For many, the Lone Ranger and Tonto are iconic Americana. The dangerous duo, which was made up of a masked cowboy of American-European origin and his Native American sidekick, always managed to beat the bad guys on their travels in the Wild West. The characters first appeared on radio in the 1930s before making their way to a host of other media, according to The Ross Art Group.
In 1949, the Lone Ranger and Tonto made their way to television on “The Lone Ranger.” The character of the Lone Ranger was played by Clayton Moore and Tonto played by Jay Silverheels. The televised version of the Lone Ranger was a hit. It went on to run until 1957 when it was canceled.
Before its cancellation, cereal company General Mills commissioned posters of Moore and Silverheels in their Lone Ranger garb. People who watched the show could get the posters by sending in a boxtop from specially marked General Mills cereal and a small fee.
Most of the people who ordered the posters were likely children. When they received them, they probably tacked the posters up to their walls. When the kids got older and their interests changed, the posters came down and went into the trash. Those who actually kept their posters, however, have a valuable antique on their hands. According to an episode of the Antiques Roadshow where a collector had a couple of the posters that were in fairly good condition, a set is worth $1200 to $1800.
See the appraisal in the video below.