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The value of posters

Factors that determine the value of a poster

1. Quality of the design

Every designer had his good and not-so-good days, or even a period in which he excelled. The pre-war work of A.M. Cassandre for example is much more in demand than what he produced after World War II.

2.  Reputation of the artist

Some artists achieve high prices for anything they designed. Illustrated bookcovers and sheet music by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec or Alphonse Mucha are in high demand.

3. Period

Posters from the period before 1940 as a rule are more sought after than postwar images (although the atomic age/Eames era is rapidly becoming popular). Certain movements such as Bauhaus are in very high demand.

4. Subject

Certain subjects are more popular than others. There are many enthusiasts for shipping, automobile and wintersports related posters.

5. Condition

Posters were never meant to be collected. Large numbers were pasted on walls, after which sun and rain did their jobs. Subsequently they are being found in varying condition. Some disappeared in a dark drawer and resurfaced decades later in the same perfect condition.

6. Numbers surviving

The smaller the number of surviving posters, the higher the price. Problem is however that nobody knows how many copies of a specific poster have lived through present day. Some are very common and appear at auction several times a year, others turn up only once in a lifetime.