In the News: Why vintage posters make brilliant Christmas gifts
Before the advent of television, posters were the most effective and broad-reaching medium for advertising and propaganda. Designed to grab the attention of people passing by, posters presented artists with the challenge of distilling a commissioned message into minimal words with maximum visual impact.
Some of the designers achieved this goal by creating spectacular designs that exuded warmth, comfort and style; others rallied the masses to new victories in war and peace. Being topical, posters absorbed and reflected the prevailing and changing art styles and fashions at a rapid pace and became part of the avant-garde art movement.
They were meant to be displayed temporarily on walls and discarded. For this reason, not many survived and this makes them highly collectable.
Today original vintage posters make a great statement and ideal Christmas presents. With such a variety of subject matter, styles and colour schemes, they can work in modern offices, apartments, Victorian houses, or children’s rooms. Posters can often trigger emotional responses, appealing to our sense of nostalgia and happy memories of childhood, travel, or hobbies, such as the Austrian art deco skiing poster above.
The other benefit is that their wide price range suits any budget. They make a fantastic talking point and a sound investment – if you get it right.
- Authenticity is a key factor in determining and maintaining the value of your poster. Consult a specialist dealer so you can be sure you’re buying an original and not a reproduction print.
- Art Deco posters are very stylish and have a strong collector base. They look fantastic in modern homes and maintain their value.
- Designs that represent good investments include ski posters for their timeless appeal and cinema posters, especially Oscar winners, popular actors and cult classics (such as James Bond).
- Posters from the 1950 and 60s can be a great entry point into collecting as the designs are often bright, bold and quirky.
- Make sure that the poster is reasonably good condition without significant losses, stains or tears. They can be restored but, depending on the extent of restoration required, this will add cost to your purchase. Avoid posters that are backed on board or posters that are laminated as this decreases their value.
When hanging, keep framing simple. Most poster designs are bright and colourful and don’t need any additional boost or distraction.
A simple black frame works well in separating the poster from the background. Non-reflective glass will allow it to be seen to its best effect and, like all artwork, they should never be displayed in direct sunlight.
With little of that about in December, it’s the ideal time of year to choose, share and enjoy these pieces of history. – Homes & Antiques
Is Christmas always an exciting time for you?
The build up to Christmas is always busy for us. Posters are ideal for someone looking to give something more memorable and special. They can be tailored to a person’s interest; for example, a favourite film, holiday destination, sport or as a fun gift relating to their job or hobby, and we get quite a lot of orders.
What do you think will make you stand out this Christmas?
We are putting together a winter related poster exhibition – Let It Snow – at our gallery opening in November, which should generate some seasonal interest. A lot of the posters that will be on display are from the 1930s-50s and show a glam side to winter travel.
If you had to select one must-buy item from you, what would it be and why?
We have nearly 2,000 unique original posters in stock and it would be challenging to pick only one. My personal favourite at the moment is a fun Guinness poster – Guinness When You’re Tired – featuring a pint of Guinness sitting with hands crossed and a big smile on the creamy foam. It always makes me smile.
If you had three wishes this Christmas what would they be? It would be nice to have a bit of snow (but not too much). No disruptions to the public transport would be a bonus. Plenty of festive R&R with the family after the Christmas rush. – The Resident
AntikBar, 404 King’s Road, London SW10 0LJ.
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm; Saturday 11am-6pm (by appointment only on Sundays and Bank Holidays) / Christmas and New Year: the gallery will be open on 24 December 11am-3pm then closed from 25 December until 6 January.
Visit our website at www.AntikBar.co.uk to browse all our original vintage posters from around the world – cinema, travel, advertising, sport, war, propaganda. For more News & Events, images and updates, follow us on:
AntikBar is a Member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers’ Association (IVPDA), the London Art Deco Society (LADS) and The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA).