Nitrolian by Leonetto Cappiello

July 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Printed in Paris in 1929
Original Stone Lithograph

Nitrolian Leonetto Cappiello Original poster products

“Nitrolian” 1929, Paris, printed by Maison Devambez

Cappiello is one of the most important poster artists of the 20th Century.He studied art in his native Italy, entering art school at the age of 13, and arrived in Paris during the Belle Epoque era, and at the height of poster design. He first worked doing caricatures of famous actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt, but soon turned his attention to the production of commercial posters. Cappiello’s use of bold colors and sharp contrasts was a departure from the early masters of the medium- Jules Cheret Alphonse Mucha and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. And foreshadowed art deco. Cappiello created his first poster in 1899 and very soon, was in constant demand. Over the course of his 40 year career, he created over 1,000 posters and enjoyed life in Paris as a successful working artist.

Nitrolian advertises fast drying paint and the design brilliantly explains the product without words –showing an elegant lady descending a staircase as a well appointed painter paves her way with red paint. Cappiello repeats the design of the poster on the paint can- a clever form of branding. This framed poster is currently on display in Healdsburg’s Barn Diva gallery

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters 

Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley based dealer of
Original French & American Advertising Posters.
Our Showroom is located at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, corner of Allston Way.
Summer of 2016 we are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 11-5
and select weekends. Please call ahead to confirm our hours.

Established in 1997, VEP now exhibits at 12 shows per year in California including
Dwell on DesignPalm Springs Modernism, and the Healdsburg Antiques on the Plaza. 

Our website  is always up to date. 





Vintage Posters in Paso Robles April 28-May 8th

April 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

The West

The West Pennsylvania Railroad, Original Color Poster

Dear Clients and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to join us (and take a spin through our greatly expanded poster collection) for a couple of fun getaway weekends at Studios on the Park Gallery  the first is April 28- May 1st and the second is May 5th-May 8th.

Many of you already know and love Paso Robles. The California countryside in the Spring is drop dead gorgeous- Oak trees and emerald green hills. Come to the central coast and soak up some of the goodness of 300 plus wineries, The Madonna Inn, Hearst Castle, hiking, biking, horseback riding, wine tasting, antiquing whatever is your vacation pleasure you can indulge in it in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.

What’s new? I have amazing posters from IndoChina. New Orangina by Villemot, great SNCF posters and exhibition posters directly from the Mourlot family of Paris. The Mourlot posters are art exhibition posters from gallery shows held in France between 1950 and 1980. They include original Picasso, Chagall, Cocteau, Dufy and Calder and they were printed by the finest lithographer in the post war period in France. These are available by special arrangement and will not be seen on our website.


Vintage Posters bring history and color into your home. Mark your calendar, measure your walls, and plan for fun.

We look forward to sharing our collection with you !

Elizabeth & Sarah



Paso Robles Extravaganza

April 28-May 22

Studios on the Park

April 30th (Saturday) Preview Brunch & Collectors talk at Bistro Laurent

We will be at Studios flipping posters Friday-Sunday April 28-31.

*Opening weekend corresponds with Three Speckled Hens antiques and collectibles show at Paso Robles Fairgrounds

Art After Dark Paso Robles

Saturday May 7th

Music by Hot Club of SLO, wines poured by Tablas Creek (LINK)

We will be at Studios flipping posters Friday-Sunday May 5-May 8th


May 14-15

At Cornerstone Napa

Get your tickets now $38 General Admission $133 VIP access Children under 12 Free


JUNE 24-26

At the LA Convention Center

Register Now

Two more open weekends this Spring

March 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Dear Clients and Friends-

La Fete De L'Affiche

La Fete de L’Affiche, Villemot, 1984, $900

Thank you for the amazing response to our new show “The Posters of Fernand Mourlot” featuring original works by Picasso, Calder, Cocteau, Matisse and Chagall.

Many of you came a long distance to see the new collection. If you missed the opening- don’t worry, the show will be open in our showroom through April 13th.

