History of Carthusia- Profumi di Capri

November 10, 2016 § Leave a comment



This magical poster has been a favorite our staff and clients for many years. Vintage European Posters collector Elizabeth Norris was lucky enough to find a roll of these orignal advertising posters in the South of France, and has had them lovingly cleaned and mounted to archival standard on to acid free paper and linen backing. There is a romance to the Isal of Capri, and as a result, people fall in love with the place. The poster is explanatory of the perfume and includes illustrations of flowers and fruiting moss suggesting that the scent has floral and woodsy notes.

While browsing in a boutique in Toluca Lake I saw a sign with the Carthusia symbol. I was surprised and asked the owner of the store. It turns out that the perfume is still in production today. She was generous enough to give me a few samples which do evoke the mysteries of the island. I wanted to know more, my search led me to a great tale about how this perfume came to be.


The myth recounts that in 1380, the Prior of the Carthusian Monastery was caught unawares by the arrival of Queen Joanna of Naples. He picked her a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers from the island. These remained in unchanged water for three days,  when he went to throw them away, the prior noticed that it had acquired a mysterious fragrance unknown to him. He inquired of the friar versed in alchemy, who traced the origin of the scent to the “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese”. That water became the first perfume of Capri.

History relates that in 1948 the Prior of the Monastery found the old perfume formulas and upon obtaining permission from the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Piemonte, who created the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, calling it Carthusia after the island’s Monastic order.

The symbol of the Carthusia portrays a flower siren that brings to mind the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage. She appears to be in the midst of an evolution, blooming with myriad colorful flowers, from which Carthusia perfumes flow.

The poster was designed in 1948 by the painter and illustrator Mario Laboccetta. Laboccetta was born in Naples in 1899, but his career blossomed in Paris in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He gained some fame with his detailed, colorful and sometimes erotic  magazine and book illustrations. He published work for Charles Baudelaire’s book of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal, and the book Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann).  Laboccetta returned to his native Italy after World War II where he continued work, eventually settling in Capri, where he died in 1988.


To see more of Labocetta’s illustrations or visit the perfume’s website, check out the links below:



This post was written by Logan Prather, LA Liaison for VEPCA
Edited by Elizabeth Norris, VEPCA Collector

Vintage European Posters was Established 1997
Member IVPDA
Our Shop: 2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way
Winter Hours Tuesday- Thursday 11-5
Closed on Thanksgiving
Open Every Weekend until Christmas

Also available by appointment

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

Japonism & Posters of the Belle Epoque

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

If you didn’t catch last spring’s Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh and other Western Artists‘ at the Asian Art Museum, please visit the show online.

The AAM did a great job explaining and showcasing, in detail, the way Japanese art influenced Western painters, printmakers, and more. Both the 1862 International Exposition in London and the 1867 International Exposition in Paris showcased Japanese fine and decorative arts bringing this hitherto unknown style to the forefront of Western consciousness. A new form of artistic expression, Japonisme, was created and influenced everything from the great Impressionist to the artists of the Belle Epoque.

Another source of inspiration for the artist of the day was an exhibit in 1890 at L’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The ukiyo-e woodblock prints with their crisp colors and use of negative space were in stark contrast to the intricately detailed paintings created by Western masters. These influences brought a sense of modernity and a fresh perspective to French, English, and American artists alike.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.33.48

The Century: July, by Charles Woodbury, 1895.

In this show, the Asian Art Museum used this Charles Woodbury poster as the cover of their program, his influences are immediately recognizable as is the blending of Eastern and western techniques. The show also featured the work of Eugene Grasset and Will Bradley, two of VEPCA’s favorites.

