CGC Graded Concert Posters

CGC- A Behind the Scenes Look!

The independent, third party authenticator and grader of Vintage Concert Posters has led to exploding demand and record prices!

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By now, everyone that reads this blog and is active in the collectibles marketplace knows about the CGC Rock Poster Revolution. To summarize, the demand for Vintage Concert Posters has exploded over the past 2 years due to the availability of unbiased third party authentication and grading by CGC.

What used to be a niche marketplace has been transformed into a highly sought after art form that is being widely recognized and displayed at the most important art museums across the United States. (See prior blog posts for further details.)

As every collector understands, the value of a collectible is directly proportionate to it’s rarity and state of preservation. CGC provides unbiased opinions on authentication, attribution, originality (many posters have professional restoration that is hard for all but experts to detect), and condition.

Not a day goes by in our office without someone asking for more information on the company making all this noise.

A recently published article on The Certified Collectibles Group (the parent company of CGC) provides some impressive information.

The company has been around for more than 30 years, has 275 employees in the U.S. and another 85 employees scattered at several offices around the world. They have authenticated and graded literally tens of millions of collectibles valued at many billion of dollars.

Clearly, this is a world class operation that has turned Vintage Concert Posters into a World Class marketplace! Collectors from other collectibles markets, that are used to the concept of independent third party authentication and grading, can now acquire vintage concert posters without worrying about detecting Original Printing versus Reprints, professional restoration, counterfeits, or condition.

This huge influx of collectors has created exploding demand that has overwhelmed the tiny available supply and has led to record prices that are occurring with increasing frequency.

To read the complete article, click here.

To learn more about how CGC has effected the market for vintage concert posters, see our blogs dated 1/16/19, 8/29/17, and 4/3/17.

CGC Graded Concert Poster Market 2019 - What Collectors Don't Understand!

4 things every collector should know about today’s market.

The Famous “Vanessa” concert poster. Grande Ballroom, James Cotton / MC-5 Nov. 10+11, 1967. Many collectors believe the “Best of the Best”.

The Famous “Vanessa” concert poster. Grande Ballroom, James Cotton / MC-5 Nov. 10+11, 1967. Many collectors believe the “Best of the Best”.

The market for Vintage Concert Posters has become the most exciting collectibles market in the world today due to a a multitude of positive developments that has created a “perfect storm” for these historic works of art. Please reference previous posts for extensive detail and discussion.

Despite everything that Vintage Concert Posters has going for them, there is one HUGE overriding factor that has turned this market into an overnight success, 50+ years in the making. And of course, we’re talking about the introduction of independent third party grading by CGC.

Without CGC, we would not be witnessing the massive influx of new collectors into this market. These collectors are already experienced acquiring independently authenticated and graded rare coins, stamps, baseball cards, comic books, autographs, paper money, etc,. This experience makes their transition into Vintage Concert Poster collecting both comfortable and seamless.

This huge increase in demand has lead to record prices and appreciation for the finest quality and rarest pieces and a commensurate dwindling of the tiny available supply. The facts show that of the hundreds of price records that were set for Vintage Concert Posters in our auctions in 2018, well over 90% were authenticated and graded by CGC.

Despite the warm collector reception that CGC posters enjoy, there are 4 important facts about today’s marketplace that are not widely understood.

1) Not All concert Posters Are Eligible For CGC Grading.

This is the most common mis-conception in today’s marketplace . Currently, CGC only authenticates and grades posters that are listed in The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin, or in Eric King’s Collector’s Guide to Psychedelic Rock Concert Posters, Postcards and Handbills.

King’s guide lists popular concert poster series from The Family Dog, The Bill Graham Series, The Grande Ballroom, The Neon Rose , and The Vulcan Gas. The Art of Rock lists several hundred other concert posters from various venues throughout the United States.

There are still a large percentage of posters, perhaps 35-45% (our best guess, only) that are not currently listed in these two reference books, and are NOT currently eligible for CGC authentication and grading.

CGC will be expanding their universe in the the future, which leads to another opportunity that requires more discussion at another time.

