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What makes an Original Vintage Poster?

If you are looking to invest in an authentic vintage poster and are wondering how you can tell an original vintage poster from a reproduction poster, we’ve pulled together this checklist.

4 Signs A Vintage Poster Is An Original

Original vintage posters from pre World War Two were printed using stone lithography.

These posters were produced for hanging 70 plus years ago, but for some reason weren’t hung. So poster dealers discover original vintage posters tucked away in attics and sheds, from other collections and buy from other dealers.

Linen Backed Vintage Posters

Due to the fragile nature of the paper and their size (sometimes up to 1600 x 2000mm), many will be presented for sale mounted on a linen backing. This gives the poster stability and helps protects its longevity.

High Wax Content in Paint

The lithographs were produced using a paint with a high wax content, so the poster will feel greasy (similar to the feel of a crayon drawing). The wax content helped to make the posters more durable in the outdoors.

Registration Marks on Original Posters

The process of creating a lithograph required precision alignment of three coloured ‘stones’, and as a result an original poster will have registration marks showing where the three layers of the print were aligned.

Look for the Artist’s Signature

Vintage Posters were designed and created by recognized and renowned poster artists. The posters were signed by the artist in the same way that any original piece of art bears the artists signature.

Buying an Original Vintage Poster is an affordable way to acquire an original piece of art. And a great way to bring colour and graphical design elements into a room. Just make sure you make sure you request a certificate of authenticity from the dealer you buy from.

3 Things to consider when buying a Reproduction Vintage Poster

Reproduction Posters that are produced via digital printing are more affordable than an original piece, so your considerations are mainly aesthetic -

  • Think about the style that you like and suits your look. There are lots of different colour palettes in vintage posters – from bold and colourful through to strong monochromatic pieces. Choose a design you love.
  • The other great thing about reproduction vintage posters is that they come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll be able to choose the size that best fits your space. Smaller reproductions of the original large format pieces are great for apartment decorating.
  • Finally – think about framing options – if you by a standard sized reproduction poster it will be easier to find an off the shelf frame to present it in. Custom framing options are great, but they do add to the overall cost of the finished piece.
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