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Rarity of posters

JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter

Obviously, collectors like to have some idea as to how rare a poster is, particularly with high value items. They use auction archives as a guide but its often difficult to tell whether the same poster is being relisted/resold or a different one is being auctioned. Condition reports and photos don't always help because the item is usually re photographed and condition is subjective depending on who is grading it at the time.

Sometimes, collectors will look at auction archives and see that a particular poster has turned up say, 5 times but that doesn't mean there are 5 copies. I know of one case at least where a very rare poster was sold in fair condition with quite a bit of damage. I happen to know that the same poster turned up years later in a major auction after being linen backed. The same poster was later offered for sale again. Collectors searching through auction records might assume that a few copies exist when it was actually the same poster being resold.

This is not a criticism in any way of the major auctions but I just want to point out that even though a poster might be appearing more than once in a major auction, it doesn't necessarily mean that there are multiple copies. It could well be the same poster being resold.



  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,307 admin
    It is a reasonable point you make.

    But this is also assuming the same poster is going through the same auction house each time. Further, unless all the owners of (any rare) title state they are the owner of one, how does one really know how many copies there are (at the rare, limited quantities end of the scale)?

    Because conversely to your point, just because a title appears only once in an auction does not mean there is only one; it is possible not all owners of rare pieces are collectors per se so could not give a flying fig about how many others there are.

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