World record price stuns the collectibles world!
This Grateful Dead FD-26 concert poster graded 9.8 by CGC realized a record $118,750 on 11/16/19
The collectibles world was stunned when a Grateful Dead Skeleton and Roses FD-26 concert poster graded Near Perfect 9.8 realized $118,750 on November 16, 2019. The record far exceeded the previous record of $56,400 for a CGC graded 9.8 specimen that was sold by Psychedelic Art Exchange earlier this year.
The poster was designed by legendary concert poster artists Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse and was created to promote two performances by the Grateful Dead at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, California, on September 16th and 17th, 1966.
Here’s what we believe the market is telling us with this record price:
1) Collectors LOVE CGC graded concert posters!
It’s an undeniable fact that millions of collectors are used to, and confident in, the concept of independent third party authentication and grading of collectibles. Whether you’re talking about rare coins, stamps, currency, comic books, baseball card, or diamonds, collectors DEMAND third party authentication and grading.
This is only common sense. When tiny differences in quality lead to HUGE differences in value, it’s simply folly to invest your hard earned money on a collectible based on the opinion of the seller, if third party grading is available.
For the past 2-3 years, we have been reporting from the front lines on what we call The Rock Poster Revolution. This Revolution started about 4-5 years ago with the introduction of CGC graded concert posters and has resulted in literally thousands of new collectors pouring into the marketplace.
2) CGC adds MASSIVE value to concert posters.
It’s an undeniable fact that this record price is DIRECTLY linked to it being graded a near perfect 9.8 by CGC. We believe this poster would have realized $40,000 to $50,000 if it had been sold without CGC grading, and simply with the opinion of the seller and Mr. Mouse, that it was the “best they’ve seen.”
It’s also entirely possible that the current new owner would have NOT BEEN INTERESTED in this poster at ANY price without CGC grading. CGC created this record price by giving bidders the CONFIDENCE to pay up for “the best of the best” and generated the DEMAND from new players in the hobby.
3) The Best of the Best Never Goes Out of Style.
Collecting vintage concert posters isn’t rocket science. It’s not like trying to figure out what company will be the next Google or Amazon. This market is now 50 + years old. Collectors have SO much more information than the trailblazers that were collecting concert posters in 1975, or even 1995.
The market tells you which issues are considered truly Blue Chip. All that’s necessary is the discipline to buy the right issues when they are offered, and the patience to collect over a long time horizon of 10-20 years, or more. If you would like a list of what we consider to be Blue Chip issues, shoot us an email.
4) It’s Even Crazier to Sell Without CGC grading!
It’s easy to immediately understand all the obvious benefits that independent CGC authentication and grading offers buyers. But let’s turn things around for a second and see things from a seller’s perspective.
It’s obvious to anyone that wishes to sell a blue chip concert poster that record prices are generated by CGC grading. (if they are active in the market and understand what’s happening) So if CGC grading is available for the issue being sold ( CGC does NOT currently grade all posters) why would a seller avoid CGC grading, the number one driver of demand and record prices?
The answer should be fairly obvious, the quality or originality is “not quite there”. These posters wind up being sold in venues to buyers where CGC grading is still not considered important. At PAE, we proudly proclaim ourselves, “The Collector’s Friend” We want to be the safe and secure place to buy, sell and learn about vintage concert posters. We require that EVERY poster we sell be accompanied by third party authentication and grading by CGC, if the service is available for that issue.
Again, this policy to us, is simply common sense. We have no interest in being in the opinion business. And we want our buyers to be super pleased, repeat clients. And we want our consigners to enjoy record prices for their posters. EVERYONE wins.
But, make no mistake, this policy costs us a ton of money in the short run.
Every day we return posters to consigners that sent them to us to be auctioned, but are unhappy with the CGC grade that is assigned, or with hidden expert restoration they disclose. These posters get taken out of the holders and sold through other venues where third party authentication is consider unimportant.
So next time someone tells you a poster is the “best of the best”, ask yourself, “according to who?” And if CGC grading is not available, ask yourself, “what guarantee of satisfaction s being offered by the seller?”
There is no Santa Claus in concert poster collecting, but if you follow a few simple rules and use basic common sense, this a rapidly growing, emerging market that offers many gifts of it’s own!
I decided to learn everything I possibly could from the most successful and ethical investor in the world, Mr. Warren Buffett. I realized I was no financial genius, but I was highly confident that most of Mr. Buffett's rules for success in the stock market could be readily applied to my area of expertise: the buying and selling of rare collectibles.
