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Choose Best Vintage Poster for you

What is it about vintage posters that makes them so coveted?

Perhaps there is something inherently attractive about the way they look, with their faded edges, catchy slogans, and bold colors.

Hanging on the wall are time capsules from the past; a rustic reminder forever of a time that no longer exists.

Whatever the reason, vintage posters are all the rage at auction and are popular with bidders.

Do you want to sell? Keep reading to the end as we guide you to find out if you can make money selling your vintage posters at an auction.

First, let’s look at how it all started…

Origin of the poster

paper – poster

The invention of paper was a factor that revolutionized the idea of the poster.

It is difficult to specify which was the first poster in history, but we do know that the cultures of classical antiquity used them to communicate royal laws and decrees to the population.

They were usually written on the wall or carved on stone plates that were placed in visible places.

Two events revolutionized the idea of the poster in history:

The invention of paper by the Chinese, since the sheets of this material, were light, cheap, and ideal for cutting into different sizes. In his case, they were written with brushes and black paint, given his particular writing and calligraphy.

The invention of the printing press in Europe in the fifteenth century, allowed the mechanization of paper inking processes and thus produced not only books faster and more massively but also posters and other types of communications.

poster functions

Posters can be used as protest mechanisms.

Posters fulfill a fundamental function: to inform. In some cases, they provide information for public use, such as precautions or indications. In other cases, the information may aim to promote products or it may be used as a protest mechanism.

In all cases, they are vehicles of a message. In other words, they always have the task of being read by someone and generating a reaction of some kind in that person.

types of posters

Poster – advertising

Advertising posters seek to influence people’s consumption patterns.

Posters can be classified, first of all, based on their informational purpose:

Informative sign. These are those that comply with the transmission of an objective and timely message, that is, they provide specific, specific information. For example, traffic signs indicate the remaining kilometers for a given destination.

Advertising posters. Those that have the task of influencing people’s consumption patterns and disseminating certain products or services, that is, those that are part of advertising. For example, posters advertising a new brand of cleaner, on a highway billboard.

Regulatory posters. This is the name given to those who seek to influence the behavior of the reader or spectator, to make it according to the regulations of the place, or to make them aware of some type of law of conduct that governs it. For example, a sign in a library asking for silence in the reading room.

Promotional posters. Those who aspire to disseminate some non-commercial content among their target audience, such as movie posters, posters for plays, fairs, events, or electoral posters when there is a political campaign, etc.

Artistic or decorative posters. They are the ones that do not have a specific informative function, but rather are harmonic, beautiful, or documentary, so their incorporation into an environment has more to do with aesthetic consideration. For example, an advertising poster from the last century was placed in a restaurant.

Protest posters. Those that are made for social or political agitation, such as those worn by demonstrators at a rally, or those that some groups and social groups adhere to the walls, often with satire and messages of discontent.

Elements that compose it

Posters text image

Many posters can combine textual and graphic elements.

The elements of any poster are usually of two types:

Textual. Written information, either in typeface or by hand, can then be retrieved by viewers.

Graphics. Images, photographs, and other visual elements that accompany the message (or sometimes are the message).

Vintage Posters In History

The most expensive old advertising posters that have been sold at auctions are vintage signs and enamel signs. And, as you’ll soon see in the list below, it’s possible to get some nice tickets by selling them! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular vintage posters that have been sold in recent times.

Hercules Cycles – approx. 1910-1920

Quality and resistance’. Those are certainly two words that describe this striking and bright poster. Well deserving of a wall, there is a certain pride that the image seems to radiate. It was a heroic triumph for the lucky buyer.

BYRRH – around 1900 

When a poster from the 1900s is 100% original and in such great condition as this one, it’s easy to see why it can fetch almost €2,000 at auction. Byrrh is a highly aromatic quinine-containing vermouth that was popular in the late 20th century. With colorful bunches of grapes framing the text, this poster is as delicious as Byrrh itself!

Minerva – 1929 

From 1902 to 1938 Minerva was a Belgian manufacturer of luxury cars. Since the company closed in 1956, owning this plaque is like having a piece of history.

Port and Sherry Sandeman – 1951 

This iconic logo has stood the test of time and is highly recognizable among wine and sherry lovers. This original edition poster is therefore in high demand at auctions. Sandeman posters are certainly very popular, so our #1 best-selling billboard is…

Sandeman Port – 1980s 

This sign was discovered by the seller placed on a fence in the garden of a pub, all covered with ivy. It was only exposed because the owner wanted to renovate the fence, so he was very surprised to come across this hidden treasure. This just goes to show that who knows what you might stumble upon that might be of value!

Is your old sign worth money?

There are a few things to keep in mind when calculating the value of an old antique or enamel sign:

1. StateIs the main design and logo worn or faded? Many old signs have bullet holes from being shot. Others are often rusty or cracked from exposure to the elements. It is something that can affect its value.

2. Visual appeal

Is the sign the kind of thing you’d like to hang in your home? Posters that are quirky, humorous, engaging, or particularly interesting are more likely to fetch more at auction.

3. Scarcity

Is it a unique or special edition poster? For example, a brand like Coca-Cola created many ads, but the most valuable ones are usually the most unusual.  

BTS Print Poster

Bruce Lee Vintage Poster Wall Decor Poster

Taylor Swift Poster – Folklore Album Cover Poster


About Me

Irene Sarumi is the founder of involuntarySASS. She wishes to help people that are trying to define their authentic selves by offering insight and commentary through her unique perspective. Irene spends 90% of her time screaming about most things.

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