Vintage resources, etc

General art-related discussion.
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:52 am

I've often joked that there are only five vintage poster collectors on EB, but I'm noticing a lot of people who have an interest and don't know where to get information. I thought this thread could be a place for experienced folks to share the resources they use; books, web sites, etc. Where do you find your posters and information? How do you determine the authenticity? What got you started and how did you progress? What to collect, blah, blah, blah.

I'm not a long time collector, I've only been at it about three years. I spent hours doing google searches trying to learn about and find good sources for information and still do :wink: . Not to bash EB, it has lots of posters listed in the database. (It was a Google search that brought me here). For the newer collectors looking for values, the information here is pretty outdated and not complete. (My opinion, your mileage may vary!) Like collecting any other type of poster, it shouldn't be all about value, I'm just saying values generally go up over time so if you look at the EB graph and see a poster you like with a six month average of $x, that might be what is was generally going for three or four years ago, not today.

I digress; here are a couple of web sites that provide at least basic information on lots of posters, handbills and postcards. These are the two sites that I started with. They also sell and I've bought from all of them. Personally, I think these are all trustworthy sellers regarding authenticity.

http://www.classicposters.com./. Mike, the guy that owns/runs this site is super cool. I have bugged him over the years and he has never made me feel like a burden. He always responds to emails quickly and is just an all around nice guy. You'll notice an Auction link on the home page. There's an auction several times a year and one can often get good deals on rare and cool pieces. One can also see posters go for $15,000 on really rare items that may not be seen anywhere else and are certainly not available on a regular basis.

http://www.sixtiesposters.com/. This one is similar to ClassicPosters, although I'm noticing less stock available than there used to be. It too has an auction several times a year. It took me a while to learn you need to click "The Heart of Rock and Roll" to link to the auction site. Again, more rare and cool goodies in every auction. This auction has made much more of a transition to modern posters. There's still lots of oldies, but you can see Chuck Sperry, Derek Hess, Emek, etc in these auctions most of the time.

A site that has most early Fillmore (BG - Bill Graham) and FD (Family Dog) material is Wolfgangsvault: http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/memorabilia/
. The prices are generally higher than you'll find other places, but they have a lot of early material in stock. I beleive they own the rights to Bill Graham's estate and bought the inventory of someone who had a poster shop in San Francisco (Ben Friedman?). Wolfgang's carries more than just BG/FD items, but those constitute their primary focus. Since they own the rights to Bill Graham's estate, they can and do reprint some of the Fillmore posters. This is a great way for folks to get an "official" copy of cool art, without paying an arm and a leg. These reprints generally sell for very reasonable prices. I don't find these reprints to be "collectable", but sometimes who cares! It beats $5,000-$10,000 for a first print.

Here are some books that I found useful and fun to look at/read. The Bible for Bill Graham, Family Dog and now Vulcan Gas Company posters/handbills/postcards is Eric King's Collector's Guide to Psychedelic Rock Concert Posters... Eric has gone into GREAT detail regarding how to determine which printing a particular piece is. An extra dot may be the difference between a first and second print; and the difference between $125 and $1,500! It's not a book for entertaining reading, but it's invaluable to serious collectors. (Similar information can be found at the three web sites listed above although not in as much detail.) There are some minor differences in opinion between experts on some items. But most of that disagreement seems to have passed and there is general consensus now. (I think only the most anal collector is affected by these discussions, but that's just me.)

A couple of other books that are more fun to read and especially see pictures are The Art of Rock, by Grushkin, ISBN 0-89659-584-6; The Art of the Fillmore, by Lemke, ISBN 1-888358-09-2; and High Art, by Owen, ISBN 1-86074-256-4. The last has a good section on British posters, Martin Sharp, Hapshash, etc. These are all GREAT coffee table books IMHO.