2) Psychedelic Art Exchange Has EVERY Eligible Poster CGC Graded Before It’s Sold or Auctioned!

Our mission at PAE is very simple, and very clear. We provide a safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert Posters.

Everyone knows that the value of ANY given collectible is largely based on it’s condition. Small differences in condition lead to large differences in value.

This means there is an inherent conflict of interest between buyers and sellers. We remove this conflict of interest by getting every eligible poster CGC graded before we sell or auction it.

For buyers, this means you can bid with confidence, knowing that you are basing your purchasing decision on an unbiased third party opinion.

For sellers, it means enjoying the benefits of the huge demand and record prices that the market commands for CGC graded material. It’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned.

The reason we adhere to this policy 100% is because we don’t want to put collectors in a position of wondering “Why isn’t this poster CGC graded? What is the seller trying to hide?”

Of course, PAE also buys and sells concert posters that are not currently eligible for CGC grading. Our policy with these issues is to grade the posters on a consistent scale of 1-100, published in writing, on our website. In addition, every poster is backed up by the strongest guarantee, in writing, possible.

3) CGC Grading is FAR Stricter Than Most Collectors Realize.

PAE prides itself on offering the finest quality material available today. We have been high profile “condition freaks” from the very first day we opened our doors over 10 years ago.

That being said, CGC has given new meaning to the term “Strictly Graded”. It is our belief that CGC provides the absolute best value for your collecting dollar at every end of the condition spectrum.

In every auction we have savvy collectors picking off incredible quality posters graded 5.5 -8.0. Don’t let the numerical grade deceive you. These posters provide tremendous value and quality.

Likewise, every auction features posters graded 8.5 - 9.2 that are stone cold gems. We’re talking about super clean pieces free of nicks, cuts, tears, and pinholes. These are posters that used to be described… and sometimes still are… as “Dead Mint” before the introduction of CGC.

The bottom line is that if you are a collector that’s looking for the maximum bang for your collecting buck, take a close look at concert posters with slightly lower CGC grades. You’ll be blown away by the quality you receive in return for the funds paid out.

We’re confident abut this based on the steady stream of collectors that tell us how excited they are when they receive an item that greatly EXCEEDS their expectations.

4) CGC is Not Just About Determining Condition

While the numerical grade of a CGC concert poster is always the top subject of conversation, there is another equally important layer of confidence and protection that CGC offers, independent attribution and detection of restoration.

Before CGC, you really had to become your own expert to safely buy these posters. The law of the land was Buyer Beware.

Undisclosed hidden restoration and counterfeit posters was commonplace. CGC has solved all that. Now collectors can buy and sell with confidence. And the results speak for themselves.

John Bogle, the legendary inventor of stock index funds died tonight. His company went from zero to 5.1 TRILLION dollars under management ( Yes, TRILLION) based on a single simple idea. Bogle is quoted as saying,” It was never my intent to build a colossus. Turns out, when you do what’s right for investors, money pours in.”

At PAE, we try to follow this very same ethos. You have our word that in 2019 we will continue to work our hardest to provide you — and all collectors — a safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert posters.

Onward!

2018 Vintage Concert Poster Market Year in Review!

The future is uncertain. Hindsight is 20/20. Here’s our report card on our 2018 Predictions.

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By all accounts, 2018 was a remarkable year for the Vintage Concert Poster Market. Let’s take a look back at our exact predictions from 12 months ago and see how many panned out — our report card and current comments are in italics.!

1) Record Prices fo the Finest and Rarest!

Increased demand and dwindling supply will lead to record prices across ALL categories. 

Grade: A+

There is no question that 2018 marked a tipping point where demand greatly increased supply. This led to record prices across all price categories from $100 posters up to $50,000.

2) The Number of Market Participants Multiplies...Again!

This is a market that clearly has the wind at it's back. (See 2017 year in review blog post for reasons why) At PAE, our goal is to bring at least 1000 new clients onboard.

Grade: A-

A variety of factors that have been reported here led to a major influx of collectors, many from that are experienced in other collectibles categories. For this prediction, we deserve an A. However, PAE came a little short of generating 1000 new buyers, lowering our grade to A-.

