ABOUT US     ABOUT FILM POSTERS    ABOUT GRADING    ABOUT BACKING AND FRAMING


linen backing

original film posters





A BIT ABOUT OUR HISTORY

We began our vintage paper odyssey in Islington's Camden Passage in 1993 with one of the first outlets in London dedicated to selling purely vintage and original movie posters and lobby cards.

In 1997 Movie Poster Art Gallery opened in London's West End to introduce this wonderful material to a much wider public than had previously been catered for.

In 2002 we moved to our new gallery at 1 Colville Place London W1 where 2006 saw the ground breaking and highly acclaimed exhibition 'ROCK EXPLOSION!' which introduced our ongoing selection of exciting original rock and pop memorabilia.

ABOUT VINTAGE FILM POSTERS

The key fact to remember about original film posters is that from the earliest days up to at least the 1970's hardly anyone anywhere considered them worthy of admiration let alone preservation.

World War II and its aftermath saw huge quantities of paper recycled, poster distribution warehouses periodically cleared out old material, mice, insects, damp, heat and floods all consumed their share. What has survived worldwide from those many decades is basically the product of luck: discoveries made in old warehouses, empty theatre basements, dusty attics and crucially the foresight of a few unconventional individuals.

Click for a full GLOSSARY explaining film poster sizes, terminology, forgeries and more.


CONDITION AND GRADING

From the above it will be apparent that it's unreasonable to expect movie posters to have survived always in 'as new' condition. The purpose they were made for and the lack of interest shown in them for decades ensures this. Nevertheless, good condition is still attainable on many posters. The degree to which this applies will vary from title to title.

There is no one set of condition gradings in use everywhere - auction houses often use (and abuse!) a simple 'A,B,C' system - on this site you'll find the full version of the most widely accepted grading system:

EXCELLENT (near mint) - almost flawless

VERY FINE - some very slight wear e.g. light fold wear, tiny tears or small pinholes

FINE - slightly more noticeable wear or restoration, but still a copy presenting very well

VERY GOOD - more noticeable wear, possibly requiring a greater degree of restoration. An item graded "very good" is worth asking questions about, as at the upper end of this grade posters can be very acceptable, at the other end best left alone.

GOOD - noticeably rough. Unacceptable unless title is sufficiently rare.

FAIR and POOR - forget it, unless exceptionally rare.

Always bear in mind that grading is a subjective process and that one person's grading of a poster may not be the same as another's. Nevertheless, this system is widely used and should provide the buyer with a useful yardstick. Always feel free to contact us to get a detailed condition report. TOP


LINEN BACKING, RESTORATION and FRAMING

Prior to 1990, the majority of film posters from around the world were folded. Linen backing is the most common way of mounting film posters to flatten them out for best display. Paper Backing is also sometimes used on heavy stock posters. Linen backing also helps stabilise fragile paper and provides a platform for any restoration work that might be necessary (most folded film posters will require some degree of touch-up to the fold lines, as these are by definition an unavoidably weak area). When done properly linen backing offers a safe, conservation friendly, reversible way of mounting valuable paper.

Restoration or touch-up work should also ideally be done with reversible materials, and the buyer should be aware that some restorers, especially in the U.S., are able to disguise very serious flaws with 'invisible' overspraying. A small amount of cosmetic work can have merit in some cases, but it is vital for the person about to part with a substantial amount of money to be sure that what seems 'near mint', really is 'near mint'.

For a detailed description of any item on this site, don't hesitate to contact us. We will always state whether a poster has had restoration work.

NB: WE CAN ADVISE ON AND ARRANGE LINEN BACKING THROUGH OUR OWN STUDIO:
VISIT OUR LINEN BACKING WEBSITE or ring 020 7637 7441 or 020 7636 5391

We offer a full CONSERVATION FRAMING SERVICE on site: Ring Martyn: 020 7636 5391
To learn more about conservation framing for film posters and to see the Framing Department's full website
CLICK HERE

 ⋅ CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL POSTER CATALOGUE ⋅ 

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