What defines original vintage posters?

When we refer to a poster as "original," it signifies that it originates from the initial or primary printing run. It's important to note that being original does not necessarily imply uniqueness or exclusivity, as advertising posters are often produced in large quantities. Instead, the term "original" indicates that the poster is an authentic piece from the specific time period mentioned on the product page, featuring the artist's signature or located within the image's margin.

What were the typical sizes of print runs?

In general, print runs for posters ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand copies. However, when it comes to collecting, the size of the print run itself is less significant or captivating compared to the number of posters that have actually survived over time. Posters, being ephemeral in nature, were primarily created for advertising purposes. They were meant to be displayed outdoors for a limited period, exposed to the elements, eventually torn down or covered by subsequent posters. As a result, it is challenging to track the exact number of posters that remain in circulation today.

What were the methods used for printing posters?

Various printing techniques were employed, considering factors such as speed, simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and image quality.

During the 1880s, a notable breakthrough in the technical production of printed materials occurred with the introduction of color stone lithography. This innovation enabled the rapid and voluminous printing of colorful posters. In modern times, the primary technology utilized for poster printing is offset lithography, which emerged in the United States following World War I. In France, this faster production method gained significant popularity from the 1940s onwards.

Why do you have a large number of French posters?

There are several reasons for the abundance of French posters in our collection. Firstly, the French language is spoken in various regions such as Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, and others, contributing to the wide distribution of French posters.

During the early 20th century, France boasted a sizable middle class with both an interest in and financial means to invest in art. While owning a painting might have been beyond their reach, many individuals in France embraced colorful posters as a form of artistic expression and collected them to adorn their homes. By 1880, Paris had a thriving poster scene, with over forty significant dealers and numerous poster exhibitions. The influence of posters was so profound that costume parties were organized, where attendees would dress up as figures depicted in the posters adorning the streets.

Additionally, the prevalence of posters in France can be attributed in part to the practice of officially assigning designated spaces for posting proclamations. This led to the idea of treating posters in a similar manner, resulting in their widespread dissemination. In Vienna, for example, open sewer vents were covered with metal pipes, creating new platforms for billposters who covered them entirely with their printed ephemera. Soon after, Paris adopted a similar approach.

The French culture has a long-standing tradition of second-hand shops and weekly flea markets, providing a platform for the trade of posters. As the turn of the century approached, many collectors found themselves running out of space to display their growing collections. This contributed to the creation of "L'Art du Maitre de l'Affiche" (The Masters of the Poster), a publication initiated by Jules Chéret, considered the Father of the Modern Poster. Subscribers would receive four prints per month, showcasing the best posters of that period.

These factors combined have resulted in a significant presence of French posters within our collection.

How do you come across vintage posters in excellent condition?

When we discover vintage posters in remarkable condition, it often indicates that they were never utilized due to various reasons. One common scenario is when there were print overruns or minor printing errors. In certain instances, printers may have produced double the intended quantity for clients who frequently reordered their posters. This practice proved advantageous for printers as the primary costs involved in printing were related to lithographic stone preparation, setup time, and labor. By doubling the print runs, printers could generate substantial profits from clients who placed subsequent orders. However, this approach carried its own risks, as miscalculations by printers could result in excess inventory.

These circumstances, such as print overruns or printing errors, occasionally led to the preservation of posters in pristine condition. By remaining unused, they avoided wear and tear that would have occurred if they had been posted or displayed. As a result, these posters have managed to retain their original quality and charm over time.

What does poster and print conservation and restoration entail?

At the Poster Museum, we collaborate with conservators to ensure the restoration of posters when necessary. We handle the delicate paper with great care, employing high-quality acid-free materials to achieve the best presentation and long-term preservation of these valuable documents. The restoration process begins by conducting a thorough examination of the poster, identifying any tape or writing, and pinpointing areas that require special attention due to wear and tear.

For conservation purposes, we employ a technique called linen backing, which involves a three-step process. Initially, a canvas is stretched over a large screen, akin to preparing a painting. Next, acid-free paper is applied to the back of the poster using wheat paste. Finally, the poster is placed on top of the paper and firmly rolled, after which it is left to dry for a minimum of one week.

In instances where portions of the original document are missing, we make every effort to match and replace those areas with suitable paper, ensuring a seamless restoration. If required, we also add color to the replaced sections to ensure a cohesive appearance.