3) A Focus on Tangible Assets Will Fan The Flames.

The White House is committed to spending money like a drunken sailor. This is already leading to a fall in the dollar and a rise in gold. What does this have to do with vintage concert posters? Plenty. This is the very beginning of a cycle of renewed inflation and desire for "hard assets". 

Grade: D

Trump did spend like a drunken sailor, and interest rates rose to reflect a red hot economy. However, these monetary moves have not yet filtered into financial markets. Gold, which is a fair barometer for mainstream America’s taste for tangible assets moved sideways the entire year. It looks like the move in gold we predicted in 2018 is may now be underway as the price has increased 10% in the past 90 days.

4) Continued Growth at PAE

2017 was year of growth for PAE, growth in clients, growth in volume and growth in staff. In addition to our two principals, Glen and Scott, we now have 2 full time employees and 3 part time employees that each log about 20 hours each. 

Grade: A

2018 represented records for us in terms of dollar volume, number of posters and number of customers. our team has grown to 3 full time and 4 part time members to assure that PAE remains the safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert Posters.

5) Severe Supply Shock Hits Market.

There's a sound in the marketplace that started 2017 off as a murmur but has slowly grown into a roar. We're talking about a giant sucking sound of rapidly dwindling supply that has become pervasive in the marketplace.

Grade B+

Overall, there is a dramatic drop in the number of desirable posters that are 100% Original with no restoration. It’s commonplace to see major offerings where over half the top listings have restoration of some form or other. That being said, PAE had a record year of sellers and consigners that wanted to tap into our worldwide clientele that believe current prices remain ridiculously dirt cheap and are willing to pay whatever it takes to secure the best quality posters in existence. We were proud to offer collectors an incredible selection of high quality items in every price category.

6) Premiums for Artist Signed Material Explodes.

This is a trend we have seen steadily gaining steam over the past several years and we see an acceleration of this trend in 2018.  

Grade: A

Big deal. Anyone could have predicted this trend. A total “No Brainer” trend that will continue to gather steam. Stay tuned for a future blog on this subject.

7) Interest in Grande Ballroom, Vulcan Gas and Armadillo World HQ Posters Climbs. 

As more and more collectors enter the marketplace, interest will gravitate to areas that are currently under valued. Over the past 2-3 years we have seen an explosion in interest for all three of the venues listed above. 

Grade: B

We nailed it when it comes to Armadillo World Headquarters posters. Demand for these went into thermo nuclear overdrive, as hot as any category out there. Grande posters have ALWAYS been popular and in demand. We saw an uptick, but no more of an uptick than the general market. Grande posters are a powder keg ready to EXPLODE, but what we envision didn’t fully happen in 2018. These are VASTLY under valued at today’s price levels, in our opinion. Vulcan Gas posters represent a fertile area for anyone that wants history, rarity and mind-blowing art for pennies on the dollar to what they may trade at one day. Stupid cheap compared to their San Francisco brethren.

8) and 9 ) Values of Large Size Fillmore and AOR Posters Explodes

Up until now, CGC has not had the capabilities to grade the large size Fillmore and AOR posters, but this situation is about to change. Look for these massive posters to command substantial premiums once CGC commences grading in the coming weeks!

Grade: C-

We jumped the gun on this one. We thought CGC would start grading these posters much earlier in the year, and that collector demand and commensurate prices would jump forward. CGC didn’t get started on this until the second half of the year, and little supply has entered the marketplace so far. The large format posters that have appeared have been VERY well received, watch for fireworks in this category in 2019.

10) Renewed Focus on Handbills and Postcards

It's no secret that a concert handbill is far easier to counterfeit than a concert poster. Third party authentication and grading by CGC has brought much needed integrity to this overlooked area of the market. With the introduction of CGC, we have seen an explosion of interest in concert handbills, now that collectors can acquire them with confidence. 

