Every collector have to face these questions:

1. “Does this poster worth the money?”
2. “What kind of poster will appreciate in value faster?”
3. “How will the defects of a poster affect its value?”
4. “Does posters published in earlier date worth more?”
5. “Should I always prefer rare posters to ordinary ones?”

Although there are no straight forward answers to such questions, there is still ways to gauge the value of posters. I want to reiterate that Chinese propaganda posters carry important cultural value which cannot be reflected only in terms of money.

However, for general understanding and for ease comparison, it would be more convenient and efficient to interpret their value in money sense. In my “poster for sale” section, you can easily perceive that different kind of posters are differently priced. The question is, how do I determine the prices of those posters?

In fact, there are certain points of consideration when I price a poster. the only factor which cannot be explained empirically is experience. When I described a poster as “rare”, I was making judgment according to my own experience and knowledge gained in the past ten odd years.

But apart from experience, I can still tell you the points to note in estimating the value of posters. You may always disagree with me, but please be understanding that I am only trying to share my experience with all fellow collectors. Every person may have their own preference.

In extreme cases, one may only like anti-imperialism posters or say, Maoist posters and dislike all other kinds of CRPs. However, when you somehow need to sale your collection, you will have to face the more commonly accepted evaluation system. So, let’s take a look at them together.

How to Evaluate the Value of a Poster?

Factors Affecting the
Value of a Poster

Details
Weights in % (totally 100%)
Graphical Appeal

Strong action (such as anti-US, anti-imperialism etc); with strong characteristic (such as huge crops and satellites etc. of the Big leap forward period); with Mao image; sometimes even a chubby poster can realize a high price simply because of its beautiful design.

40%

Title/Content

Titles are more important for experienced collectors because they tend to get samples of all important political events.

15%

Rarity & Year of Publish

Everybody want to get a unique poster, right? And in general, posters from the 50’s or earlier period are more rare to find.

15%

Condition

The main body of the poster should be intact (no missing pieces or too long a tear or serious creases); minor creases and/or damages on white edges are acceptable.

15%

Form & Size

The bigger the more expensive; special format are more valuable, such as 3-panel posters or long size posters.

5%

Artist

If by famous artists, especially artwork of them in earlier period of which the original paintings may have perished).

5%

Number of prints

Posters of small quantity are generally of higher value; test print, prototype or unpublished (sometimes withdrawn due to political reasons or as ordered by party leaders) are extremely rare.

5%

Real Examples
(The 3 samples are taken from my “Master Piece Section”, you may refer to their bigger size photos and descriptions over their )

Factors

SU001

SU002

SU003

Graphic Appeal

40

32

32

Title/Content

15

15

15

Rarity & Year of Publish

15

15

15

Condition

13

13

15

Form & Size

5

Artist

3

Number of prints

3

5

5

Total Scores:

86

83

88

 

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