Holiday Hours

December 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear Clients and Friends,

Our shop will be open more in December for your holiday shopping. We will be here Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as the first couple of weekends (December 7-8 and December 14-15) of the month if you want to surprise someone with a vintage poster, or consider a book on the topic as a special gift.

Original WWII Poster by Linn Ball 1945

Original WWII Poster by Linn Ball 1945

If what you really want this holiday season is something authentic, something with a sense of history, something to make your house just that much more beautiful, then an original vintage poster fits the bill.

Bieres de la Meuse by Alphonse Mucha Maitre Plate 182, 1899

Bieres de la Meuse by Alphonse Mucha Maitre Plate 182, 1899

Come and peruse our Maitre de l’Affiche. These tiny posters are perfect for gift giving. Another great gift idea are the really cool botanical charts from the Art of Instruction are available for a limited time. They are well priced at $250 each.

Art of Instruction Plate 8 “Cowslip Primrose: Primula Officinalis” Jung-Koch-Quentell Charts c.1970

There is plenty of free parking on our side of 4th st. The Christmas lights are up and they are the best in the East Bay, and just last month, Sierra Nevada opened a tasting room just on block away from us. So, there is a lot to do in our neighborhood. And of course can visit us online at

Our showroom is open at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
at the corner of Allston Way.

Saturdays 11-6, Sundays 12-5

Vintage Poster for the Bungalow — Maitres De l’Affiche P.2

December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

There was a poster collecting craze in the 1890’s and those lucky enough to live in major cities would steal posters from the walls of buildings or pay printers to save them an extra poster.  Posters and poster collecting was all the rage, and the public read about this new hobby in newspapers and magazines.


Hugo d’Alesi, Centenaire Lithographie 1897

Those interested in this new phenomenon signed up for an annual subscription to the Maîtres, and paid 27 francs per year. Subscribers received a folio in the mail every month containing 4 miniature poster prints as well as bonus plates quarterly. At the end of the year, subscribers were offered the opportunity to buy a leather volume, inscribed by artist Paul Berthon into which they could bind their annual collection.


Hohenstein, Maitre Plate 180- Iris 1899

The series was conceived of by Jules Cheret, a French poster artist and printer, who is sometimes referred to as the “Father of the Poster.”  Cheret was a master lithographer, and he was also a talented promoter who encouraged the public to collect advertising posters, thereby developing a secondary market for these ephemeral creations.  With Les Maitres de L’Affiche, Cheret selected the finest designs of the time period, paid his draftsmen to render them in miniature, and printed them using state of the art print methods on high quality paper.  Each print bears an embossed blind stamp and they are numbered consecutively.  Because of Cheret’s editorial function- he hand picked each poster- of the 256 plates, 67 are his own work. Outside of France, Cheret admired the work of artists from the United States, Britain, Belgium and to a lesser extent, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary.  As a result, the Maitres represent an edited survey of the finest poster art from around the world in the late 19th century.

This post is part 2 of a 4 part series about Les Maitres De L’Affiche
Post was written by Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters and

Visit our shop at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley this month Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5.  Holiday weekends December 7-8 and December 14-15.

Vintage Posters for the Bungalow — Maitres De l’Affiche P.1

December 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

You may be familiar with original vintage posters – the bold and vibrant advertisements from Europe and the United States which brighten the walls of many cafés and restaurants.  These happy works of art can be a strong focal point in a room.  They are often placed in homes with enormous stairwells or cathedral ceilings.  But in a Bungalow the bright colors and grand scale of most vintage posters would be overwhelming.

The exception? A treasure chest of small prints from the late 19th century called “Les Maitres De L’Affiche” which translates to “The Masters of the Poster”.  The Maitres are a series of 256 miniature posters which were printed between 1896 and 1900, a rich period in history which encompasses the Arts and Crafts movement, the Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau.  The small prints in the series are accessible to collectors today and include work by artists such as Edward Penfield, Will Bradley and the Beggarstaffs which are appropriate in a bungalow setting.


Jules Cheret, La Loïe Fuller 1893

Advertising posters first appeared on the walls of buildings in Europe in second half of the 19th century.  Advances in printing made large scale color posters possible, and a burgeoning middle class with a taste for cafes, for opera and for travel made posters the perfect medium for market development. Discussing the latest posters and the artists who created them was a past time, just as today we might reference the latest super bowl ads at the water cooler.  Naturally, the public wanted to own this new dynamic medium and so poster collecting as a hobby was born.


Eugene Grasset, Encre L. Marquet 1899

Part 1 of a 4 part series about Les Maitre De L’Affiche
Written by Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor, Vintage European Posters
Vintage European Posters, Established 1997
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

Our shop will be open the following weekends  December 7-8, December 14-15

Please visit us on the web at 

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