Grade A+

Another no brainer trend that is in it’s VERY early days. This segment of the market had been left for dead due to a multitude of authentication issues. Independent authentication and grading by CGC has solved all this with a beautiful package. Collectors can get the same iconic art, the same legendary bands, and in some cases rarity that EXCEEDS the poster for a fraction of the money the posters command. A Grand Slam that leaves collectors with an insatiable appetite for these historic artworks.

Or next blog, to be published shorty, will disclose our predictions for 2019.

Grateful Dead Inspired Beer Hits the Shelves Nationwide!

Counter-Culture values continue to carry mass appeal.

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Dog Head Brewery has just announced the release of their Grateful Dead inspired American Beauty Ale which will be available nationwide. The beer is being brewed as a collaboration with the Grateful Dead and features the band’s iconic “Dancing Bears” on both the label and carton packaging.

Earlier this week, during live lot viewing at our Gallery, the conversation AGAIN turned towards the future desirability of vintage concert posters and whether “anyone would care” once the original Deadheads (and other members of 1960’s counter culture) leave to attend the great Festival beyond.

Regular readers of this blog understand that values and music that came to life in the 1960’s are not just alive and well, but quite possibly far stronger and more widely embraced than ever before.

We have reported on the growing popularity of 1960’s influenced fashion, Nike’s release of Psychedelic Sneakers, Rolling Stone’s special Grateful Dead issue, Amazon’s purchase and promotion of the 6 hour Long Strange Trip documentary, the exploding popularity of music festivals across our the world, retrospectives at the world toniest museums and countless others. And let’s not forget something many people thought would never happen in their lifetime, the legalization of marijuana!

One thing is certain, NONE of these projects would be entering and offered to mainstream society if there was not mass appeal and interest.

We see this trend continuing to gather steam. The exploding interest in the 1960’s and the introduction of unbiased third part grading by CGC has led to an exponential growth in the number of people now collecting vintage 1960’s concert posters, which are arguably the most attractive compelling authentic artifacts from the era! It’s a great time to be a collector!

To read the entire article on the American Beauty Ale, click here.

Certified Neil Armstrong Collection Realizes $5.2 Million at Auction!

Record prices directly attributed to unbiased third party authentication and grading.

The collectibles world is talking about the recent auctioning of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s collection November 1-3, 2018. Nearly 1000 lots realized $5,276,320, far exceeding the most optimistic expectations.

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Each item in the auction was independently authenticated by CAG, a division of CCG, the same folks that certify the vintage concert posters and handbills we offer.

The auctioneer for the collection stated, “ CAG unlocked tremendous value for the Armstrong Family Collection by giving bidders greater confidence in the authenticity and provenance of the artifacts. At the same time, CAG delivered significant long term value and protection to buyers through its guarantee, impartial assessments and protective holders. CAG’s certification made it far easier for us to auction the collection and likewise for our clients to evaluate and bid on it.”

This is yet another in an endless list of examples of how important independent, third party authentication and grading is to the collectibles marketplace. Third party authentication provides confidence, and an unbiased opinion on condition is critical when small differences in quality means huge differences in value.

When it comes to vintage concert posters and handbills, CGC grading is particularly instrumental in bringing scores of new collectors (buyers) into the marketplace. Collectors no longer have to worry about figuring out for themselves whether an item is a) authentic, b) a first printing or reprint, or c) possesses hidden restoration that can be difficult to see.

For sellers, CGC is an absolute must if one wishes to receive the record prices and added liquidity that CGC graded posters and handbills are now commanding.

We believe these are still the very earliest days of this emerging trend and look for premiums of each grade level to increase as collectors begin to fully understand how strict CGC grading is and how little supply exist at the top end of the market.

CGC to Attend TRPS Concert Poster Show 10/20/18 in San Francisco!

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Two representatives will be on hand to accept submissions and answer questions.

We have just received news that representatives of CGC will be attending the upcoming TRPS Concert Poster show to be held October 20, 2018 in San Francisco.

It’s no secret that vintage concert posters graded by CGC are setting records with breathtaking frequency so interest in this segment of the marketplace is at an all time high.

All collectors are invited to submit posters at the show for grading and authentication. Representatives will also be available to answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you there!

