• Most paper used for commercial advertising, vintage or otherwise, is cheap and disposable – often with high acidic content. One of the ways to strengthen and naturally preserve paper is to mount it to an archival acid-free surface, a process often referred to as “Linen-backing”. In fact, a misleading description since no linen is used. The term dates back to an early 20th century French process for conserving posters.

    PKZ Hanger
    Herbert Leupin
    1939. Swiss

  • Image:
    Leopold Von Kalckreuth
    c.1900. German

  • Image:
    Police Call
    1930’s. American

  • The high acidic content in most poster paper can cause brown spotting (foxing) or “Burn” marks along folds and creases. Frequently, posters are just plain dirty with sometimes decades of built up grime accumulated. With care, we can delicately wash paper before mounting or soak the piece in a mild stain reducing solution that can safely enhance the poster without compromising its original condition.

    These two 1950’s luxury railcar flyers were both similarly discolored when we received them. On the left, the paper is shown before treatment. The one on the right has been carefully cleaned before further restoration commences.

  • Image:
    Maroc et Senegal
    J. Tonelli
    1946. French

  • Once newly mounted, the poster will have been lightly cleaned, had creases and folds pulled out and preserved using only natural and archival materials. Additionally, the weight of the canvas gives an often fragile piece of paper enough substance to be framed or presented without buckling.

    Our artistic team can provide the least invasive but most effective restoration to mounted posters, including perfectly matched missing paper and light touch-up to tears and fold marks, using only water-based and non-acidic pencils and inks.

    By insuring no permanent change takes place, the integrity of your vintage poster is maintained while both improving its health and often greatly increasing its value.

  • Before backing a poster, the paper may need some preparation. Tape and stain removal for example, or the careful soaking off of one of those old French linens. Vintage posters may arrive at our casualty ward covered in scotch tape or glued onto a board. Posters need to be safely separated from any extraneous material before being mounted correctly.

  • Today a more durable duck canvas is used, to which wheat paste is carefully applied, then a sheet of high quality acid-free paper and finally the poster. Each layer of this sandwich is painstakingly rolled out to eliminate any air bubbles or surface dirt before drying flat over a period of several days.

  • Image:
    Cities of Art
    R.Van Doren
    1928. Belgian