaplin silent classics and Walt Disney cartoons, is coming up for auction in the Cotswolds next month.

The collection belonged to a retired projectionist who worked in the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. It features Chaplin’s silent classic The Tramp, as well as his The Bank, The Cure, Easy Street, Oh What a Night and others.

Early animations – including Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Donald Duck, Popeye and Disney classics – form a significant part of the archive. As well as these famous characters, it also features less well-known creations, such as Oswold the Lucky Rabbit.

One lot in the sale focuses on Western and cowboy movies, while another includes comic legends such as Abbot and Costello and Gracie Fields.

A series of documentary-style films covers topics such as the London Blitz and – topically during this summer of the ‘Oppenheimer’ movie phenomenon – the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan which brought the Second World War to an end.

Auctioneer Elizabeth Poole said: “This is a very unusual collection of rare 16mm films, including two lots of Charlie Chaplin classics.

“The archive is extensive and has been split into more than 20 lots. We expect particularly strong interest in a collection of early Walt Disney animated cartoons, which has been estimated at £80 to £120.”

The collection of 16mm films is part of The Cotswold Auction Company’s sale of Silver, Jewellery, Asian, Antiques and Interiors in Cirencester on September 12 and 13.