Today’s lesson

Which is, don’t move house if you own lots of posters.  The picture below is the corner of my study.  There are some more Quad Royals behind the sofa too, and a ton of smaller ones scattered everywhere else.

too many posters

Most of those aren’t going to make it onto the walls in the forseeable future either.  This is a) because we’ve moved to a rented house for the moment in the hope of finding a lovely renovation project which doesn’t seem to exist at the moment and b) the walls of the aforementioned rented house are made up of equal combinations of old plaster and air, and so wouldn’t stand most of what we’d like to throw at them.  Anyone got a hotel for sale?  The corridors would be ideal for poster hanging.

Now that we’ve moved out, I was going to post some pictures  of the old house so that you could see the posters in situ without too much of my life being out there on the internet.  But when I came back to look at the photos, it seemed that the estate agent had prioritised the rooms rather than the posters.  Can’t think why.

Tom Purvis travel poster on our old walls

The one above is the only real exception, and it’s a bit out of character too, what with the poster being pre-war rather than post war.  Never mind.

A normal service should be possible from here on, with some news of poster auctions ahoy either tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on how it all goes.

  • Hmm, that should have said .. “And a lovely railway poster, to boot”. I can’t make out the subject, but it looks full of sunshine! Very impressed with your neat stack of beautifully sealed poster tubes, btw – so very unlike my own sprawling collection. I have just acquired an item of furniture which is going to revolutionise my life – a plan chest with many shallow drawers of Quad Royal capacity. If anyone has any recommendations for the best possible storage of posters in it (archive sleeves? acid-free tissue leaves?), I would be most grateful to hear them.

    Thanks for all your fine posts!

  • Oh, but we beat ourselves up about the fact that all the posters are rolled rather than being nicely laid out in a plan chest, so we are very envious of you. We do have a plan chest, but it’s currently in storage because we haven’t got a house that will fit it. One day this will all come together.

    I have been told, at some point, the best way to conserve posters which did involve archive boxes and acid free tissue, but a paper conservator is probably the best person to ask about that. Would love to hear the official advice too.

    As for the poster, it’s this one. Bought for not v much on eBay, cost rather more to restore…

  • After a bit of fossicking on the net & visiting the BPMA, I gather the secret to safe storage is to use pockets formed from Melinex, the most chemically inert form of polyester available. It is pre-treated on both sides for easy slippage & protects precious posters against most environmental hazards. However, it is not cheap & to my surprise, I haven’t been able to source it in Double & Quad Royal sizes as standard.

    The BMPA use the brand Secol, which offers “glass-clear” pockets for minimal visual obscuration of the stored image. The closest Secol come to Double Royal is their standard map pocket at 30 ½” x 40 ¼” – which is pretty close, I suppose. These cost £85 for 10 pockets! They can offer a bespoke service for both sizes, but I would imagine that is going to be beyond the reach of the average avid poster collector.

    A good investment for a higher-end collection, however.

    If anyone would like to learn more:

  • The standard map pocket sounds pretty good – it’s not as though we heave our posters around too much. But that’s very handy information, thank you. We shall start saving…

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