The beauty of a vintage poster is that a piece of history and memories of times past have been preserved, even as our world continues to race towards a digital future. Most of our collection is decades, if not over a century old, printed for a limited use and ephemeral in nature; they were not meant to last. While many are in near mint condition and have been beautifully preserved over the decades, others may have some damage and show some wear. Some of our posters have been professionally preserved or restored if necessary, which will be noted in the description.
Please note that many of our posters will have at least two images, a main image which highlights the graphics, and a second image that will always show the entire poster. When we photograph the posters, we will often use magnets to hold the image in place, rest assured these are not pins! You can also zoom in on any image to view the condition in greater detail. We're also happy to send you additional photo close ups of any posters, just let us know.
We us a widely recognized 6 scale system to grade our posters.
Some of our posters have been preserved and archived using a method referred to as "linen backing" or "mounted on linen". This is an archival process where the poster has been professionally cleaned, de-acidified, mounted on archival paper and affixed to a high quality artist canvas using a gentle wheat paste. The materials used are reversible, and the process is recognized throughout the industry as a safe and effective way to stabilize and preserve valuable posters.
Occasionally, restoration work is also completed to reduce wrinkles, repair tears and missing sections, or to remove stains.
Antique prints provide us with an amazing glimpse into the past, before digital media, computers and the Internet. Smaller in size than our vintage posters, many of these incredible images were rescued from rare books, atlases, reference materials and other antique publications. Their small size lends them extremely well to groupings of pictures, framed together or separately.
There are many reasons to collect and display antique prints. Some are intrigued by the connection to history and the knowledge they represent. Others are interested in specific subjects and topics, or perhaps a particular artist or author, and will collect only one type. For us, it's all about the image... our collection is chock full of natural history (specifically entomology), early technology, and just about anything else we think is unique. We love everything about these wonderful old gems: the history, the feel of the paper, the patina, even the aroma. We love that they're not perfect, and every smudge, stain and blemish is part of the history and story. We love thinking about the hands this piece of paper have passed through over the years, and the journey it took to get to our collection. We hope you enjoy them too, and find the perfect piece of history to call your own!
Chromolithographs- Color printing from a stone or plate, this process was developed in the 1870's and was all but non-existent by the end of the 1930's. A chromolithograph was made using anywhere from eight to 25 stones or more, one for each color and separately drawn. These stones were then applied to the paper one color at a time; a painstaking process that required skill and accuracy, with each stone being precisely registered. The results however were well worth it, with beautiful, vibrant colors available for the first time for everything from books and posters to cigar boxes and crate labels.
Intaglio Print Methods- Etchings and engravings were both very popular methods to illustrate antique publications, prints and plates. Both are similar, in that they share the use of intaglio (Italian for "cut in") printing methods to produce an image. According to the International Fine Print Dealers Association, the different types of intaglio prints are distinguished by the technique used: etching, aquatint, and photogravure are made using acid to corrode the metal plate (copper or later steel), while engraving, drypoint, and mezzotint are made using a sharp tool to incise, or scratch, the surface of the plate. These methods produce fine lines that can create detailed images, which were often hand colored to produce unique works of art.
Prior to the mid 1800's, a printing process that allowed for reliable color reproduction at scale was not available, and the hand coloring of etchings and engravings flourished. This practice began as early as the 1600's and was very expensive, often increasing the cost of production many times over, ensuring only the most important works and the wealthiest clientele would enjoy their unique beauty. The typical technique involved water colors and long broad strokes, a process which is appreciated not only at arms length, but also under magnification, when the nuances and imperfections are displayed in all their glory. Hand coloring could take place at the time the book or print was issued, or at a later date, in fact that are artists today that will hand color a beautiful antique print!
Most antique prints show some age and wear, as their intended use was repeated handling. They're far from perfect, but that's why we love them... you can feel the history and age, and the vintage vibe is undeniable. The best way to view the condition of a print on our site is to use the photo zoom tool to get a close up view. Not only can you view any imperfections, but you'll also see the amazing details these wonderful old images contain, as well as the hand coloring work on many prints.
All items are carefully hand-packed and shipped in a sturdy tube within 3 business days of payment unless otherwise indicated. Some items which were previously folded or not suitable for rolling will be sent in a flat pack. Please note that an adult signature may be required upon delivery, so we are unable to ship to PO boxes. Unless otherwise noted in the product description or a special offer, shipping rates are as follows:
Shipping rates do not include international taxes or duties which may be charged by your country's border customs control agency. NOTE: Many shippers have been experiencing periodic delays due to Covid-19 restrictions, especially International shipments.
All of our posters are guaranteed to be authentic and as described in the product description to the best of our knowledge and belief, and in good faith. Quite simply, if you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply contact us within 14 days of receipt and we'll gladly accept your return, providing the item is in the same condition as it was sent.
Our policy lasts 14 days. If 14 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately, we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be in the same condition that you received it. It must also be sent in the original packaging.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable). Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error. Any item that is returned more than 14 days after delivery may also be ineligible.
Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. Your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within two business days. Original shipping costs are not refundable.
To return your product, you should mail your product to:
Authentic Vintage Posters- RETURNS
7514 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable.
If you are returning an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service and purchasing shipping insurance. We can't guarantee that we will receive your returned item.