This is what the president of Swann Galleries in New York USA, Nicholas Lowry, said about posters. “The great thing about posters is that they are accidental art. They were not meant to be saved. It’s meant to be advertising, to be rained on, torn down or plastered over. That’s the beauty of it.”
Posters are one of the most collectible of collectibles and none more so than the vintage advertising poster.
Vintage advertising posters can be found on walls where once there was fine art. Some of these vintage posters can fetch as much as fine art at auctions and sales and are very sort after.
These posters were the first advertising done to the masses and the graphics and artwork were meant to grab the attention of passersby. They were used to advertise a product or an event and meant only to last a few weeks.
There have been records set in recent times for rare advertising posters from the Art Nouveau (1890-1914) and the Art Deco (1925-1940) periods, they have increased dramatically in value over the last 10 years or so.
Vintage advertising posters can often be confused with photographic reproductions. The reproduction posters were created without any input from the artist. This type of poster is not a vintage advertising poster but if you cannot afford the real thing then you may be able to have your favorite on your wall for around $20 to $50. Many people collect these reproductions of these vintage advertising posters and who knows, one day may be worth so much more too. Who would have thought the posters made back in the late 1800s would be worth so much today.
$250,000 is the highest price ever paid for a vintage advertising poster. that was for the first one designed be the famous French artist, Toulouse-Lautrec back in 1891. This price was paid in New York in 1999 at Poster Auction International.
A vintage advertising poster must feature original artwork, With modern technology today, there are many copies and forgeries. Most forgeries of vintage advertising posters are photographic reproductions not lithographic prints and with careful scrutiny can be detected.
To help detect a forged vintage advertising poster, Louis Bixenman, director of the International Poster Fair said “look at the borders. If you see at the edge, what looks like a tear but you can’t feel it, be suspicious. take an ordinary magnifying glass, if it has a dot pattern, it’s a photo offset”
That’s is a very good tip as the unknowing area always the ones to be taken in. If you have some idea what to look for, then you are more that half way there.
Collecting vintage advertising posters may be out of price range for many but there are still some bargains to be had, you just have to keep looking.