To learn more about Japonisme and it’s influence on Western artist, take a look at these great sources:

Established 1997
Member IVPDA
Our Shop:2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way
Summer Hours Tuesday- Thursday 11-5
and select weekends 

Also available by appointment 

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

On the Road Again – VEPCA’s Fall & Winter Show Schedule 2016-2017

September 5, 2016 § Leave a comment


You can find us at these shows in the upcoming months:

Many of the shows we participate in are holding strong, in particular we recommend
Palm Springs Modernism over the President’s Day weekend as a fun winter getaway and a treat for design fans. Book your hotel by November and sign up for home tours and film screenings by December 1st or you’ll miss out.


Want our advice on where to stay in Palm Springs?

We like the Hilton and the Hard Rock because you can walk to the design district, but Palm Springs is full of great hotels, resorts, Air BnB properties and VRBO’s.

VEPCA has weathered some big changes with shows.


Sarah, Franck and E at DODLA 2017

Four of our stable shows have changed management in the last 2 years, including
Dwell on Design
Sunset Celebration Weekend
The Hillsborough Antiques Show and
Healdsburg Antiques on the Plaza.

So, there have been some bumps, but we will continue to bring our collection closer to you with these partnerships.

We hope to see you, here, there and everywhere.

Elizabeth and  Sarah Shop Mavens
Charly and Franck adjunct sales team



Sunset Test Gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma


This post was written by VEPCA Owner Elizabeth Norris and Edited by Kristen Phillips of Blue Collar Digital 

Established 1997, Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley Based dealer of
Original Advertising Posters.
We offer linen backing, custom framing and a collection of over 2,500 original posters from Europe and the The United States.
Visit Our Showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5
as well as select weekends and by appointment.

To reach us, please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com

Sunset Idea House in Berkeley

September 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Idea Houses are like decorator show houses for engineers.

Besides beautiful finishes, they showcase state of the art technology for today’s home. This years’s idea house does this in spades.

Nestled in the hills of Berkeley above the historic Claremont Hotel, this year’s house was designed by architect Robert Nebolom with interiors by Geremia design.

We have been lucky enough to provide artwork for The Healdsburg Sunset House in 2012, which was a very cool Bluhome.  As well as for the Coastal Living House on Coronado Island in 2014.  So we were delighted to hear that this year, the house is in our own backyard.



Downstairs bedroom with really cool Heath Tile. The room has a Moroccan vibe. That’s Sarah and I taking a photo in the mirror.

This makes sense as Sunset Magazine has moved their HQ from Menlo Park to Oakland’s now thriving Jack London Square. In former editor Peggy Northrup’s editorial explaining their move, she tells readers that Sunset is ‘following the reader’ from the burbs to the city.  Sunset’s offices moved from the city of San Francisco to Menlo Park in 1951, as an entire generation was fleeing cities and moving to the suburbs. In a sea change, new urbanism is here and many are choosing to return to urban hubs where culture is abundant. It is a phenomenal testament to our (then Mayor of Oakland, now 2x CA Governor) Jerry Brown that downtown Oakland has turned the corner from night-time ghost town to thriving arts and food destination.

Read more in 7 x 7 Magazine.


The entry floor of the house with killer Bay view behind. David Lance Goines’ Berkeley Horticultural nursery poster behind us. VEPCA designed frames with Geremia.

Our posters can be seen on the top floor of the house, flanking the elevator. The frames are our latest off white and were framed by The Studio Shop.

Get tickets to the 2016 Sunset Idea House here.  The Sunset House is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 5pm thru September 25, 2016.




Established 1997, Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley Based dealer of
Original Advertising Posters.
We offer linen backing, custom framing and a collection of over 2,500 original posters from Europe and the The United States.
Visit Our Showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5
as well as select weekends and by appointment.

To reach us, please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com

Team VEPCA Updates for 2016

September 3, 2016 § Leave a comment


Doug, Special Guest, E, Sarah and Charly at Gallery Barn Diva Dinner, Healdsburg August 2016

Working with vintage posters is a real treat.

