VINTAGE EUROPEAN POSTERS
Welcome to the pleasure of Vintage Posters. Original Posters have been collected for more than 100 years. Since their inception in the 1860s, the public has adored these gorgeous graphic works and competed to own them. Back then it was easy—early poster aficionados pulled posters from the outdoor walls, they read poster collecting magazines to keep abreast of news of the great artists, and there were gallery exhibitions and prizes for the best poster designs.
Today, if you develop a taste for original posters, you must search to find the ones you love. We recommend that you look at as many posters as you can, and spend time with a knowledgeable dealer to gain an understanding of the historical and cultural context of posters, the market value, and the importance of archival framing and conservation. Most importantly—have fun. Buy posters that make you smile. Don’t worry about investment value, all original posters hold their value. Buy what you love and you will be happy with your collection for years to come.
Original posters were printed for advertising purposes. They were printed in the same time period in which they were designed. They cover every topic imaginable from theatre and opera to travel, transportation, military, liquor, food, fashion, exhibitions, and products.
Posters were printed on cheap paper, they were not expected to last for more than a few weeks. When we find them, they are fragile, brittle and difficult to handle. All of our posters are then linen backed. This is a conservation process in which posters are washed to deacidify the paper, and then mounted using acid free paste onto a heavy backing to protect them. Museums recommend this treatment for vintage posters and it is 100% archival and water reversible; subsequently a poster mounted on linen is considered to be in better condition than a poster on paper.
Most posters were printed with stone lithography. This is a painstaking process in which an image is etched into limestone with a grease crayon and acid. The design, etching and printing was done entirely by hand for the first 50 years of the poster. Artisans used huge slabs of limestone, and once the printing of a given poster was finished, the stone was scraped down and used to make a different poster. Unintentionally, the printers created something limited, which is why posters are valuable.
Our collection is broad. We believe that there are good posters from every time period and country—the Belle Epoque, the Art Deco Period, military posters from both of the World Wars, the Post War Era, as well as the modern and contemporary periods. Everything we sell is ORIGINAL.
I began collecting original posters in 1997. Today, I travel to Europe in search of posters, and display the collection in California and the Pacific Northwest. Vintage European Posters does not sell reproductions and we guarantee the authenticity of everything we sell. Please enjoy our collection and ask questions. We are proud to offer a substantial group of some of the finest graphic art from the last 120 years. Please take your time and get to know these wonderful art treasures.
Also, you can friend us on Facebook – Vep Ca.
-Elizabeth Norris, Owner
First Poster Sold: Cognac Jacquet
First Poster Bought: When Hearts are Trumps by William H. Bradley
First Show Sold Posters at: Bustamante at the Concourse Exhibition Center
Favorite Poster Moment: When a husband and wife agree about a poster
Worst Poster Moment: When poster tubes are damaged in shipping
Favorite City to do shows in: Santa Monica
Hardest City to do Shows in: Seattle
Best Load in for shows: Hillsborough
Worst Load in for Shows: The Art Deco Show
Friendliest Show: Sacramento Crocker Art Museum Benefit
Best Sushi on the Road: Kru in Sacramento
Best Perk ever: Private Tour of the Gamble House in Pasadena