Over the past 35 years, I have purchased rare coins for $100,000 that are now worth $2,000,000, bought unique stamps for $25,000 that are now worth $250,000 and even paid (twice) to have lunch with Warren Buffett.
I firmly believe there's absolutely no reason to re-invent the wheel when it comes to success. It's far easier to learn the lessons from legendary businessmen that have already graduated from "The School of Hard Knocks." You can save a lot of time and heartache that way.
I have read every book and magazine article I could find on Warren Buffett. I have read every one of Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, and I've faithfully attended his yearly meetings in Omaha, Nebraska for the past 15 years.
In 2000 and 2001 I even went as far as paying $20,000 to have lunch with Warren Buffett (when I have a goal, I go after it!), so I could personally have him answer all of my last remaining questions on his rules for success. Of course, people thought I was crazy at the time (you paid $20,000 for lunch???), but this was unquestionably the smartest money I've ever spent.
And now that lunch with Mr. Buffett goes for over $4.5 million (no, that is not a typo) — an appreciation of over 225 times my cost – I can also argue that this was the best investment I've ever made!
Advice worth its weight in gold!
Here's what Mr. Buffett told me, and how my clients and I are following his advice to maximize the most significant collectibles opportunity I have ever seen:
1. Buy quality.
Quality is remembered and appreciated long after the price is forgotten.
Follow this golden rule! It's critical to understand that sophisticated collectors always want the very best. For these savvy folks, price is secondary, and quality comes first. Museum-quality will always be highly sought after and become increasingly desirable while run-of-the-mill variety will never rise above dull and unexciting.
2. Buy for the long term.
…with the idea of holding forever.
Rare collectibles are scarce and all but impossible to find. It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to track down top tier material. You must realize that what you sell today could very well be impossible to replace at any price tomorrow. When you buy the best, it just keeps getting better. So think long term, every successful collector I have ever heard about or worked with has embraced this strategy.
3. Patience is critical.
Wait for the perfect pitch, right down the middle of the plate.
This one's going to be tough for you to follow because it involves fighting human nature. The posters we recommend are tough to find, and our client's demand far exceeds what small supply we can locate.
I urge you to resist the temptation to rush out and acquire items that are inferior in quality and desirability. It's easy to place funds in second-tier material because these items are always readily available. Don't do it; you'd be shooting yourself in the foot.
4. When the opportunity presents itself, act quickly and swing for the fences.
I have done everything in my power to illustrate for you why 1960s psychedelic rock concert posters represent one of the most compelling opportunities of all time. But it's not enough to identify an opportunity. It's more important, far more critical, to decisively act on rare opportunities and exploit them to their fullest potential.
The most important call of my entire career
Whatever success I've achieved can be directly attributed to staying focused, with laser-like intensity and discipline, on what I've proven to be one of the best in the world seeking out and discovering the "next big thing in collectibles"!
1960s psychedelic rock concert posters are ultra-rare, historically significant, museum-quality works of art that can be beautifully displayed and are trading for just a tiny fraction of what they should be.
Each week more collectors recognize these poster's unique appeal, each month the appreciation of their rarity in mint condition escalates exponentially, and each year a more significant portion of the small available supply is placed into long term collections, never to appear in the marketplace again.
1. Vintage rock concert posters are dirt cheap and severely undervalued compared to other collectibles.
Right now, you can buy incredibly rare, drop-dead gorgeous works of art in museum-quality, mint condition for under $1,000! You can even purchase most of the very rarest and most famous works of art for well under $10,000!
When you realize that the most desirable rare coins, stamps, and baseball cards start at $100,000 and quickly escalate into the millions, it's easy to understand why my clients and I are putting to work every spare dollar we possibly can at these rock bottom, bargain-basement price levels.
2. Vintage rock concert posters were produced in incredibly small quantities!
All of the works that we're focused on acquiring were originally issued in numbers of 100 to 2500 pieces. In comparison, coins, comics, stamps, baseball cards, and most other collectibles were routinely issued in a range from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions. This is why the world's most savvy collectors are now aggressively snapping up every piece they can track down.
3. Vintage rock concert posters in mint condition are incredibly rare!
Please understand that these works of art were initially produced as advertisements for live events. They were posted on telephone poles, bus stops, bulletin boards, store windows and other places all over town. After the event, they served no purpose, so they were quickly torn down and replaced with a new poster advertising the next big concert.
The only ones interested in this groundbreaking art were teenagers passionate about the bands and music, or hippies that were attracted to the poster's cosmic visual appeal.