Ok, before this post becomes a book, let's see if anyone else posts to determine if there's any interest in this whole topic. Experinced folks, please help out. New collectors and want-to-be vintage collectors post up your questions and/or concerns. Let's make that five folks 500 :shock:
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earlgreytoast
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:53 am

thanks man, awesome post. :clap:
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:57 am

Thanks! I joined EB like two years ago and only made my first post a few months ago. Although I like some of the new art I don't know anything about it so don't feel "qualified" to post about it. The oldies are more my style and passion so I'm hoping to help convert/introduce some people to what I find very cool stuff.
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Rick_a_c
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:24 am

Nice thread topic, Pez. I hope it runs a healthy life!
The Art of Rock is definitely the bible, along with Eric King's Guide (for BG & FD & NeonRose).
These are THE two "must have's" for anyone who's serious about vintage 60's/70's music art.
I always defer to someone who's wearing a beater, regardless of what else he's wearing.
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Rick_a_c
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:30 am

Just a thought:

Outside of 60's/70's Bay Area music posters, consider the following to really get your arms around the topic at hand:

* The round posters from the Kaleidoscope in L.A.
* The handbills from the Grande Ballroom in Detroit
* Hapshash & The Colored Coat posters from England (including the aewsome screenprint reprints done by S.F. Art Lab and signed by H&TCC)
* Gunter Kieser from Germany

There are certainly others, but these are a great foundation.
I always defer to someone who's wearing a beater, regardless of what else he's wearing.
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:57 am

Great point Rick. To me, one of the most overwhelming aspects for a new collector is where to start, what to collect; there's so much available. Obviously, it's best to collect art/images you feel a connection to or simply like for the "art". I know when I started I planned to collect the full BG and FD series; yeah right! There's just too much; 289 in the BG series, which does not count other Fillmore posters, just the official BG numbered items and something like 167 Family Dog numbered pieces. Again, that doesn't include un-numbered, but Family Dog produced/involved events, etc items.

ClassicPosters has a search option to help narrow results to a band, venue, artist, etc. Collect a specific artist. The big five (Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, and Alton Kelley) get most of the love and they are certainly worthy of high praise. But, there are others Bonnie Maclean (Bill Grahams wife for a time), David Byrd, Randy Tuten, Mark Behrens, Lee Conklin and the list goes on.

Surprisingly, to me at least, there was cool vintage stuff produced for events in just about every state; pick a state and collect events held there. Some of this material is very rare, but not necessarily in high demand, probably because it's relatively undocumented and can be obtained for a decent price. Then again, it may demand a premium because it is relatively unknown. Buy from reputable sellers and you'll generally be ok.

eBay actually has a lot material available, but much of it is fake. That's where the resources above come in. Ask the seller how they're determining the print is original. I don't know how many listing I see along the lines, "I inherited a collection from my uncle Joe...". When these are legit sellers and not scammers, they often don't know what they have. If you can ask specific questions (per Eric Kings guide, for example) you can help reduce the uncertainty regarding which printing the piece might be. I doubt you're ever 100% safe with eBay, but there are treasures there from time to time. The general rule of "If it seems too good to be true it probably is" certainly applies. Read the listing descriptions closely. Sometimes you have to read a bunch before you get to the line stating the piece is not authentic.
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:45 am

Rick and fredo made a good point in another thread regarding collecting vintage material. For starters, maybe collecting handbills/postcards is a good starting point. The images are generally the same as the poster versions, but at much lower prices. Framing is cheaper, you can display more and so on. Some advertising was done with handbills/postcards only, no posters at all. Some examples:
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ackirkpatrick
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:37 pm

When I was first introduced to the limited paper mayne, it started with vintage posters. All of the numbers in the title, reproductions, and cost scared me a little, the newer stuff has just been easier to understand. Alas my adhd has kicked in and I'm ready to expand my interests, I expect my focus to be on specific musicians (ones that have toured recently or that I can still have some type of a connection to, as I didn't grow up in that era). I'm also interested in some of the history that will go along with the posters and having stories to accompany the art.

