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Advice needed, not happy with current work from a London based linenbacker

medwaygaragemedwaygarage Member Posts: 11 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
I'm beginning to regret doing this but i thought i would give a local London based linenbacker a try instead of shipping to the US. His work looked good on the website, work for museums etc. 2x Japanese tatekan [2-panel] posters, one very rare Bardot poster and one for 'Lone Wolf and Cub:Baby Cart at the River Styx', both needed a fair bit of work some areas of missing paper, tape stains and paint [Bardot].Tears, stains and wear on the 'Lone Wolf and Cub'. A quote was given £325+VAT [tax] each poster [£650 + VAT] which was quite high but considering the work needed i thought i'd go with it.




















Alarm bells started ringing when restoration started, there was virtually no communication except to ask me if i wanted more work done to the Bardot poster at an additional cost of £180, the alarming thing apart from the added fee was the low-res photos i received!







I reluctantly agreed and cancelled a quote for a poster frame i had with him as the costs were mounting up, he quoted £1,000 for work to a French one panel for 'Alphaville' i brought in which pointless as i could probably buy a fully restored one at Christies for that price!

I was sent an email saying both posters were ready for collection, needless to say i wasn't too impressed when i saw the results, no photos were provided beforehand other than the 3 low-res ones above. On the Bardot poster the paint was still clearly visable no attempt had been made to remove it, plenty of touch ups still needed throughout the poster, the tape stains lessened but no attempt to airbrush them out.

On the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' poster the fills were done, top one could've looked better, tears on the bottom left, still very clearly visable, black marks still clearly visable, wear on the poster still visable!

Last Thursday i went to his studio which was a pretty awkward meeting with me pointing out that i was very unhappy with the results.

"Why hasn't the poster been retouched?"
I show him my receipt for the quote which clearly states retouching, he then admits he doesn't know why it wasn't done!
"Why hasn't the paint been removed?"
His assistant chimes in "Oh it's oil based paint can't remove that"
Me: "so no attempt was made or email sent to me asking me, looks like poster paint to me, i had an Italian 2-fogli which had the entire title painted over and stenciled with a new title for use in Belgium restored, all the paint came off and it only cost $250 *this was a few years back in 2009 admittedly*
Me: "The black marks, wear and pin holes on the 'Lone Wolf' poster haven't been touched, why?"
His assistant: "The black marks are surface wear"
Me: "Some of these flaws should have come out in the deacidification and bleach baths"

Personally i don't think this has been done! I was livid!

I won't name this individual as he still has my posters promising more work, he'll let me know when they're ready, which if the quality of the work hasn't improved i'll be rejecting again.

What would you guys do in this situation?


Post edited by medwaygarage on
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Comments

  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,213 admin
    edited August 2016
    Sue? Is there a small claims court in the UK for this sort of thing?

    Direct him to this thread, this site gets well over 40,000-50,000 site visits per month, we have followers numbering in the thousands on Facebook and various poster groups around the world, you are perfectly within your rights to name him if all you are doing is recounting the facts.

    It is simply up to the rest of the poster collecting community to decide whether his services are worth trying based on your experiences/review.

    Gorgeous Bardot too btw
    David
  • MirosaeMirosae Member Posts: 851 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    edited August 2016
    Would you mind sharing the name of the restorer? I stopped using British restores a while ago. I think I've used pretty much all with no very good results.

    Very sorry to read this. I know how it feels...

    ****Edit*****

    Ps. Just noticed that you don't wish to name the restorer. I understand.  I had similar issues with another two in London. In my case i asked for my money and posters back. I had to send my posters semi restored to the US to get them sorted. 

    As David suggests directing others to this thread is another good option. 

    Post edited by Mirosae on
    Rosa -
    Love some paper
  • MattMatt Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,037 admin
    Most other restorers would of charged half what he wants. That's way too much for the work he's done.
  • CSM_2_Point_0CSM_2_Point_0 Member, Super Sleuth Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    These restoration prices are absolutely shocking
    -Chris

    There's a street of lights

    A long dark night
    Restaurant scenes
    And dark machines...

  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector

    Agree with the other guys, the prices seem up there.

    Was there any kind of attempt made to do anything to rectify the problems you identified or to make you happy?

  • PaulPaul Member, Quad Master Posts: 1,608 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    I've also had problems with him, he only does posters as a sideline, and doesn't really care about them. Too busy keeping his bigger clients happy.

    I used him once, and would never go back again, luckily my costs were nowhere near what yours are, and I put mine down to experience.

