Led Zeppelin/winterland poster 1969
QUESTION: Interested in purchasing two posters locally just curious about how to confirm if they are real. I can only post two pictures so I would like a little info on the winterland poster.
ANSWER: Hi Jay,
This is the so-called "BG-199" poster by artist Randy Tuten, commissioned by concert promoter Bill Graham. It was one of a few posters Tuten designed for Led Zeppelin gigs in the San Francisco area. Determining if this poster is "real" has a couple qualifiers - real, as in "not a forgery" or real, as in "first printing". There were several authorized reprints of this poster, most notably of which in 1990. Those were a limited run of 500 copies, hand numbered and signed at the bottom. These posters featured a relatively thick white border, and were significantly larger than original prints.
While certainly hard to tell from the pictures, the poster in question here could be a first printing. It appears to have the vivid shades of orange and blue which inferior copies lack, yet no large white border (as found with authorized reprints). An original should have some finish to it, but not "magazine cover" glossy. Also, I believe original prints are small - less than 14 inches in total width.
I have a minor issue with the signature. In the Tuten signatures I have seen, he has crossed his second T with a separate stroke, and that "cross" usually misses the T altogether and hovers over the trailing E. Here, that T appears to be crossed with a continuous stroke. Though I'm not an authority on analyzing signatures, that minor inconsistency was a bit of a red flag. In addition, he usually signed this poster in the white area at the bottom, not in the colored area of the poster itself.
With a local sale, you might have the opportunity for an up-close inspection. Check the corners, look for minor wear and any others signs of aging. A vintage poster with absolutely no imperfections might be too good to be true.
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QUESTION: Mike thanks for the quick response, I just found out they have the avacado too. Assuming all are reprints what might a safe figure be? I have more pics but unfortunately I can't send them. I don't mind a little gamble but don't want to go crazy with my limited knowledge. Trying to get appointment set up to measure inspect etc.
Oakland '75: Usually, these are listed for $300-$500, but a motivated seller could probably unload one for $150.
Winterland BG199: Not sure of a "safe" figure here, since I had concerns about the signature. Treating it as an unsigned reprint, it would be hard to tag it higher than $50. That's a low-sounding amount, but an authentic signature would mean additional value.
Avocado: Probably the easiest of the three posters to find. Reprinted at least 3 times, and every subsequent printing has a lower value. Assuming it's a recent reprint (14" or wider) it would be relatively cheap - maybe $20. I couldn't see a signature on this one, but if it's there, that would likely triple the value.
Remember, these are ballpark amounts that are based on how these posters are generally priced. Obviously, condition of the posters is a factor - something which wasn't possible to discern from the photos.
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QUESTION: Mike thank you again for the quick response, new to collecting so did not want to make a bad purchase.
You mention the sizes as being pretty important factor in determining what printing these are are there any guidelines I should be following?
A guideline, if any, has to do with the Winterland posters. Originals and valuable early reprints measured less than 14" in width. Less valuable, newer reprints were always 14" wide or more, with the 1990 BG-199 coming at a width of 25". Thus, the 14 inch mark is basically a "dividing line" between originals and later reprints.