Currently my best story for modern posters is "I wore out the f5 button on that one" or "man look at that shiny ink" or "from what i remember that was a good show"

I'm all in and ready spend some dollas
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:43 pm

ackirkpatrick wrote:I'm all in and ready spend some dollas
That can easily be accomplished :wink:
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ackirkpatrick
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:04 pm

Does the condition of the poster follow the same standards as modern posters? Or how would you break down acceptable flaws that would correspond with different poster conditions?

Very Good Condition
Good Condition
Crap Condition
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Pezlar
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:26 pm

ackirkpatrick wrote:Does the condition of the poster follow the same standards as modern posters? Or how would you break down acceptable flaws that would correspond with different poster conditions?

Very Good Condition
Good Condition
Crap Condition
I think this topic is the same for vintage posters as it is for modern paper; it comes down to individual definitions. I'm fairly strict, I don't think Mint exists. Here's my personal grading scale:

* NM (near mint): no flaws
* NM- (near mint minus): no tears, stains, tack holes although there might be slight handling, aging or toning. A single "pin hole" per corner might still allow NM-, but not the larger tack holes and certainly no issues with the image area.
* EX (excellent): still really good, but more of the issues under NM-. Multiple holes in the margins (including staple or tack holes), short tears in the border, etc. Very little and minor damage to the image area allowed.
* VG+ (very good plus): creases or handling marks extending into the image area, larger number and size of tack holes and tears in the border, stains, etc. The image area, although it may be affected, should still be pretty darn good and the number of issues affecting it should be limited.
* VG (very good): more extensive damage to the image area including tears, tape pulls, scratches, etc. Very good is not really very good, but the poster is complete. With really rare items, this might be the best available.
* G (good): Mostly complete, but there might actually be missing pieces of paper, especially in the corners. This is generally, in my view, not an acceptable condition except for super rare stuff; but if the price is right, I like the image, and it's a rare piece I'd accept this condition some times.

I then use the following to determine values, once establishing a NM standard:
NM = 100% of NM value
NM- = 90%
EX = 85%
VG+ = 80%
VG = 50%
G = 25%

I'm really interested in what standards others use in grading and valuation. This is just what I've developed for me personnaly. There's always a premium for top condition posters, especially the more rare they are.
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jools
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:41 pm

Rick_a_c wrote: * Hapshash & The Colored Coat posters from England (including the aewsome screenprint reprints done by S.F. Art Lab and signed by H&TCC)
I was just lookin at those reprints the other night - i love the soft machine print but the original is way outta my league
Image

this thread is awesome
"Just because you have Illustrator doesn't mean you are one." - VonDada
http://www.gigposters.com/forums/poster ... oster.html
Image
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ackirkpatrick
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:09 pm

This will be my first I do believe. Especially with the connection to my favorite movie.
Image
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Rick_a_c
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:12 pm

Hey jools,
That reprint of the Softs is outstanding. The paper is heavy rag, the silver inks are metallic and the screenprint quality is top notch. I snagged mine direct from SFAL on a trip to S.F. years ago just after they finished the project and were selling them online. The entire series of reprintys are worthy of being in a serious collection.
I always defer to someone who's wearing a beater, regardless of what else he's wearing.
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jools
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Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:26 pm

Rick_a_c wrote:Hey jools,
That reprint of the Softs is outstanding. The paper is heavy rag, the silver inks are metallic and the screenprint quality is top notch. I snagged mine direct from SFAL on a trip to S.F. years ago just after they finished the project and were selling them online. The entire series of reprintys are worthy of being in a serious collection.
I saw it on dking i think, sorely tempted haha, but there are a lot of things on their site i'd wanna get - but first I need to sate my Horkeylust just a little bit more :twisted:
"Just because you have Illustrator doesn't mean you are one." - VonDada
http://www.gigposters.com/forums/poster ... oster.html
Image
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