    As much as I hate the sending to the US, and the worry if the poster will get lost, it still works out cheaper even taking into account the postage both ways, plus you get a better job done. 
    It's more than a Hobby...
  • medwaygaragemedwaygarage Member Posts: 11 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    He still has the posters and is working on them after i rejected the work he has done so far, his assistant seemed really annoyed when i started pointing out all the flaws.

    I'm going to send him an email this weekend asking if any sort of deacidification or bleach bath has been applied, i'll be amazed if it has as the paint and stains are there. If it hasn't i think that's game over, the poster needs to be sent to the US.

    I can see this ending in the small claims court at the moment.
  • MirosaeMirosae Member Posts: 851 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    edited August 2016
    Good for you. Naming and shaming can be helpful.

    If it helps, when I was in a similar position I reached an agreement I didnt need to take it further. I took my posters back, sent them to the US and as a compensation the London restorer framed it "free" of charge.

     But it wasn't your guy, but another London based restoration gallery,  MPAG.  The guys there are actually nice.
    Rosa -
    Love some paper
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 848 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    Having someone who isn't very good do yet more restoration to try to fix their first mistakes is the ultimate case of "throwing good money after bad".

    Listen to Mirosae. I think you will be far happier in the long run if you try to settle it for a lesser amount, and then send them to someone who has a sterling reputation, to perform additional restoration.
    We (eMoviePoster.com) hold 3,000 auctions a week, 138,000 a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here: http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/all.html
  • medwaygaragemedwaygarage Member Posts: 11 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    edited August 2016
    I sent the email and have now got a reply, i'd like to hear your thoughts on this

    My email;

    "Dear Graham,

    I'm still a bit shocked at what i saw at your studio last Thursday [11th Aug] when i came in to collect my 'Bardot' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' posters, both of which i was told were ready to collect!

    So this begs the question what has actually been done to these posters as i have received no progress reports, other than a request for more money to cover more work to the Bardot poster, which should've been included in the original quote anyway, accompanied by 3x very low resolution photographs which make it near impossible to see anything!

    Frankly i'm very disapointed with the work so far, especially at a premium price considerably higher than any US linenbackers i have used in the past;

    *Links to Dario and Jaime Mendez sites*


    Have these posters been in the deacidification and bleach baths? Surely the matt paint on the 'Bardot' poster would have lifted off, i previously managed to get some off using cotton wool and lighter fuel, also surely the black marks on the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' poster would have been removed or lessened during the bleaching process.

    Work still needed to be done;
    On the 'Bardot' poster the paint needs to be removed, the marks left by the tape need to be airbrushed or painted out, there are still plenty of areas throughout this poster that need touching up and addressing.

    On the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' poster there has been no attempt to touch up the poster, i was pretty shocked that you didn't know why, especially seeing as you've billed me for it on the invoice you sent me, the tears on the poster and pinhole damage have not been addressed, this should be disguised and should be near invisible with paste fills, the black marks have not been removed this should have been bleached out, the fill at the top of this poster is poor and stands out, this needs addressing as well.

    If you are to continue with work on these posters, and frankly i am so disturbed by what i've seen so far i'm not sure this is a good idea, i expect to be given progress reports and high resolution photos of the work as an absolute minimum, frankly i have no idea why you've charged me even more on your invoice when the work from my the initial quote still hasn't been done. Very disapointing.

    Regards
    Adrian Jones"

    The reply;

    "Dear Adrian
    I’m sorry that you are not happy with the work so far. There is a vast difference in the way your previous linen backer at vintage movie art deals with conservation and restoration compared to UK conservators. In the Uk we are very cautious about over restoration
    please read the comment From Mike Bloomfield below:

    Things may be different in the American market (though I doubt much different) but generally the market here & leading auction houses etc, are becoming more sensitive to matters of restoration. Certainly most serious collectors are beginning to get nervous about posters that have been "over-restored". Whilst I would accept minor re-touching etc, I never touch posters that have been significantly over-painted. These posters never have the value of good quality unrestored posters & they are more difficult to sell. If your client just wants the poster for him/herself for aesthetic appreciation, then fine but if they have any interest in the poster as an investment at anytime in the future, I wouldn't recommend acrylic.

    Hope that helps & feel free to pass on my tel # if they want to chat further.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Bloomfield
    MEM: Music & Cinema Memorabilia
    www.moviepostermem.com
    www.rockpopmem.com
    www.chantrellposter.com
    www.fiskenposter.com
    Tel: 01635 269 327

    As you can see we at our studio are very much in line with Mike Bloomfield’s comment on not reducing the value of the artwork and had we given you the posters resprayed you could have come down heavily on us saying that we had reduced the value of the work for resale.  A lot of retouching has been done to your posters but "No Respraying” 
    I can see that we can improve certain areas and we will address these. I will try and remove the paint and retouch the damage that may be caused in doing that, deal with the pin holes, black mark and repairs.

