Last weekend PAE was on the road, exhibiting at the annual TRPS Concert poster show is San Francisco. Here are some general impressions of the market and the show, in no particular order.
1) The attendance at the show was outstanding. We heard several different dealers remark that the number of visitors was far greater than in years past. This was confirmed by multiple members of TRPS, the organization that runs the show.
2) It was truly a pleasure to have so many of our clients come by and say hello. It’s always great to put a face to a name, particularly when we were able to finally meet people that have dealt with us for many years.
3) There was a distinct and actually glaring, lack of high quality material available for purchase. The few mint condition posters shown were for “display only” and were not for sale at any price. This underscored a major point –if you have the opportunity to acquire mint condition posters, grab it. This material seems to be in the very strong hands of collectors that have no intention of selling, particularly since we are just in the first or second inning of this emphasis on quality.
4) The market for modern posters is alive and well. There can be no denying that Emek, Chuck Sperry, Dave Hunter and other modern masters are perfectly adept at producing irresistible images at affordable price levels. This bringing young collectors into the hobby. It should be only a matter of time before some of these new market participants graduate to the vintage material that is so much more rare and historically important.
5) We had on display our first batch of posters that were independently authenticated and graded by CCG. This is the same organization that has created literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MARKET VALUE to rare coins, paper money, and comic books. Collectors as a whole were extremely enthusiastic about the concept and the packaging. We received dozens of raves against one negative comment from an old time dealer that didn’t like the idea. This is exciting development has major implications. We will discuss this in detail in future blogs.
6) The show was organized and promoted by The Rock Poster Society. The board members and volunteers working the show were just a delightful group of people that couldn’t have been nicer or worked harder to make sure a great time was enjoyed by all. We will repeat once again, TRPS membership is an essential investment (that’s dirt cheap) if you want to be involved join this field at all. To join, click here.
This week we received our copy of ”Split Fountain Hieroglyphics : Psychedelic Concert Posters From The Seattle Area” this book was highlighted here a few weeks ago. We were impressed by this new look at the psychedelic posters from the Seattle area in the 1960’s.
The book is beautifully illustrated with rarely seen treasures from the Pacific Northwest. This publication points out the diversity of regional concert poster art from the era. These type posters are tough to find as they were originally printed in ridiculously low quantities. This brings to mind another recent publication, “Home Grown”- Austin Music Posters from 1967-1982. This great looking book is another indispensable volume that puts a microscope on the concert advertisements that were culled from the rich history of Texas poster scene. The book can be purchased here.
These books highlight the growing awareness and thirst for information relating to vintage concert posters. As the interest continues to build for these posters, we will surely see more helpful resources being published to allow collectors to expand their knowledge and passion of this world class collectible.
As the market for Vintage 1960’s Concert Posters is now rapidly evolving, there is often an information lag among collectors as new developments take time to disseminate throughout the marketplace.
One of the goals of this weekly blog is to provide a place where collectors can get the latest news and updates about this exciting collectible. Over the past year or two, we’ve seen a bifurcation of the market as the demand for posters in undamaged condition has skyrocketed. By undamaged condition, I mean a poster that exhibits no nicks, tears, pinholes, folds or restoration of any kind.
This increased demand has resulted in rising values for the posters have somehow survived the past 45-50 years in undamaged condition. And herein lies the rub. While the “word is out” among most collectors when it comes to top condition, the prices one must pay to acquire such pieces are only known by collectors on the leading edge of the market.
Why is this the case?
Because up until about 5 years ago, there was very little price distinction between damaged and undamaged posters. If a poster was worth $4000 in ANY condition, perfect examples, if found, could be acquired for $6000 -$7000. This works out to a 50-75% premium. Today, if a poster is worth $4000 in ANY condition, you can expect to pay 12,000-16,000 for a “finest known” example. This works out to a 300-400% premium. So you can see that premiums for the very best condition concert posters are expanding!
This situation often proves very frustrating for us when we finally end a years long search for a mint example of an issue and the collector is suddenly taken aback by what we paid and what we need to get for the item. Their brains are still firmly rooted in values and premiums that are circa 2005.
While many old-time collectors may consider today’s premium quality values outrageous, the “smart money” knows and understands that this is just the tip of the iceberg. And this is where an opportunity clearly presents itself.
A cursory look into other collectibles markets will show you that the finest premium quality coins, stamps, comic books and baseball cards ROUTINELY bring premiums of 20x to 50x the price of a normal surviving example. For example, in January of 2015, I sold the finest known 1793 United States penny for $2.35 million, while examples can be found for just $35,000.
The point is, quality never, ever goes out of style and the demand for it continues to grow, as well as the premiums that it commands. So you have a choice. You can turn your back on this trend and ignore it. Or you can embrace this as a lucrative opportunity that has been 50 years in the making. Which will you choose?
Every year the Rock Poster Society holds their annual concert poster show in San Francisco. This year, Psychedelic Art Exchange will have a booth where we will buying and selling.
If you have posters to sell, please see us LAST, as we will be the highest buyer in attendance. If you are looking for material to buy, see us FIRST as we will have the finest quality posters available in the world today.
If you are new to the hobby, please do your best to visit the show, as it will be a great opportunity to view a lot of material and learn what’s going on.
Many of the living legends in the business will be in attendance, including 1960’s artists Lee Conklin, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, David Singer, Stanley Mouse and Randy Tuten. Contemporary artists such as Emek and Chuck Sperry will also be at the show.
Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello, it’s always great to put faces and names together. We hope to see you there!
Here’s a link to the show:
Last week we told you about a great new concert poster book that was coming to press titled Split Fountain Hieroglyphics. Many of you requested ordering information which was unavailable at press time. Now it is! Here’s a link to buy the book:
As has been previously discussed, the collector base for 1960’s concert posters is growing exponentially, on a worldwide basis. The single biggest contributor to this growth is the Internet.
Now, any collector can research, discover and purchase posters from the comfort of their own home or office! But the rise of the Internet has also given rise to one of our greatest frustrations which is this: There is no way to accurately portray the awe inspiring beauty of these artworks in a 1 inch by 2 inch thumbnail photo! And a blowup to a larger image on a computer screen is just marginally better.
This prohibits many new potential buyers from actually jumping into the marketplace because they are making a purchase decision without understanding how powerful the experience is of actually seeing these posters in person.
Let me back track many, many years ago to when I first got interested in this amazing hobby. When I first started out, I tried to follow my own advice. I bought the books, perused the auction catalogs (they were still printed then) and did my research.
But it wasn’t until I made my first purchase, and received the poster in the mail that I became hooked. The poster in real life was 500 times more impressive than all the photos combined that I had seen on-line and in print. I still remember the surge of excitement I felt when I opened that package and held the poster in my hands. To put it bluntly, it simply blew me away! These posters are 1000 times more impressive to hold, view and display than the coins and stamps I was used to collecting. And I honestly replay this movie in my mind with total clarity, on a regular basis.
Which brings me to my next piece of advice. If you are a “Newbie” reading this, and considering the hobby, buy a poster…. ANY poster. In our store and in our auctions we have posters for less than $100.00. Get the poster and hold it in your hands. It will take mere seconds for you to understand what all the excitement is about. And you can also send the poster back for a full refund, if that’s what you choose to do.
Better yet, if you live on the east coast, come visit our Gallery. The hundreds of posters on display are a real treat to see. And we opened the Gallery so we could display these rarities on something bigger than a computer screen. Together, we can review the myriad of opportunities that we see in the marketplace today. So make some time and pay us a visit, we look forward to seeing you soon!