CGC San Francisco Set Breakers Auction Live Lot Viewing 10/20/18 at TRPS Concert Poster Show!

Here’s your chance to personally inspect and bid on 150 vintage concerts posters with CGC Grading!

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The CGC Rock poster Revolution is rolling into San Francisco! We’re pleased to announce that all lots in our October CGC Graded Concert Poster Auction will be available for live lot viewing at the TRPS Annual Concert Poster Show on October 20, 2018! 
 
This auction presented allows you to discover for yourself why Psychedelic Art Exchange is “The Collector’s Friend” – the safest place to buy, sell, and learn about vintage concert posters.
 
You Can Bid With Confidence Knowing ALL 150 Lots Have Been Independently 

Authenticated and Graded by CGC!
 
ALL Lots are Being Sold UNRESERVED.
 
All Lots Have a Starting Bid of just $1.00. That’s right, ONE DOLLAR!

All Lots are available for inspection at our Gallery in Baltimore, Md. Or in San Francisco 10/20/18.
 
All Lots are guaranteed in writing with the strongest guarantee available anywhere.

*A 15% buyers fee and postage & insurance will be added to all winning bids*
 
Highlights include:

 A Museum Quality Grateful Dead Acid Test Poster- The finest quality we have EVER handled and the FIRST CGC graded example to appear at auction!

 Ridiculously rare SET BREAKERS for the Fillmore Auditorium (BG-74), Family Dog (FD-29 OP-2) and Vulcan Gas Company. This is the VERY FIRST TIME EVER that these three legendary posters have been offered at auction at the same time!
 

An unimprovable BG-1, OP-2, CGC Graded 9.8, the very FIRST poster in the Bill Graham series!

 A spectacular example of Rick Griffin’s BG-105 Hendrix Flying Eyeball!

 The FIRST CGC graded example of the famous Grateful Dead/ Buffalo Springfield Amazing Electric Wonders poster to appear at auction.

 3 different Museum Quality Grande Ballroom posters being offered at auction with CGC grading for the very FIRST time!

 Many affordable Museum Quality Original First Printings that will sell for $100-$500! These pieces of history represent an extraordinary value compared to other collectibles.
 Remember all lots have starting bids of just $1.00!
 
All collectors are invited to inspect all lots in person at our Gallery, in Baltimore, MD. or in San Francisco 10/20/18.
 
Live lot viewing allows you the opportunity to see how incredibly strict CGC grading standards are. You’ll also immediately understand that the CGC holder is the ultimate way to safely and securely protect your posters for the long term. If you can’t make it to our Gallery, contact us with any questions you may have.
 
We are really proud of this auction. There is truly something for every taste and budget. We hope you enjoy participating in this sale as much as we did assembling it.
 
Good Luck in the Auction!

Boom! CGC Graded Comic Book sells for over $2,000,000!

Every major comic book price record of the past 10 years was independently graded and authenticated by CGC

News quickly spread around the collectibles world that an Action Comics #1, that was independently graded and authenticated by CGC, recently realizes $2,050,000 at auction. The article mentions that this is the 4th Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction.

This is the most recent of 4 Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction. All 4 were graded and authenticated by CGC.

This is the most recent of 4 Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction. All 4 were graded and authenticated by CGC.

The auctioneer, Comic Connect, was quoted in the new release as saying " The thing all these comic books had in common was they had been certified and encapsulated by CGC. The winning combination of the most trusted name in grading and vintage comic sale auctions made these earth shattering sales possible."

"The CGC label makes selling easier by giving bidders confidence in the authenticity and grade, whether it's a high flying copy of Action Comics #1 or a more down to earth collectible."

This news is extremely noteworthy and important to collectors of vintage concert posters for 3 main reasons: 

1) This news serves as additional FACT that when it comes to WORLD CLASS collectibles and the commensurate prices they command, independent third party authentication and grading is demanded by ALL serious collectors  100% of the time. 

This is not an opinion, it's a fact. This FACT is why new collectors are flooding into the vintage concert poster market at this time. 

