Frequently Asked Questions
- What does 'Original Vintage Poster' mean? Where do they come from?
The term "Original Vintage Poster" refers to the fact that the poster we are selling is from the time it was first created, and not a reproduction printed later. For example, if a poster is listed on our site as "1925", this is the actual poster created in 1925.
The images that we display are generally at least 50 years old, and originated mostly in Europe. They were used to advertise all manner of things - foods, liquors, entertainment, travel, and others. These vintage posters were commissioned by advertisers, using the best commercial artists of the day. Some of those artists are now very well known. Henri de Toulouse - Lautrec is perhaps the most famous of many great poster artists.
Colorful advertising posters first became popular in the late 1800's. The preferred method of printing, called stone lithography, was developed for vintage posters in Paris by Jules Cheret. It was an exciting art form that brought out colors and graphics, and Paris was transformed into a city full of posters. The kiosks on the streets, the sides of building, and the interiors of stores and restaurants were all used to display these exciting new posters. The popularity of original posters quickly spread throughout Europe and North America.
- What condition are The Ross Art Group's Posters in?
- Almost everything we sell is in excellent condition. Every poster's listing page has a detailed photo of the actual poster, along with a description about the condition and history of the piece. We fully guarantee the authenticity and condition of our items, and each poster we sell come with a signed certificate of authenticity.
- Who collects Original Vintage Posters? What makes them valuable?
The collecting of Vintage Posters was started with the first distribution of the posters themselves. Some art dealers believed they could sell these "advertising" pieces to their customers. They sought out the poster artists and the printers in an effort to secure some over runs. Some dealers and collectors went so far as to remove the posters from their outdoor displays. However, it must be remembered that most of the vintage posters were destroyed in actual use. They were mounted on walls and merely discarded or ripped away when the next new image became available. While Vintage Posters were originally produced in editions that numbered in the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, few survive in their original state. The lithographer's stones did not normally survive past their first printing.
It is the combination of rarity of a poster, condition, artist, and the image itself that will determine the final selling price of an individual poster. Some people purchase Vintage Posters with a specific subject matter, some are looking to work with a particular color scheme, while others prefer the style of a particular artist. At all times, the better the condition of a poster the higher its price. The size of the piece does not always determine the value of a poster.
- Where are Original Vintage Posters Used?
Vintage posters are used in many different ways. In the home many people use these striking images as the focal point of a room, often the living room or family room, but also the kitchen and bedroom as well. In an office setting posters can be used in a lobby, as well as in conference and showrooms. Some businesses use Vintage Posters to promote their own products or just to create an atmosphere pleasing to their clients and employees. Hotels and restaurants use our Vintage Posters to enhance the ambiance of their establishments. Whether it be just one, or a full display of Vintage Posters, they lend themselves to a room setting where people are having a good time.
- What is Linen-Backing?
You may notice that many of our Original Vintage Posters are listed as having been "archivally backed onto linen". This refers to the museum standard process of preserving vintage and antique paper. The poster is treated on its back with acid-free, water soluble methyl cellulose adhesive and affixed onto an acid-free barrier paper that has been joined with linen on its back. This process creates an archival backing for the poster, which protects it from damage in handling and shipping, resists mold and residue, and also helps the poster lay flat within a frame. This process serves to protect the original poster, and often increases its value.
Some of our newer posters may not require this archival backing process, while others may have been printed using a method that does not make linen-backing a safe option (screen-prints, for example, are rarely able to be backed without damaging the poster itself). These items are listed throughout our site as being "printed on paper".
- What sets The Ross Art Group apart?
The Ross Art Group offers extensive product knowledge spanning over 40 years. We stand behind the authenticity and condition of every item that we sell.
We have a full scale Gallery, where clients are welcome to come and view all of our inventory in a pleasant and relaxing setting. We not only sell posters, but we provide one stop shopping by offering a wide range of frames. we not only frame for local clients but can crate and ship our framed items anywhere around the world.
If you cannot visit our gallery in person, we also offer digital design services where we simulate how our poster would look framed in your location. This makes remote buying much more user friendly.
We provide a high level of client service and follow up on all of our sales. We pack and ship our posters ourselves to ensure that you as a client receive the poster quickly and in top condition.
- How do you frame posters?
Many of our customers look forward to framing their new vintage poster, but are unsure of the steps needed to ensure that their poster lasts another hundred years.
Here are some good rules of thumb to follow:
- Never, ever, dry-mount your poster. Although your vintage poster may lay flatter in the frame using this technique, it will permanently impact resale and insurance values. This differs from the completely reversible and archival linen-backing process.
- If you decide to place a mat around your poster, be certain that your framer is using acid-free and conservationist approved matboard. Similarly, an acid-free foam core should be used directly behind your poster inside the frame.
- Either plexiglass or traditional glass may be used on your vintage posters. Plexiglass is what we prefer if the piece is larger than 16x20, for the simple reason that it is significantly lighter in weight. No matter the choice, always be sure to consider a UV coating. This is usually a nominal upgrade that will greatly extend the life of the inks and paper of your poster.
- Since many original vintage posters are very large, we recommend reinforcing the back of the frame's corners. We also do not recommend hanging frames larger than 36" x 48" with wire. Instead, have your framer insert hooks onto each side of the back of the frame. Wires put stress on the frame corners when the piece is too heavy.
- It is fine for your framer to trim the canvas the poster has been mounted to. However, make certain that they do not trim the actual paper of your poster if you are concerned about the long term resale value of the piece.
Lastly, keep in mind that these posters were printed a very long time ago. Not all images are registered perfectly, and this may show up once they are framed. Part of the beauty of a vintage poster is in the imperfections!
Have fun with framing, and be sure to send us a photo of your pieces up in your home!
- How and where do you ship posters?
We do all of our shipping from the Gallery. We do not rely on any outside sources for this task. We ship most posters rolled in a sturdy tube via UPS or FedEx, both domestically and internationally. We ship with ease to any destination around the world. All of our shipments are sent insured and require a signature upon delivery. This ensures that no packages are left unattended or at the wrong address. We usually ship out orders within 2 business days. All of our posters are sent out with a signed certificate of authenticity included. We also send each client an email advising them of the tracking number of their shipment. We take a great deal of pride in the high level of our client service and our packing and shipping is an integral part of that service. You can find more information on our shipping policies here.