Lyric Opera 68.jpg

Lyric Opera, Erte, 1968, $780

We have about three more weeks to share this amazing and rare material with you in our Berkeley showroom and then, well, you know, were outta here. Weekdays you can find us Tuesday- Thursday from 11-5 and by appointment. Upcoming Open Weekends: April 2-3 and April 9-10.


homage to ben shahn

Homage to Ben Shahn, Calder, 1975, $800

The show is not available on the web. I encourage you to come in and have an authentic experience with the art. In addition to the 25 original lithographs, we have access to about 100 others – we have a catalogue- which you can order through our exclusive arrangement.

Chagall’s artwork was influenced by his dreams, by his rural childhood and by his love of dance, of the bible, and of each of his wives, both true loves.


Villefranche sur mer

Villefranche Sur Mer, Cocteau, 1957 $2,500

Jean Cocteau, nicknamed ‘the Frivolous Prince’ . was a polymath- a poet, film maker, and artist whose avant garde films were tremendously influential in ushering in the French New Wave. His compatriots included Edith Piaf, Colette, Picasso, Coco Chanel, and Modigliani and many other important figures of the twentieth century.


We also have a ton of new acquisitions to share with you but they are not on the web yet. Orangina by Villemot is back

Orangina - Orange Peel Umbrella.jpg

Orangina (20th Anniversary), Villemot, 1973, $1,100

Come and get em while they are hot!


Happy Collecting –

Elizabeth, Kate, and Sarah



April 2-3

April 9-10

Showroom Open

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11-5


Vintage European Posters Showroom
2201 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
On the corner of Allston Way
Established 1997


Paso Robles Extravaganza

April 28-May 22


Studios on the Park

April 30th (Saturday) Preview Brunch & Collectors talk at Bistro Laurent

*Opening weekend corresponds with Three Speckled Hens antiques and collectibles show at Paso Robles Fairgrounds


Art After Dark Paso Robles

Saturday May 7th

Music by Hot Club of SLO, wines poured by Tablas Creek



May 14-15

At Cornerstone Sonoma

Get your tickets now  $38 General Admission $133 VIP access Children under 12 Free



JUNE 24-26

At the LA Convention Center

Register Now






St. Christophers 46th Annual Antique Show

January 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

Dear Clients and Friends,


Gallia, Maga Agency, 1921

I am delighted to invite you to enjoy our collection of original vintage posters at the St. Christopher’s Antique Show at the end of this month. If you are on our mailing list, then we already share an appreciation for the window into history that original advertising posters provide.

Recently, I have been reading about the French Loterie. We have bought and sold these charming posters for many years, they skirt the edge of art deco and in style would have been quite modern for their time period. To read more, check out our latest blog.

Our collection is very strong right now. We have tremendous travel posters, beautiful bicycle posters,  marvelous mid century modern posters and great general dynamics posters.

Philips Super Magnetique

Philips Super Magnétique, Anonymous, 1955


Our Berkeley Showroom is now in it’s 6th year. Some of you have paid us a visit. We enjoy hanging new themed shows every few months, and we love love love doing frame design with clients. That being said- you don’t have to schlep all the way to Berkeley to get a dose of the magic of posters. We will be in your neighborhood very soon. Please measure your walls and come sift through our dynamite collection. If your walls are full,  but you love your posters, then forward this email to your friends and neighbors, maybe make a date to visit the show together. We appreciate your referrals.

Charly Leys will be in the booth on Saturday. Charly trained with master framer Glenn Young of Artscapes Framing in Campbell, and she is now a managing partner of Artscapes. Talk to her about your posters and she will help you design the perfect treatment. On Friday and Sunday, meet Kate Klingbeil. Kate is an accomplished artist and trained lithographer, who can deepen your understanding of how posters were printed.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

We wish you all a Happy New Year!

Elizabeth, Charly, & Kate

Cycles Terrot Dijon

Cycles Terrot, Gallice, c.1895

The Details:

Showroom Open

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11-5

Open this weekend, January 16th & 17th 11-5

Hours and days vary, please call ahead.

Vintage European Posters Showroom
2201 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA  94710
On the corner of Allston Way
Established 1997

French Loterie Posters by Edgard Derouet and His Workshop

January 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

Edgard Derouet (1910 -2001)


Advertising posters are meant to catch the attention of the passerby. While bustling about on daily business, a pedestrian may absorb the message on a poster, but if distracted, may miss the message altogether. This is where images can trump words, and a familiar image can work it’s magic at a glance. Graphic artists have always strived to find a vehicle which effectively commands the attention of the ‘(wo)man on the street’. One French artist who was very successful at this is Edgard Derouet who designed a clever campaign to promote the French Loterie which, in short order, became instantly recognizable to all.

