6- GRADE SYSTEM
MINT - A poster
in MINT condition looks like it just came off of the press. It will have
no blemishes or defects of any kind. It can be machine folded or rolled,
depending on the manner in which it was originally. A poster in MINT condition
commands top dollar in that title's normal price range.
NEAR MINT - A poster in
NEAR MINT condition may have minor blemishes in the border only. The artwork
is in excellent condition with no blemishes whatsoever. A poster in NEAR
MINT condition commands slightly less than one in MINT condition.
VERY GOOD - A poster in
VERY GOOD condition may have blemishes in the border and up to approximately
one inch of the poster's artwork. There may be small tears in the artwork
along the fold lines only. It may also have minor fading. A poster in
VERY GOOD condition will command slightly less than one in NEAR MINT condition.
GOOD - A poster in GOOD condition
may have tears or small holes that measure no larger than a quarter on
the outer edges of the poster's artwork. Pieces of the border may be torn
or missing; there may be mild bleed-through in the outer area of the artwork;
there may be mild fading. In general, a poster in GOOD condition will
have minor blemishes around the border and into the outer edges of the
artwork. The major area of the artwork must be clear of any blemishes.
The price of a poster in GOOD condition generally falls in the middle
to lower end of the price range for that title.
FAIR - A poster in FAIR condition
may have major blemishes that directly affect the artwork of the poster.
The poster is recognizable and the artwork is primarily intact. The value
of a poster in FAIR condition will weigh heavily on its title. If it is
a rare piece, it still may command the lower end of the poster's normal
price range. A poster in FAIR condition must be professionally restored.
POOR - Posters in POOR condition
will have serious blemishes or in general, in such poor shape that even
the slightest handling adds to the damage. The value of a poster in POOR
condition will weigh heavily on its title. If it is a rare piece, it still
may command the lower end of the poster's normal price range. A poster
in POOR condition must be professionally restored.
9- GRADE SYSTEM
The 9-grade system is the most commonly used. The 9- grade
system includes the same terms as the 6-grade system, with the addition
of the three grades EXCELLENT, VERY FINE and FINE. These grades fit between
the grades of NEAR MINT and VERY GOOD.
EXCELLENT - EXCELLENT condition is a term
used in several ways by different dealers. The most common usage is a
condition between VERY GOOD and NEAR MINT conditions on the six grade
scale. Where some dealers will say VG+, other dealers will call it excellent
condition. Beware! There are also a group of dealers that use the excellent
condition phrase to mean anything from GOOD to NEAR MINT on the six grade
scale. This is a very broad range or anything presentable. When someone
is using the 'excellent condition' phrase, it may be wise to question
a little more as to what is meant.
VERY FINE - VERY FINE condition
is a term used by some dealers that describes a condition that is comparable
to what dealers call VERY GOOD in the 6-grade system. This can be confusing
since both systems use a VERY GOOD condition grade at different levels.
FINE - FINE condition is a term
used by some dealers to describe a condition that normally falls between
GOOD and VERY GOOD on the six grade scale. Other dealers will call the
same condition G+ or VG-.
The 10-grade system
was introduced by Jon Warren and is patterned after other collectible
hobbies, such as comic books. These fit in categories from C-1 to C-10
C10 - MINT - Item is "as new" or in
the same condition as the day it was made. The item may or may not literally
be in "perfect" condition, but it does exhibit an amazing state
of preservation with virtually no perceptible flaws of any kind, other
than very minor flaws that may have occurred during the printing process.
Printing registration should be perfect. In many cases, an otherwise "mint"
poster may have printing flaws in the registration, or alignment, of colors
causing one color to stand slightly offset from the others. The folding/trimming
process should not have resulted in any damage to the item of any kind.
Sometimes a poster may have slight fold lines that occurred when the poster
was put through the folding machine. If the fold line broke the ink, causing
a faint white line, the item should not be grated C10. No edge fraying
or dents/impressions are allows in this grade.
C9 - NEAR MINT - Superb. Unused
or very carefully used, but with some minor storage defect, minor tear,
one pinhole in each corner or some other very minor flaw on an otherwise
unused poster. Item may be in "never-used" condition or may
have been used in the theatre, but was carefully preserved after use.
One tiny pinhole in each corner from being displayed is allowable in this
grade. Slightly offset color registration is allowable in this grade.
Very slight compression marks (indentations) from move theatre use (i.e.
Clamped in a display) are allowable in this grade. No edge fraying. One
Sheets, which were normally quarter-folded until recent times, may have
very slight fold wear, if such wear does not significantly affect the
eye appeal of the image. Folds haven't damaged print.
C8 - EXCELLENT - Commonly referred
to as Condition A or Very Fine. Item may be in "never-used"
condition or may have been used in the theater, but was carefully preserved
after use. If a C9 is almost like new, then a C8 is not far behind a C9.
An above-average poster exhibiting minimal signs of use. Bright and clean.
Poster has no major defects but could have an accumulation of several
minor ones, such as a small (1/8" or less) border chip. No creases
on lobby cards, but normal/minor creases on one sheets and larger posters
is to be expected. A handful of small pinholes or border tears could be
present. Aging on older pieces could be present. Paper could be slightly
yellowed, but not brown. Minimal or slight restoration could be present
if professionally done. There may be signs of wear and use, such as folds
or creases (except on lobby cards), possibly a minor border tear, or pinholes
in the border. Not soiled; clean and bright. No frontal tape repairs are
allowed in this grade, but possibly one very minor tape repair to the
back of the piece. Window cards may have written or printed banners. The
image area of the poster should be undamaged. Poster should be bright,
supple, and clean. May exhibit more fold wear than a C9, but without significant
color loss in the fold areas. A slight amount of color loss is acceptable
in this grade, but if the fold wear is such that a heavy solid white line
results from loss of color due to wear, then the item would not qualify
for a C8 rating. No edge wrinkling or fraying is allowed in this grade.