Since these free spirits were the only ones collecting at the time, very little (if any) attention was paid to the state of preservation. Any knowledgeable collector will tell you that this is the primary factor in determining the value of any collectible! Very few of these works of art were carefully saved, and it is indeed a miracle that any have survived in mint condition today.
4. Vintage rock concert posters possess tremendous historical importance!
There is a near-unanimous consensus among historians that the 1960s represented the most significant social movement of the 20th century.
Perhaps Jann Wenner, world-famous journalist and Founder of Rolling Stone Magazine recently put it best:
"The culture wars that began in the sixties, about drugs, about military incursions into foreign countries, about sex and human rights, the environment and on and on, are still being fought. All the issues are correct, and they are rooted in the activism of the sixties. The values have not only survived in many ways they are the mainstream values of our times."
These fantastic works of art are, without a doubt, the most authentic historical artifacts of this historical era. Unlike any other collectible or art in the world, they most closely represent and embody the ideals and values that helped shape our nation — then and now. For this reason alone, the appreciation and importance of these unique works of art are guaranteed to grow with each passing year.
5. Vintage rock concert posters are incredibly beautiful!
These works of art must be seen to be believed. Photographs and books simply cannot do them justice. The bold colors, cosmic lettering, and sexy imagery were all designed to stop a viewer in their tracks. Its goal to artistically convey the message that something truly special was going to be experienced at the event being advertised. Indeed, most people today agree that coming into contact with one of these posters is an event unto its self!
The famous concert promoter, the late Bill Graham, had this to say:
"These posters are so much more than historical documents or promotional tools; they are art, as the music itself is art, and in many cases, they are very fine high art."
6. Vintage rock concert posters enjoy a broad base of demand and popularity!
While most collectibles are sought after by small niches of specialized, esoteric enthusiasts, these historical works of art are now becoming sought after by many millions of people around the world! Consider the following:
These rare artworks are sought after by fans of the music. There are literally millions (or tens of millions) of fans that enjoy the music of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Grateful Dead and the dozens of other musical superstars of the Sixties that are featured on these works of art. These fans jump at the opportunity to acquire original, 1960s Mint Condition posters of their favorite artists when they discover that this opportunity actually exists.
These rare artworks are highly sought after by art lovers as treasured keepsakes and conversation pieces for their homes. There are millions of people who actively seek out and acquire unusual and important art purely for its aesthetic appeal, irrespective of its topic. For example, artwork by Alphonso Mucha, Henri De Toulouse Lautrec and other star artists of the Belle Epoque are highly coveted today for their beautiful and historical importance not for the soda pop or shampoo that their posters originally advertised.
These rare artworks are sought after by collectors of Americana. There are literally millions of collectors of Americana, the collecting of historically important items in American history. And Psychedelic Art is the living, breathing record of a historical era. No other art or collectible more closely embraces or conveys the ideals and values of the 1960s critical time of social growth in the 20th century.
7. Vintage rock concert posters can be beautifully displayed.
This is one of the critical factors why I believe the future demand and desirability of these rare works have literally unlimited upside potential.
See, it's straightforward to understand why the world's most exquisite paintings are worth $50,000,000 – $100,000,000 while the rarest coins, stamps, and baseball cards are worth $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.
Collectors are willing to pay a considerable premium for the prestige that comes with being able to display their rare acquisitions right on their walls!
Art collectors garner constant praise from their family, friends, and associates who are also lucky enough to view their rarities. Collections of other material are all but impossible to display and mainly remain far from view, securely locked up in bank safe deposit boxes.
Psychedelic art looks wonderful when displayed in even the most elegant mansion, particularly in billiards and game rooms, home theaters, pool houses, and other fun places in the home.
8. Vintage rock concert posters appeal to an unprecedented demographic!
It can easily be argued that these works hold the most significant appeal to the most wealthy and lucrative segment of our society, the baby boomers. The teenagers of the sixties are now our nations hedge fund managers and CEO's and represent the wealthiest class of individuals in the history of our nation.
The same folks that think nothing of $80,000 BMWs and $2,000,000 vacation homes are now looking to acquire genuine remembrances and historical artifacts of their youth. These rare works of art are ridiculously cheap to this class of people, and they have the surplus of funds ready to be deployed when presented with the unique opportunity.
9. Vintage rock concert posters are now becoming widely accepted and displayed by major museums.
Over the past several years, vintage rock concert posters have enjoyed major, highly successful exhibitions in many of our nation's most prestigious museums including the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Laguna Art Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Experienced collectors know that when the art establishment finally declares a category class of art to be historically significant and worthy enough to be displayed in their sacred spaces, it is a loud and clear "buy signal" to jump aboard.
