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Movie Poster Collecting
Movie Poster Collecting
This article seeks to help answer some of the questions that you may have about collecting original movie art (a.k.a. movie poster collecting).
What should I collect?
When deciding which movie poster to collect, there are no set rules. You simply go with what you like. Many collectors only purchase motion picture art by format, such as lobby cards. While others choose to collect based on the film's country of origin, for example, all German posters, and some collectors prefer to collect only within a particular genre (B movies, action etc) or certain preferred film titles. So, follow your instincts and you can't go wrong.
If you are uncertain about the condition of an original movie poster as the dealer. The definition for grading conditions will vary from dealer to dealer. Make sure you understand what is meant by "good condition". Ask the dealer if the poster has any tears, stains, scratches, pin or staple holes, fading or it it has been subject any retouches or repairs. While mounting a poster on linen-backing is a perfectly acceptable archival process, it can also be used to hide severe condition problems. Make sure you know the condition of the poster before it was linen-backed and how much restoration (if any) has been done to it.
Original one sheet movie posters can be a large investment, so the dealer's/shop's about their return policy in the unfortunate event that item is damaged or turns out to be in lesser condition than you imagined. The usual practice is to insure the package for the dollar value of the item.
Many people are confused by the difference between a reissue and a reproduction movie poster. Many movies were released subsequent to the original dates. For example, The Wizard of Oz was originally released in 1939, and it was re-issued theatrically in '49 and '55. The studio produced ad campaigns for these releases and all of the posters, lobby, window cards etc. are designated as "re-issues". Gone With the Wind and Casablanca were also reissued theatrically at some point. Although the artwork is oftentimes completely different, they are still interesting and valuable collectibles. A reproduction, however, is simply a photographic copy of an original poster and has little or no value as a collectible.
Many movie posters are in such high demand that some companies have reproduced them. There are many ways to tell a reproduction from a re-issue or original poster. For instance, all 1- sheets posters before 1980 are folded, with very rare exceptions. A rolled, original poster of Gone with the Wind is simply nonexistent. Making sure the fine print is in focus is another indication of an original poster.
Original movie posters, like most art mediums, require the appropriate preservation methods to insure its longevity. Linen-backing is just one of the methods used in poster preservation. This method requires mounting the poster on a treated canvas material. A sheet of rice paper is then sandwiched between the poster and canvas and adhered to both with an archival glue. This permits the process to be reversed at a future time, if needed. "Paper-Backing" is a similar process, except in lieu of canvas, the poster is mounted on thick archival paper. However, for the most part, posters are usually linen-backed.
You must never dry mount posters. Dry mounting yellows the paper and cannot be reversed. Once dry mounted, the poster is subsequently devalued. Like all valuable collectibles, keep your collection out of direct sunlight. Flat file drawers are best for storing, if you have a large collection both in size and quantity. These can be purchased in most larger art supply stores.
When displaying your original poster in frames, make sure that you are using UV filtered glass or Plexiglas. Also, because of changes in weather, resulting moisture and mildew from condensation can destroy your valuable collectibles. We suggest using either a frame with "spacers" which elevate the glass or Plexiglas off the poster, or having the poster professionally matted. Just make sure that you choose a reputable framing store.
Mini Window Card
All Movie Replicas uses the 6- grade system for the condition our original movie posters:
A poster in MINT condition looks like it just came off of the press. It will have no blemishes or defects of any kind. It can be machine folded or rolled, depending on the manner in which it was originally. A poster in MINT condition commands top dollar in that title's normal price range.
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