There is exposure to history, to travel, to library sciences and language, and to an amazing group of clients and friends. Interns have cooked dinner for David Lance Goines, had drinks at the Standard DTLA, re-catalogued entire categories of our collection, decoded Instagram and Pinterest and driven up and down the 5 countless times. Most interns have stayed 12-18 months, and senior staff have stayed from 3-7 years.

We all stay in touch and some come back to help with projects on occasion.


E and Charly, Healdsburg Town Square. Early show set up at 7 am = Sunglasses all day

Welcome Sarah Tanenbaum Adams
Sarah grew up in Oakland and attended NYU where she studied Studio Art and Psychology.  After that, she studied jewelry making at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Art in San Francisco and went on to work with fine custom jewelers as well as making and selling her own designs.

Sarah also worked at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair as their bookkeeper and card buyer so she has a keen grasp of everything retail. Sarah’s mother, artist Carol Tanenbaum has a ’framing habit’ (to quote Sarah), and so Sarah has a finely trained eye for custom frame design.

Favorite Poster: “Planten un Blomen” by Kargerg


Christopher Gonzalez, who joined VEPCA as operations director upon his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2013, was recruited away to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive in January of this year. He now supervises 56 staff members. BAM/PFA is doing a great job with organizing operations for numerous programs and events in celebration of the museum’s inaugural year at a new facility.

Chris studied accounting while at VEP and his numbers always added up. He packed for shows, negotiated with teamsters to get prime loading dock positions at convention centers and logged thousands of miles in the Econoline van for VEPCA, traveling to Portland, Seattle, Palm Springs and everywhere in between. Chris also enjoyed helping people choose their first poster. Making art accessible to everyone was a CG specialty and we miss him!

The 2 things that Chris misses most about VEPCA are sharing stories and engaging with poster collectors at shows and cataloging and researching recently acquired posters.

Favorite Posters: everything by Alexander Calder and Liqueur St. Barbe


Kate Klingbeil, master printmaker and multimedia artist, will move to New York on October 1st and is headedstraight to the


E and Kate, Colophon Club November 2015

moon. Kate gave a series of talks with VEPCA about the process of stone lithography, she hung our rotating poster shows at Convert on 4th Street and did all of VEPCA’S photography and photo editing.

After she discovered that toxic litho inks were making her sick, Kate moved on to embrace digital animation, ceramics, acrylics and more. See her work on line, on Instagram, and at the Athen B gallery in downtown Oakland. Bon Voyage Kate, we will miss you.

Favorite Posters: Wissembourgs but especially the FROG.


Candie Sanderson came into VEP like a hurricane in 2011 demanding a job lest she lose


Candie and John’s Wedding July 2016

her visa and be sent back to Bordeaux.  Candie wrote our blog ‘These are the People in Our Neighborhood’ introducing VEPCA’s neighbors Peter Koch printer AKA the Surrealist Cowboy, and June Taylor of June Taylor Jams.

Candie, raised in Bordeaux and educated at the Sorbonne and UC Berkeley was a formidable writer. She translated the entire L’Estampe Moderne a series of prints and poems from 1897-1899 edited by legendary print house Imprimerie Champenois while working at VEP. Candie attended the masters program for creative writing in Montana, and upon graduation moved to Boston to teach French in Cambridge.

This summer, Candie was married to her grad-school sweetheart John Bennett in her home town of Bergerac in Bordeaux.  Candie’s phrase  “Let’s do this”, uttered before every show load-in, framed delivery or physical challenge will forever be a VEPCA favorite.

Favorite Poster: “Le Rouge Baisier” by Rene Gruau


Emily Jackson, social media guru and UC Berkeley History graduate, taught us Pinterest, and could Facebook with one hand


Charly, Emily and E at Em’s graduation from CAL

and tweet with the other. After a few interesting jobs as operations director at Steve and Kates’ Camp, and cooking teacher, Emily is now settled in as a grant writer for International Rescue Committee.

As a US sanctioned resettlement agency, The International Rescue Committee provides essential services to help refugees resume independent, stable, and productive lives after years of trauma and upheaval.