These exhibitions have been —and will continue to be—instrumental in broadening the awareness and appeal of vintage concert posters as millions of new people are exposed to their unique beauty, rarity, and historical importance.
10. Vintage rock concert posters are a stable and secure store of value that provides a hedge against inflation and today's horrendously volatile financial markets.
After 25 years of paper asset inflation, savvy individuals are now desperately trying to place a portion of their funds into stable and secure tangible assets that are free from the volatility and inflation that is so prevalent in today's financial markets.
1960s psychedelic rock concert posters perfectly meet these criteria. The value of this art does not fluctuate wildly day by day (or hour by hour)! The appreciation and demand for these rarities increase with each passing day while the tiny available continues to dwindle!
11. Vintage rock concert posters in mint condition are vastly undervalued and under-appreciated compared to the prices of similar pieces in used condition!
It can be strongly argued that this fact alone is enough for psychedelic art to earn the title of "Most Undervalued Collectible in the World Today."
Let's take the average poster that was printed in an edition of 1000 pieces. Of those, probably 10-20% (100-200) exist in any condition today. Of these 100-200 surviving pieces, it's safe to say that no more than 5-10% (5-20) have somehow miraculously survived in mint condition. This tiny handful of posters, if they can be found and purchased at today's ridiculously low prices, represent the very best value in the collectibles market today!
Take a look at the chart below. You'll see that in coins, stamps, baseball cards, and comics, it's common for mint condition collectibles to trade at 20 - 60 times the average. This price differential simply represents the difference in rarity between mint condition and used examples.
You can currently acquire mint condition specimens for a tiny fraction of what they should be and what collectors believe they will eventually be. This allows savvy collectors to buy the very best for a fraction more, all the while enjoying a collection that should skyrocket in desirability as the rarity of mint condition items becomes understood.
12. Vintage rock concert posters are now 50 years old! Just as most equities investors steer clear of penny stocks and new issues, the same rule applies to collectibles.
While concert posters have been highly sought after and actively collected since they were initially issued, the majority of collectors prefer to wait for an area to become seasoned. Most collectors want to see a category demonstrate a proven track record of desirability before they become motivated to begin their own acquisition of an item. Indeed, the very definition of an antique is a collectible having a high value due to its considerable age.
These rare works, issued from 1965-1969, are now 50 years old, making them far more desirable to collectors than they were in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. These posters, from an age standpoint, are just now coming into their own, making this the very definition of a true ground floor opportunity.
A guide to British concert posters and British psychedelic posters by Nick Etheridge
Hapsash posters and Osiris Visions posters - a word of caution about reprints.
The OA and Hapshash posters have been widely copied and unless you are well acquainted with the originals and the many fakes on the marketplace, get some good advice before parting with any money. To paraphrase Brad Rogers, a pioneer in identifying the OA bootlegs –”if you don’t know where it’s been for 50 years or you’re not an expert assume it’s a fake.”
Most fakes seen on the market come from the same original source in the UK and printed up in 80’s or 90’s along with various permutations of story about originating from a newly discovered ‘stash’ usually in an attic of a relative of the printers.
These still appear regularly on eBay and smaller auction houses. The reproductions have recently been ‘rebranded’ and often labelled as ‘later ‘or 2nd printings from the 1970’s so being offering at a more affordable lower price, but they are in fact nice decorative items only. So, seek either provenance, expert advice or a respected dealer.
None of the bootlegs are true screen prints and look and feel new and generally 20 x 30 in. There is no standard ‘one size fits all’ and all for authentic OA issues and sizes vary slightly across the series and print runs.
Nearly all surviving Original Hapshash or OA posters are damaged or used in some way. They almost never survive in faultless mint condition. A poster with aging and damp/water stains on the reverse, pin holes, tape residue and handling are commonplace. This can all be positive factors establishing age and originality as most of these posters have ‘lived a life’. So, don’t let that put you off.
Be very wary of white clean new looking paper with no imperfections in near perfect condition. Be cautious of bargain prices as rare originals seldom come at knock down prices. I have also seen fakes that are deliberately distressed and damaged to appear old, so be looking out for this trick too.
The list of these current well-known Hapsash and Osiris Visions Bootleg posters are as follows-
Pre OA-PinkFloyd/Soft machine at UFO Poster by Michael English (double size 40 x30 inches)
OA 102 Tomorrow My White Bicycle Poster - BOTH white and cream paper versions
OA109 The Move at the Marquee Poster
OA 114 CIA v UFO Pink Floyd Poster-there is also an early 1970’s POST OA non-screen print reproduction that comes up for sale often as an original 1st print.