Through these meticulous conservation and restoration practices, we aim to revive and preserve the posters' original splendor, safeguarding their historical significance for future generations to appreciate.

How did you manage to acquire such a remarkable collection of posters?

Philip has been dedicated to collecting posters since the 1970s, sourcing them from diverse locations around the world.

Why do posters hold value?

Posters have been cherished and collected since their appearance on the streets. In the present day, they are highly sought after by collectors worldwide. The value of posters stems from several factors.

Firstly, posters are valued for their inherent beauty, which has played a significant role in their preservation despite their original purpose as ephemeral items.

Secondly, advertising posters were typically printed only once, as print houses commonly reused lithography stones. After a print run concluded, the original design on the stone would be removed, allowing for the creation of new posters.

The value of a specific poster is often determined by several criteria, including the artist, rarity, condition, and subject matter. Posters possess value because they were produced in limited quantities, and many were discarded or suffered from deterioration over time. As the popularity of a particular poster grows, so does the number of interested buyers, inevitably driving up its value.

Do vintage posters increase in value?

Yes, there has been a steady increase for the last 40 or more years.

How are vintage posters usually displayed?

We recommend that you frame your vintage poster professionally. A framer will mount a poster to a piece of acid free foam core board with acid free tape and a hinge. Once mounted the poster is then ready for framing using a moulding of your choice. Plexiglas is our preferred treatment as it reduces the weight and the chance of damage due to breakage. UV plexiglas is also recommended as this will protect the poster from uv damage. The Poster Museum offers framing in store and to New York residents only.


Can I change or Cancel my order?

We except cancellations as long as we are notified prior to shipment which usually occurs 1 to 3 business days after payment. If you wish to cancel your order please contact us immediately via email or telephone and have ready your order number.

What are my payment options?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Diners, Discover, JCB and American Express.

What Currency is the site in?

All prices are defaulted in US dollars. 


 Where is The Poster Museum Located?

The Poster Museum is located in New York City at the following address:

122 Chambers St

New York, NY


 Do the pieces include taxes?

No, If we ship within New York State we must collect 8.875% sales tax.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we ship to most international countries.

Shipping fees?

Shipping fees vary from country to country. For US shipments we charge a flat rate of $20 USD, while international prices vary. Please note that this does not include country taxes or duties which may or may not be incurred from your country's border custom control agency.

Does The Poster Museum insure all shipments?

Yes, all shipments are insured in case of loss or damage.

Tracking Orders

All international shipments can be tracked using the tracking code included in a confirmation email we will send after payments have been processed.

When will my order be shipped?

Orders are usually processed and shipped in 1 to 3 business days after the order date.

How do I know that my order has been shipped?

We will send a confirmation email when the order has been shipped which will include a tracking number and link to the post office website.

How long will shipping take? 

Shipping durations vary from country to country, however, one can usually expect to receive their parcel within 7-14 days.

How do I track my order?

The confirmation email will give you your tracking number along with a link to the post office website. Follow the prompts on the website to obtain your tracking information.


What is you return policy?

When choosing a poster it is important to bear in mind its historical and original quality as most posters are extremely old and were never made to last. While, the majority of our posters are in extremely good condition, having been conserved and linen backed, many posters will undoubtedly show aging in the form of slight nicks and tears. Please inspect the poster carefully before making a purchase by using the zoom function that is available on each product page. Clicking on the image will increase its size where you have the ability to then zoom-in even further. This function gives you the ability to see up close and in full detail the posters true condition. This is one of the most important features on the website as it allows our customers to make informed decisions on the poster that best suits their needs. While, we believe that minor tears and folds are marks of time and reveal its true nature as ephemera, we also understand that sometimes things just don't work out. In such circumstance a full refunded can be made as long as the following guidelines are adhered to:

  • We accept returns 7 days after the delivery, after this time all sales are considered final.
  • The piece must be returned in the same original condition.
  • The return shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer.

How do I proceed if I want to make a return?

Please call or Email us within 48 hours after receiving the poster. 

When will my purchase be refunded?

After we have inspected the returned item we will process the refund within 1-3 days.

What if my purchase is damaged?

Keep the tube or packing and contact us and the shipping company immediately.