In 2015 Emily traveled around Central Europe, fell in love with Berlin, and is now looking forward to saving up for her next traveling adventure: a road trip around the US with her sister!

Favorite Poster: “Knowledge Wins” by Dan Smith


Karlie Drutzcataloguing queen and master social networker Karlie has gone on from being an ultimate Frisbee champion to


Karlie, E and Candie at the Standard Garden Bar, DTLA 2103

being a competitive runner and triathlete! While at VEPCA, Karlie brought her razor sharp organizational skills to VEPCA while studying history at CAL. She recatalogued our entire military collection, co-wrote our proposal for the Huntington Museum which turned into “Your Country Calls: Posters of the First World War” the show we guest curated at the Huntington Museum and library in 2014.

Today, she is the Charity Community Manager at everydayhero/Blackbaud creating content and webinars to help nonprofits use the crowd-fundraising platform.  (photo, favorite poster)

Favorite Poster: El Atomo Para La Paz


Charly Leys worked full time with VEP from 2007-2013, weathering the entire, horrible recession in our small business. She assisted with moving the VEPCA operations from MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland into our swanky new digs in Berkeley. Meanwhile, traveling to Wyoming and Montana regularly and training her black belt in Aikido.

While working with the posters, Charly developed a strong interest in the design and construction of frames. She used her incredible mechanical skills and Aikido focus (Jedi powers) to apprentice as a framer in Hawaii with Glenn Young, master framer and owner of Artscapes.

Upon return to the mainland, Charly has partnered with Artscapes to open Artscapes Leys framing in the North Bay, with a design room open by appointment in Santa Rosa. She does the construction in her nearby, reclaimed “barnshop.” You can contact Charly at charly.artscapes@gmail.com

Charly likes orange shoes, surfing, goats, and her dog Kajal who has a frequent flyer number on Hawaiian Air.

Favorite Poster: Cabricabri

Franck Solerborn in Cannes, in the south of France, was the director of Maui’s Vintage European Posters


Franck and his favorite poster, Levi’s by Ida Van Bladel

Gallery in Lahaina for a decade, while also farming on Maui and making candy in his spare time. After the birth of his third child, Franck decided that it was time to return to the mainland so his kids could see a pumpkin patch, snow, road trips, good schools and the real world.

Franck is now settled in Sacramento, CA where he works as a broker for Owen-Dunn Insurance Services and specializes in Group Captive Insurance. Please contact Franck-“I love my job”-Soler at francks@owendunn.com or 916-677-7382.

Franck continues to guest at shows with VEPCA when we need to speak French in the booth. If you meet him, watch out, he will make you feel one foot taller, 10 years younger and you will leave with posters you don’t remember buying.



Established 1997, Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley Based dealer of
Original Advertising Posters.
We offer linen backing, custom framing and a collection of over 2,500 original posters from Europe and the The United States.
Visit Our Showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5
as well as select weekends and by appointment.

To reach us, please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com

From Reviewed.com: “Vintage Posters: Stylish Art for the Modern Home”

July 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Use vintage poster art to add a splash of color and character to any home.

Original American Airlines Hawaii Poster by John Fernie. Printed c. 1955

John Fernie, Original American Airlines Hawaii Poster, Printed c. 1955

The minimalist spaces and clean lines of most contemporary homes and apartments create a perfect backdrop for showcasing art. But if you’re intimidated by the idea of buying original art—and who isn’t?—why not consider vintage posters?

Whether advertising common products, marketing far-flung destinations, or serving as wartime propaganda, poster art of the 20th century can provide a vivid accent for your home. The lush colors of vintage posters offers great contrast to today’s minimalist décor, but can be equally arresting in traditionally styled environments.

Posters are also a cheeky way to illustrate our personal tastes—a favorite locale, a preferred beverage—while reflecting on our culture and history, be it a plunge into the art deco styling of the 1930s or the wartime propaganda of the early 1940s.