No tape is allowed in this grade. No writing on the front of the poster
is allowed in this grade, however, writing on the back of the poster that
DOES NOT BLEED THROUGH is acceptable in this grade. Minor tears are allowed
in this grade, but they should be MINOR, meaning less than 1" in
length, and not more than two total tears on the item. Common areas for
tears on posters are at the folds, especially the interior folds where
the item may have been unfolded and then refolded. This kind of minor
paper separation (tear) is common and is allowable in a C8 grade notwithstanding
other extenuating circumstances. Should the item have minor paper loss,
such as a small piece missing from a corner or interior fold, it should
not be given a C8 rating. A corner crease (1/2" or less) or two can
be present, but numerous creases affecting the image are not allowed in
C7 - VERY GOOD to EXCELLENT -
Often referred to as Fine condition. Still a very nicely preserved item.
Typically, an item in this grade is almost a C8, but one or two unsightly
flaws, or heavier than normal fold wear or pinholes, or one small piece
of tape on a corner, cause the item to be assigned the C7 designation
rather than C8. Heavy damp stains eliminate the item from this grade.
However, a minor damp stain on an unobtrusive part of the poster could
be allowed. A window card with the top 4 inch blank area trimmed away
should not be rated higher than C7, even if in otherwise C9 condition.
C6 - VERY GOOD - Often referred
to as "Very Good" condition or "Condition B." The
typical used poster in average condition. A sound example, although with
wear and defects to be expected of an item that was intended to be used
and re-used. Unusual problems should be described. The poster can have
slight browning of paper but not brittleness or flaking; it may also have
a small amount of writing in some unobtrusive portion of the poster. Minor
border repair, edge tears, stains, or other signs of average use could
be present. Eye appeal of the image area should be good. Minor soiling
could be present. Larger posters could have minor fold tears (length of
which should be described); also normal folds, creases, minor fold tears,
possible repaired tear (from the back). Professional major restoration
is acceptable in this grade. The poster should be complete and if not,
major problems should be described (such as paper replacement). In every
case, paper replacement and major color touchup and restoration should
be described in detail. Tape anywhere on the poster should be mentioned
and described. Small pen markings on the front can be present if noted,
but not if large, heavy, or if affecting the eye appeal of the image.
Sun-fading on the poster should be described, and if significant, should
prevent the example from being in this grade. Heavy insect or rodent damage
is not allowable in this grade. Amateur color touchup with colored markers
is allowable in this grade. Common flaws that relegate an item to this
grade include heavy fold wear, unusually large number of pinholes or staple
holes, taped corners or fold lines reinforced with tape, minor tears,
possibly minor paper loss (pieces missing) from the edges, edge fraying
and so on. Because posters were so often used and reused, the C6 grade
C5 - GOOD to VERY GOOD - A heavily-worn
item, showing significant signs of use such as multiple pinholes or staple
holes, tape, tears, soiling, pieces missing, small markings or pen/pencil
marks. Although this is an "in-between" grade and difficult
to distinguish from a C6, items are relegated to this lower classification
when there is a greater number of general flaws than would normally be
expected in the higher grade, or when one major flaw makes the C6 grade
C4 - GOOD - Below average but
still suitable for display. Heavily used, with significant signs of use
that affect the overall eye appeal of the piece. Small pieces may be missing
from the borders (should be described). Image area will usually have minor
defects that may impinge upon the graphics. Could have tape, writing,
or tears. Numerous pinholes and resulting tears could be present. Complete,
but graphics are face-worn.
C3 - FAIR - Often referred to
as Fair condition, or Condition D. Heavily worn, but yet still complete
C2 - POOR to FAIR - An extremely
worn, possibly even incomplete item.
C1 - POOR - The lowest grade,
representing items in the lowest possible condition. Heavily damaged,
possibly missing large pieces, possibly brittle and crumbling. Except
for valuable rarities, items in this grade have little or no value.
In addition to the grading systems commonly used by collectors/dealers,
the auction houses generally use their own alphabetical system.The following
descriptions are used by most major auction houses:
For Unrestored Posters:
CONDITION A: OUTSTANDING
- Posters have bright colors and are basically free from defects, but
may have the tiniest of imperfections. Posters from before 1950 are almost
never found in this condition.
CONDITION B: AVERAGE -
Posters are in average used condition. They may have minor defects, including
some of the following: clean tears, very slight paper loss, very minor
stains, very slight fading, tape on the reverse that does not bleed through
to the front.
CONDITION C: BELOW AVERAGE
- Posters have significant defects, such as paper loss that extends into
the artwork, significant fading or staining.
For Restored (Backed) Posters.
CONDITION A: OUTSTANDING
- Posters were in excellent condition and had only the tinest of flaws
that were corrected through restoration. Virtually no linenbacked posters
are ever in this condition.
CONDITION B: AVERAGE -
Posters have some restoration on the borders and folded areas, and very
slight restoration in other areas.
CONDITION C: BELOW AVERAGE:
Posters have significant overall restoration. It had major defects that
required extensive restoration.