Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Vintage Poster?
At the end of the nineteenth century, due to technological advances in the lithographic printing process, large, full-colour pictorial posters began to be produced on a scale never witnessed before. Posters were found throughout the city streets, on the windows of shops and cafés and in train stations and other public spaces. This thrilling new medium meant that competition to capture the attention of the passer by increased and the industry thrived. Celebrated artists, printers and companies spent significant energy and time on their design and quality to reach a broad and diverse public.
The life span of a poster was usually short as they were often destroyed and discarded when replaced by the next poster. As a result, original vintage posters are rare, as very few from the original print-run were kept back and looked after.
Vintage lithographic posters are collectible works of art in their own right and their place in art history is well established and documented.
Collectors are drawn to vintage posters for a rich variety of reasons: they are highly evocative of their era and location, they impart a critical understanding of the development of graphic art and they have immediate impact; their original function being to stimulate, distract and communicate in an instant. This combination of cultural significance and visual appeal gives the poster a very unique place in the eye of a collector.
How can you tell that a poster is original?
Various factors help us determine if a work is original, including the printing method, the provenance, the dimensions and our market knowledge. Tomkinson Churcher have 35 years combined experience of working with posters, our experience and expertise means that you can be assured that all our vintage posters are originals as detailed in their descriptions.
Do you offer a guarantee or certificate of authentication?
We guarantee that all our posters are from the original print run. Your receipt (sent to you with the shipment) should be kept and can act as a certificate of authenticity.
How do you Ship?
Posters are usually transported rolled in a sturdy tube and fixed in a way to prevent sliding and rubbing against the packing materials or tube. We suggest a smooth, non-abrasive tissue and bubble wrap.
We charge the following prices for packing and shipping via a courier for up to three standard size posters. The fee will be added to your total before you check out:
- United Kingdom £25
- European Union £50
- U.S.A and ROW (including Switzerland) £120
We will process your order within 5 to 10 business days. Please let us know if you require anything urgently and we will do our best to meet your needs.
Where possible, we try to recycle all packaging so please forgive the appearance of some of our tubes!
Customs and import taxes
Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. We are not responsible for delays due to customs.
How does your condition grading system work?
As all of the items we sell are original, many will show some signs of age or use. Posters, by their nature, were made to last for just a few months, designed to fulfil a specific function rather than last the test of time. All of which means that an original poster is likely to have some imperfections.
Our condition grading system ranks works from A to C. We will always draw attention to significant flaws and are happy to provide further information and/or images if required.
A: Item is in excellent condition for age, with bright colour, no loss and minimal creasing or other imperfections.
B: Item is in good condition for age. There may be small losses, pin holes and folds.
C: Item is in poor condition, but not beyond restoration. Item may have fading, discolouration, significant loss or tears.
How should I care for my poster?
It is important to keep your poster is good condition so that it can be enjoyed for years to come and to ensure that the value is retained. Works on paper are inherently fragile, but can easily and effectively be protected from damage.
Backing and Conservation
Posters can be backed on to linen or Japanese tissue paper. These materials should be pH neutral and use water soluble glues only so that the processes are reversible. Avoid using self-adhesive tapes these are extremely difficult to remove and can stain. Never trim or cut your poster, even if it has white margins. Trimming can decrease the value of the piece. A poster should never be dry mounted on to board.
Good quality mounting and framing is one of the most effective methods of preserving and caring for your poster. Consider UV glass/plexiglass for protection against light. Ideally, your poster should not have any direct contact with the glazing material.
The environment plays a major role in the protection of your work of art. Here are some key environmental factors that you need to look out for and keep in check:
Light – keep out of direct sunlight (especially south-facing light) and high-intensity artificial light. If you decide to frame your print, look into using UV protection glass/plexiglass.
Temperature – keep prints in a cool environment, don’t hang prints near areas that get too hot or cold, like fireplaces, radiators, or air-conditioners.
Humidity – maintain a relative humidity between 35 and 55%; avoid hanging your poster somewhere that is very humid, like a steamy bathroom or next to a humidifier.
When handling your print, try and touch the paper as little as possible. The paper is receptive to oil and moisture in the skin which can leave marks behind.
If your print is not on display it is best stored flat away from light, dirt and humidity.