“They’re a lens into the twentieth century,” says Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters, a Berkeley, California-based dealer in classic posters who was first attracted to war propaganda posters. “I didn’t pay attention to history in high school and the only war I knew was the one I grew up with—Vietnam. But I saw WWI posters and it made me want to understand what happened in the 20th century.”

Before the advent of mass entertainment like TV and radio, average Joes had a far more limited understanding of the day’s events. Governments used posters to convey messages to the people—to enlist, to buy war bonds, to conserve resources, and more. In the early days, posters were also the dominant advertising tool, selling everything from movies to appearances by magicians.

After WWII, posters were used to popularize travel—by railways, cruise lines and airlines, as well as the vacation spots themselves—and later to promote events. And we’re not just talking American posters: In France, fine artists helped to create the now-iconic branding for products ranging from Gitanes cigarettes to Michelin tires.

The only problem was that posters were typically produced in limited runs of a few thousand, usually on cheap, acidic paper that became brittle and yellowed with time.

“They weren’t supposed to be saved,” said Norris. Indeed, the vast majority were thrown away.

Enter the Collectors

Poster collectors have been around almost as long as posters have been produced. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that buying and trading poster art became a serious business. Since then, a wide range of artists and subjects have become collectable.

Movie posters were among the first to skyrocket in price. While the first auction of 271 movie posters at Christie’s in 1990 netted $935,000, movie posters have continued to soar in value.

Original pieces from early horror classics likeKing KongFrankenstein, and Dracula now earn six-figure sums—when they even come onto the market. The record-holder is the original poster for Fritz Lang’s 1927 Metropolis, of which only four are known to exist. (One is reportedly in the hands of Leonardo DiCaprio.)

Because they were produced in limited quantities, posters tend to hold their value, making them a relatively safe investment. But fine poster art needn’t require a king’s ransom. While works by top artists from Toulouse-Lautrec to Warhol command a premium, excellent pieces from the 1950s can be found for a few hundred dollars.

Most dealers now invest in linen backing, a conservation process that washes and removes the acid from the paper before it’s mounted onto heavy-duty fabric. Tears and folds are restored, and missing pieces can be fabricated, extending the life of the poster by decades.

At the recent Dwell on Design show, Norris had several tables brimming with fine posters from both sides of the Atlantic. Here are just a few of the mid-century favorites we lusted after.

To see all images from this article, view the full article on Reviewed.com by clicking here.

This was written by Dave Swanson on Review.com

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Pop up open weekend July 12-13, 2014

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

Les Vins de Bourgogne and Place de Vosges

May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Les Vins de Bourgogne

Les Vins de Bourgogne

Les Vins de Bourgogne is an original vintage poster illustrated by Guy Arnoux advertising wines from France’s Burgundy region. The poster shows a 17th-century military captain reclining under a canopy of grapes, hinting that the wine has been aged to perfection. This beautiful piece was printed in the 1920’s using stone lithography.

If you visit Paris, make sure to go to Place des Vosges, a lovely park in the Marais which was built by Henry the 4th and inaugurated in 1612.  Place Des Vosges is a formal garden, it features plane trees planted in allees, and triangles of grass.  There is a perfect geometry to the place.  It is surrounded by well appointed  buildings, with shutters and  steeply pitched blue slate rooftops.

As is the case  in much of Paris, the bottom floor of many apartments is used for storefronts and restaurants.  You can have lunch at Ma Bourgogne, and watch the steady stream of people walk in and out of the gates of Place des Vosges. Visit their website to get a taste of this wonderful place.

This post was written by Karlie Drutz, Vintage European Posters special projects coordinator, and Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters.

You can visit our showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley on Tuesdays and by appointment.

Call us at 510 843 2201 to schedule an appointment.

Our next pop up open weekend is May 18-19 2013. You can see our collection at www.vepca.com

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the What the Dealer Saw category at Vintage European Posters.