For the first time ever, buyers can have confidence they are actually receiving what they bargained for. This huge increase in collector demand is chasing the small and dwindling supply, and that's why prices have been moving up recently. Many of these new collectors are entering from other collectibles markets. They are VERY familiar and comfortable with CGC and they believe that vintage concert posters are dirt cheap at current price levels.

2) This story is also newsworthy because it shows what a screaming bargain vintage concert posters represent at current price levels. In every other major collectibles marketplace, the "best of the best" starts at $1,000,000 and goes up to multiples of that price level. 

You can still buy the very most important and desirable concert posters for well under $100,000. This under valuation won't last long. If you are thinking of acquiring a few World Class concert posters, now is the time to do so, while prices are still relatively affordable.

3) We have CONTINUOSLY written and reported on the most important number in collectibles, that number being #1, as in FIRST. Again,this advice is not dispensed as opinion, it's shown as FACT. The FIRST in any collectible is the most historically important, and always command record levels of collector interest and demand.

We have personally made millions of dollars following this strategy and have CONSISTENTLY implored our collector clients to pursue the same. We urge you to read our blog dated January 25, 2010 to learn more about this critical collecting strategy.

To read more about the spectacular $2,000,000 Action comics #1 sale, click here.

CGC Graded Concert Posters- To Frame or Not Frame?

Collectors have their choice of many excellent options

Every day we speak with collectors that are sold on the safety, security and liquidity that accompanies every vintage concert poster that has been independently authenticated and graded by CGC. 

One common question that always gets asked is: "I love CGC graded concert posters but how do I frame and display them? To our current knowledge, the collector has 3 different options as follows:

This amazing BG-8 CGC graded concert poster has been framed with the holder fully visible.

This amazing BG-8 CGC graded concert poster has been framed with the holder fully visible.

1) Remove the poster from the holder and frame as usual. The main benefit to buying CGC graded and authenticated posters is you gain far greater confidence that you are getting exactly what you paid for.

Let's face it, there are many different printings for most issues, there are counterfeit and bootleg posters floating around, and a HUGE percentage of surviving posters have professional restoration that can only be detected by a trained eye.

In today's quality conscious market where originality is highly prized, value is directly correlated to state of preservation. Very small differences in quality can mean HUGE differences in price. Given these market realities, why would you want to take someone's word for the condition a poster is in when that person has a direct conflict of interest? That's why PAE has a policy of ONLY selling CGC graded concert posters, if the issue we are selling is currently eligible for CGC's service.

Given these facts, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a CGC graded poster so you can be confident you are actually getting what you paid for. The poster can then be removed from the holder and professionally framed using museum quality archival materials and procedures. At least with this option, you won't find yourself many years down the road, ready to sell, and find out THEN that you were sold something that was mis-represented.

2) Frame your CGC poster in the holder with the holder visible. A second option is to frame the poster in the CGC holder, with all the information CGC provides fully displayed. Some of our clients tell us they believe the CGC information provided, (Band, venue, date, artists, condition, etc.) adds to the viewing experience.

This is an incredible BG-74 poster that has been graded 9.8 by CGC. The poster remains in it's CGC holder, which is hidden by the mat

This is an incredible BG-74 poster that has been graded 9.8 by CGC. The poster remains in it's CGC holder, which is hidden by the mat

This option is a simple procedure that can be handled by any frame shop. Simply "float" the poster in a larger frame. The advantage of this option is that any frame shop can do it, you will have the security and peace of mind that the poster is protected in CGC's airtight holder, and the poster will command a premium price when it comes tie to sell since it will already be CGC graded and authenticated.

3) Frame your CGC poster in the holder with a mat hiding the CGC holder.

A third option is to frame the poster in the CGC holder, but completely hide the holder using a mat. The advantage of this option is that you get the safety and security of the CGC holder while having the same optical experience of framing the poster out of the holder.

No matter what you decide, there is no doubt that CGC third party authentication and grading provides tremendous benefits to vintage concert poster collectors. The safety, security and liquidity can all be enjoyed no matter how you decide to display these historic pieces of art.