    Your other point about deacidification and a bleach bath is somewhat strange as well, as we do not bleach any poster as this would lighten all the printing inks and would not necessarily reduce the black marks. We did try and remove the marks with solvents and we will try again.

    The Canadian restorer in Vancouver charges the equivalent  of £35 Per hour. We did inform you that our hourly rate is £60 per hour + vat and we could not charge the American prices in London. 

    After we have done  the work we will send you more “detailed photographs” and then see what you think. However if you do want resprays in acrylic it might be best to go to America for that. Lets just see how we get on in the next few days.

    regards Graham"



  • CSM_2_Point_0CSM_2_Point_0 Member, Super Sleuth Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    It is true that there are 'European' vs. 'rest of the world' styles of backing and restoration.  But you would think the prices charged would be diminished vs. inflated since far less work is going into the poster!

    I hope the areas you have noted can be addressed and you will be happy with the posters.  In the end, this might just become one of those proverbial 'painful learning experiences' unfortunately...
    -Chris

    There's a street of lights

    A long dark night
    Restaurant scenes
    And dark machines...

  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,265 admin
    I'll European back any poster for 60 pounds an hour...  I could quit my job.
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • PaulPaul Member, Quad Master Posts: 1,608 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    The problem is, Graham's studio is in the centre of London, and the prices he pays to be there are huge, so it's reflected in his costs. Which is why I send overseas, London prices are ridiculous for anything...  Try buying a poster from one of them.. :o
    It's more than a Hobby...
  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,213 admin
    I probably don't have an issue with the cost he charges for his work, that's his business and if you are a customer then you are aware of it up front (or at least you should be).

    I would have an issue with the work he doesn't do for his charges, if he fails to do as directed/requested then he has breached a contract between client and supplier.


    David
  • SvenSven Member Posts: 2,067 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    Re "Lets just see how we get on in the next few days"

    Recommend to cut the cord and take your posters back. Its causing you undue stress. Its cost you enough money already.  Sure you have and will pay more than you want to take your posters back but not worth this ongoing stress. Cut the cord and feel relief. All collectors  have had some experience where money has gone down the drain, so dont feel too bad about it. You just need to end it now rather than continue the saga.

    Good luck!
  • medwaygaragemedwaygarage Member Posts: 11 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    I think you might be right Sven, slight correction though, i haven't paid anything yet, nor will i until this work is corrected or an arrangement is reached for return of the posters.

    A few things stick out in Graham's reply, firstly the way the deacidification bath is initally mentioned then not addressed, so this looks very much like this hasn't been done. Doesn't this process also get rid of imperfections within the paper, presumably acid free masa paper has been used and then the poster linenbacked.What affect would not having the deacidification bath have on the poster? if i wanted to send the posters to the US, would the posters need debacking of both the linen and masa then going through the whole process again?

    The Mike Bloomfield quote is a McGuffin as he goes on to say "Whilst I would accept minor re-touching", i'm not asking for large areas of airbrushing to be applied anyway, just touch ups, some of which i've been invoiced for but the work hasn't been carried out [LW&C].

    Graham has at no point asked me if it's for resale or for my personal collection, it is for my personal collection, so an email and some communication wouldn't of gone amiss. I haven't asked for 'over restoration' just touch ups anyway, look at the photos earlier in the thread, the smaller ones were sent to me when he wanted an extra £180 for an 3 extra hours work, which i reluctantly agreed to. I viewed the posters when i went to collect them, there were no touch ups carried out on the LW&C at all. The Bardot still needed lots of touch ups and paint removal, frankly the only difference i noticed from when i put them in for restoration was the linenbacking and tape removal, all the other flaws were still there.

  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,213 admin
    I agree with Sven too
    David
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
    edited August 2016

    Far out.  Talk about a rough time!

    I agree regarding the price...as with posters, people are free to charge whatever they like as long as they disclose what you are getting for that price.

    It sounds like you didn't get what you initially seemed to have agreed upon with the restorer.

    I don't know any collectors who want an "over restored" poster.

    When we send something for backing it is usually because it has some issues which we want removed right? Else what is the point of sending it off for restoration???? 

    And who cares what the feck you are going to do with the poster afterwards?  It's not his concern if you are going to keep or sell it.  You've asked him to do specific work, he quotes on that work and then does it (hopefully) then you pay.  That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard...