The French Loterie has a complicated history. King Francis of France debuted the Loterie Royale in 1539, however it was not popular until the 18th century. The money raised by the lottery was used for various government projects, to rebuild churches, and government funds. Public opinions shifted, and when the populace complained about the lottery as exploitive, it was banned. The lottery came and went, enjoying periods of popularity followed by closures. One such closure came in 1836. The lottery did not exist again until it was revived by the socialist government, in need of funds, in 1933.

Edgard Derouet was chosen by the state to create and execute a campaign to promote the Loterie Nationale because of his formidable reputation as a graphic artist. This was not a small task because there had been no lottery for almost a century, and the public needed to be persuaded to participate.

As a young man, Derouet had studied with famed posterist Paul Colin, and been a friend to Monaco poster artist Geo Hamm. He founded a magazine devoted to graphic arts, which featured the work of posterists AM Cassandre, Roger De Valerio and Jaques Nathan, and so he was on the cutting edge of design – in touch with trends and versed in the (short) history of the advertising poster. Derouet won an award for best poster of the year in 1936, and his work was exhibited at the International Exposition of 1937.

What image could convey the excitement of winning the lottery? This is the question that Derouet must have entertained when confronted with this demanding task. How about a man jumping for joy? And this is what Derouet designed. The client liked the figure because of its well tied tie, it’s neatness and its nationalistic look. The simplicity of the figure allowed the artist to elaborate on the settings in which he placed him.

The idea was clever, because the figure became familiar almost immediately. Like the Michelin man, the public smiled fondly on the little jumping man. Derouet had created a popular success. In 1939 the government planned an elaborate PR campaign for the Loterie, with 24 special drawings to be picked in different cities, and they tasked Derouet with communicating this placement with each poster. A couple of examples include the poster ‘weekend’ which depicts the jumping man as a traveler at a train station. This drawing was held at the train station Gare St. Lazare. “Parfums” was held in the South of France in the town of Grasse, which has long been associated with the perfumes they make.

WWII put an end to lottery drawings in France. After the war, Derouet became the commercial director of the print house Bedos and Cie, where he worked for 30 years. Derouet retired in 1980.

Loterie posters are light hearted and fun. Here at Vintage European Posters, we have sold them for almost two decades and seen clients hang them in groups with great effect. This past summer, Vintage European Posters Collector Elizabeth Norris found two separate stacks of lottery posters from after 1950. Visit our collection of Loterie posters, including many by Derouet at

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters and edited by Kate Klingbeil, Print Specialist.

Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley based dealer of Original French and American Advertising Posters. Established in 1997, VEP now exhibits at 12 shows per year in California including Dwell on DesignPalm Springs Modernism, and the Hillsborough Antiques Show.

Our Showroom is located at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, at the corner of Allston Way.

We are open most Tuesdays, and many other days. Our website is always up to date.
Please call ahead to confirm our hours.

Our website is always up to date.

Linen Backing and Poster Conservation

December 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

We are pleased to offer linen backing services for our clients here in our Berkeley Showroom. We handle hundreds of posters every year and can give estimates as to how much restoration is advised and what it costs. The turnaround is typically 6-8 weeks. We encourage you to bring your posters into the shop for examination and estimates.

What is linen backing?

It is a conservation method that has been used with posters for over a century.

Linen backing can flatten folds and creases in posters.

Today’s techniques utilizes 100 percent archival materials to stabilize and preserve vintage posters

Fragile posters are mounted onto a canvas backing with an acid free paper barrier between the poster and the cotton canvas.

The paste used in backing is an acid free vegetable cellulose paste which is water reversible.

Linen backing makes it possible to be handled without risking tears or further wear to the fragile paper

Once backed, posters can be restored. Some common restorations include piece in and color. Piece in uses old paper scrap to fill in paper losses. The addition is sanded to make it the same thickness as the poster, at which time it can be colored to blend in.

Restoration of color is done using acid free water color, watercolor pens, and colored pencils. Posters can lose pigment for a variety of reasons – folds, wear, sunlight and oxidation are some of them.

Optional additional services include washing, bleaching, and micro- trimming rough margins.

