A recent poster auction at Heritage Auctions was noteworthy on several fronts. While we could analyze dozens of results from this particular sale, the biggest story by far was a record auction result for the finest CGC graded copy of the prized Jimi Hendrix Fillmore/Winterland Poster, the BG-105.
The meteoric result of $175,000 for a BG-105- OP-1 CGC 9.8 signed by Rick Griffin was stunning and had us thinking. Is this the new reality for this poster? The copy was in gem condition and the signature was impressive. How is it that no high-grade examples of this poster had been auctioned prior to this copy? Can this sale be repeated? It's quite the jump, but the bar has been set. Psychedelic Art Exchange has offered several examples of this poster since the introduction of 3rd party grading, our high sale being $24,162 for a 9.4 CGC-graded eyeball in January of 2017.
Entertainment Auction #7306 was one of the largest and most comprehensive offerings of concert posters ever presented by Heritage. Their Music Memorabilia Auction was divided into two sessions that included over 350 lots of rare posters. The auction on May 11th focused on a rare record collection and the David Swartz concert poster collection. May 13th's offering continued with the Vinyl and then jumped to concert posters. The total sale of concert posters totaled over 1.5 million when the dust settled. There were several high sales marks for concert posters both raw and graded, but graded posters stole the show.
The BG-105 is the most identifiable image from the Fillmore series. It has been popular since it was printed and has gone back to press numerous times. The original is rare but not crazy rare. PAE has handled our share of the poster over the years with a few near-mint copies coming through our auction, but never a mint copy. We know that gem copies exist but won't know how many until collectors decide to start getting their BG-105’s graded. This recent sale ought to shake some copies loose.