OA 118 5th Dimension Leicester Poster
OA 123 The Who I can see for Miles Poster
OA 124 Richard Bernstein Gallery Poster
OA 134 Julie Felix At the Albert Hall Poster
The following posters were originally offset litho- All theOAS and OA 500 series were also offset
OAS 4 The Who at the Saville Theatre Poster
OA501 Arthur Brown Track Promo Poster
OA 502 Jimi Hendrix Track Promo Poster
Yarrowstalk licenced Osiris Visions reprint posters
There is also a group of licenced Osiris Visions reproduction posters known as the Yarrowstalk edition printed by Brian Zahn of the US Yarrowstalk counterculture magazine. These posters were screen printed in the later part of 1967 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and are the earliest known licensed reprints.
The posters can be distinguished by the lack of OA printing Credit and some copies appear slightly misprinted. Unfortunately, there is no printers mark, but some helpfully do have an elaborate Yarrowstalk stamp and/or Brian Zahn’s signature on the verso. However, it is impossible to determine 100% exactly when they were printed, reprinted or in what numbers.
Mint condition copies still emerge for sale on the market and from the Zahn estate who seem to still have copies for sale. The known Yarrowstalk prints are -
OA 103 Hendrix at the Fillmore Poster
OA104 UFO Coming Poster
OA 114 CIA v UFO Poster
OA 116 Save Earth Now Poster
Although not OA originals or produced in London they are historically relevant as the earliest reprints licenced from Hapshash so they have value, and are not recent bootlegs. They can make an affordable substitute for the more expensive and harder to find original Osiris Visions posters
Verso of Hendrix at the Fillmore OA 103 Yarrowstalk edition
One of the great joys of collecting is also that of occasional rediscovery and recently several unknown original Hapshash works have come to light. They have no OA number and not works printed for Osiris Visions, but they have been acknowledged as original pieces by Nigel Waymouth. Hopefully there is still more to be discovered!
Hapsash and the Coloured Coat at the Paradiso April, 25, 1968
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat at the Paradiso 25 April 1968 / Thursday? Good!
This poster reuses the 1966 pre Hapshash English /Waymouth poster Friday? Good! With a reimagined and irreverent 1960’s Last supper with colourful new characters and uses it as a gig poster for the bands appearance at the famous Paradiso Club in Amsterdam.
Hapshash expanded it interest into creating experimental music recording two albums and naturally creating the artwork and promotional material. As a studio work it seems to succeed with a cast of quality musicians supporting the artists who didn’t play on the albums but as a live act it became shambolic and acrimonious.
The few gigs were apparently improvised, chaotic and only a few more occurred back in the UK. This Holland trip was the only time both English and Waymouth performed together live and Waymouth describes these gigs as the end of their artistic partnership. This is the only known copy which came to light in 2017.
Score it at the Head Shop
Score it at the Headshop poster
These small promo posters in green on pink paper were given away to customers at the Kensington Park Road Head Shop London. The stoned hippie head surrounded by hashish (?) smoke and shooting stars is typical Hapshash. There are currently two known copies of this recently discovered poster. The wavy ‘Score it at the Headshop’text is similar in style to the text on the Hapshash 14hr Technicolor Dream flyer design of April 67 so possibly from the same early Hapshash period.
This guide was written by Nick Etheridge. Nick welcomes any comments or additional information you may have. can be reached at email@example.com
References and Notes Hapsash and Osiris Visions posters
Whocollection.com. A very useful Osiris poster resource by respected collector Brad Rogers with information and images about the series and his pioneering research on the fake OA posters. http://www.whocollection.com/hapshash_&_osiris_posters.htm.
V&A Museum London – A great resource of many original and rare OA posters in the permanent collection including the International Times file copies and Michael English’s own collection that and can be viewed online. https://collections.vam.ac.uk/.
Information about the infamous UK Hapshash and poster faker Nigel Mentzel- https://mentzelposters.blogspot.com/;This is a comprehensive blog by Australian academic and passionate Martin Sharp and 60’s art blogger Michael Organ.
Bibliography - Hapsash and Osiris Visions posters
Useful texts and background for the UK underground scene.
High Art by Ted Owen
Days in The Life, Voices from the English Underground 1961-71 by Jonathon Green
In the 60’s by Barry Miles
My White Bicycle: Making Music in the 1960’s by Joe Boyd
3D Eye by Michael English
The Art of British Rock 50 years of Rock Posters, Flyers and Handbills by Mike Evans
I want To Take You Higher- The Psychedelic Scene 1965-69
Underground Graphics by Graham Keen