When is backing and restoration appropriate? 

When a poster has value, either monetary, historical, or sentimental

When a poster has been compromised in some way- torn, folded, water damaged

With advertising posters. Linen backing is the industry standard. However with rock posters and movie posters, linen backing is possible but some collectors frown on it.

4th lib before & after logo

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris,
Owner of Vintage European Posters
Founded 1997
Visit our collection of original advertising posters on the web
or in our showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, California

Poster References in the DeYoung’s current exhibition “Jewel City – Art from Panama Pacific International Exhibition”

November 17, 2015 § Leave a comment


VEP_logo copy-1

It is always a treat to find references to the ubiquity of posters in paintings. Attending museum exhibits which focus on the past 150 years often include both advertising posters from the period as well as art with life on city streets as it’s subject. If the viewer is attuned to posters, they can be spotted in some of these paintings and photographs.


Panama Pacific International Exposition Poster (via

In the current show at the DeYoung, the obvious poster is the one advertising the fair itself. As is the case with most world’s fair posters, they artist won a poster competition and their design was selected by a committee to advertise the Fair.

The winning design was by Perham Nahl and features the son of Jupiter parting the earth to reveal San Francisco in the background. The poster is quite small- measuring 13 3/8″ x 24″  and the color palette is subtle.

Devambez, André - La Charge (1902)

Andre Devambez – La Charge (1902) (via

The poster within a painting which really struck me though was “The Charge” by Andre Eduoard Devambez. This painting, which is on loan from the Musee D’Orsay is apparently the most famous work by the artist. It features a street scence in Montmarte- a conflict between demonstrators and police, and is painted with an unusual perspective- as if viewed by the painter from above the scene. I was struck by the fact that the street in the scene was dotted with poster kiosks on both sides of the street, and that they serve to punctuate the street. And then I realized the artist’s name was Devambez. Possibly this was a coincidence, but the last name is also that of one of the very famous poster printers, which we have catalogued on numerous occasions. The placard at the DeYoung mentions that Devambez’s family printed the catalogue of French art on view in the French Pavilion at the Exposition. So my hunch that this artist would be from the very same family who printed the legendary posters of Leonetto Cappiello among others grew stronger.


Veuve Amiot by Leonetto Cappiello 1922 (via

It turns out that the Devambez printing house was established long before the hey day of Cappiello. Eduoard Devambez was himself an artist, and his print house was highly respected for it’s work with engraving, copper plate etching, typography, lithography, calligraphy, book binding, stamping and won awards at world’s fairs. Devambez was awarded the prestigious work of printing presentation books, menus for visiting foreign monarchs and became the official engraver for the Royal family of Portugal.

It is Eduard Devambez’s son who created “The Charge” in 1902. While I was studying the painting at the DeYoung, a docent led tour came into the gallery, and we learned about how the paintings for the French Pavilion at the Pan Pacific made their harrowing journey to San Francisco.

Of course a worlds’s fair- like an Olympics- is planned for by its host city and by participants for years ahead of the actual event. The art slated for display at the French Pavilion had already been discussed, when war broke out on July 28, 1914.

Much of World War I was fought on the open ocean, so transporting goods across the Atlantic was tricky. Munitions and supplies were the priority, and those shipments were targets. France was eager to keep its word to display art at the Pan Pacific Exposition, and to show the superiority of their artists. This, coupled with the fact that many precious artworks in French museums were being crated up and hidden from possible theft, made sending the works oversea an even greater imperative.

So how was it done? The allies made use of what was called the Christmas Ship. This ship was packed with clothing, toys and food donated by American children and intended for British and Belgian children as a goodwill gesture. The ship was unloaded at a number of ports in Europe. Amid great secrecy, the Christmas Ship was loaded with precious works of art destined for the 1915 Pan Paciifc Worlds Fair in San Francisco. Because of the opening of the Panama Canal, the journey was shortened by 8,000 miles.

This blog post was written by Elizabeth Norris, principal of Vintage European Posters. Please visit the Vintage European Posters website to view our extensive collection of original advertising posters.

Our showroom at 2201 Fourth Street is open

Tuesday- Sunday for the 2015 Holiday Season.

(closed on Thanksgiving)

Shop Hours 11-6 Saturdays

                        11-5 other days