    It sounds like to me that you are not unhappy with his work, rather unhappy with his lack of doing any work.

    I guess you need to ask yourself what will you do if when  you get them back they are um, you know, not very good!

    I've not used him and I have no idea the quality of his work, but if (when he actually does something) it is good, I would give them the opportunity to fix it.  But would be prepared for the worst and the obvious battle over payment that will ensue.

    Good luck to you...I will keep everything crossed that things turn out great.

  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector

    I've a handful of pretty rare pieces that need some TLC which I will hopefully be in a position to correct next year!  All this talk of late of bad restoration and bad experience does not bode well.  What's a girl to do!

  • MirosaeMirosae Member Posts: 851 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    I find his answer is rather disappointing.  Suggesting that overseas restorers are not careful about "over restoration" is wrong and misleading. Either way, he should have been clearer up front about the costs.

    I will challenge him not on the price but overall on his customer service and on the quality of his work so far. Take your posters,  try to get some of your money back and dont look back.
    Rosa -
    Love some paper
  • SvenSven Member Posts: 2,067 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    few things stick out in Graham's reply, firstly the way the deacidification bath is initally mentioned then not addressed, so this looks very much like this hasn't been done. Doesn't this process also get rid of imperfections within the paper, presumably acid free masa paper has been used and then the poster linenbacked.What affect would not having the deacidification bath have on the poster? if i wanted to send the posters to the US, would the posters need debacking of both the linen and masa then going through the whole process again?

    Correct the bath essentially removes acid, which causes paper to brown over time.

    I would say yes they would need to be rebacked after a bath.  You have the option not to but for peace of mind i think you should. Otherwise you will get them back from the US and start thinking, maybe i should have had them bathed and rebacked . 

    Best
  • RichRich Member, Dealer, Tea Lady Posts: 237 ✭✭ One-Sheeter
    hey, I have my own story of a linenbacker who has my posters for years. he was paid also.

    I thought it was explained what I wanted sometime back, but the guy never lived up to his promises, I never got my posters nor my payment back - a total loss

    another lesson I guess
    Rich Halegua
    Visit MoviePosterBid
  • EisenhowerEisenhower Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 3,979 admin
    Agree with Sven, get your posters out of there as soon as you can for as little cost as you can. I imagine it will be a difficult/tense experience, but the longer they stay with him, the more the costs will rise. Good luck!
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector

    Um, why should the cost rise?

    The most I would be paying is the original quoted and agreed to price.  Anything above that is the restorers problem.

  • EisenhowerEisenhower Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 3,979 admin
    I agree! But it certainly doesn't sound like the restorer has followed through with his clients original requests. I would be worried if his original quote, did not include completed work that was first requested, additional costs may follow. Hopefully not. 
  • RichRich Member, Dealer, Tea Lady Posts: 237 ✭✭ One-Sheeter

    Um, why should the cost rise?

    The most I would be paying is the original quoted and agreed to price.  Anything above that is the restorers problem.

    so totally agree with this, especially when the so-called restorer can't chew what they have bitten off
    Rich Halegua
    Visit MoviePosterBid
  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,265 admin
    Rich, I thought that restorer offered to cover the full value of the posters for his mistakes?  I doubt this guy will do that...
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • medwaygaragemedwaygarage Member Posts: 11 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    I had an interesting chat with Mike Bloomfield today, his comments had been taken out of context, the questions asked by Graham Bignell for him to provided by email were regarding over spraying by some US linenbackers which Mr Bloomfield had encountered at auction houses. However this wasn't the work i was asking Graham to do as you can see from the emails, so he misled both myself and Mr Bloomfield with the leading questions that he asked and then took them out of context. Thank you to Mr Bloomfield for taking the time to answer those questions.

    Today i sent the following email to Graham Bignell;

    "Dear Graham,

    Thank you for your reply, i would like you to stop work on these posters immediately.

    I have spoken to Mike Bloomfield and i believe his coments have been taken out of context, at no point have i asked for large sections to be "sprayed", nor do the linenbackers i have used in the US do this. I did however ask for both posters to be touched up, which was not done, what's the point in sending a poster for restoration, if the restorer doesn't do the work he invoices you for!

    I will ask again, have these posters been in the deacidification bath? If not the posters will need to be debacked and the masa paper [if it was mounted] removed by my US linenbacker before he can attempt another restoration, starting with the deacidification bath.

    When will it be possible to collect these posters. Thank you.

    Regards
    Adrian Jones"
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