While the majority of posters and prints that we sell at L’Affichiste belong to me, we also sell posters on consignment. Selling on consignment essentially means that we act as the middleman between the actual owner of the poster and the client who ultimately purchases it, through us. This kind of arrangement works out well for the owner of the work (who may not have as wide a ‘reach’ as an established gallery, like ours, does), the gallery that sells the work (because we make a commission on the sale), and the purchaser (who benefits from the fact that the poster is in the gallery at all!).
Folks often approach us, asking us to sell posters on their behalf. Most of the time the posters are not quite right for us (either they aren’t vintage, they aren’t to my taste, or the buyer has an exaggerated estimate of what the poster is worth), but on occasion I have been fortunate to find consignors who not only had great posters, but who also have become great friends. One of these gentlemen (let’s call him Bill) is a gentleman in the truest sense(s) of the word: he’s gentle, he has great poise and restraint, and he speaks with the slow, Southern drawl that Rhett Butler made famous in Gone with the Wind.
An recent article described him this way: “a navy vet, a homegrown guy … he looks pretty good for a guy who’s squeezed by 70. He’s got a mustache now, a checkered shirt and a cigar in his hand…He’s not much of a self-promoter. He’s what you might call a person of interest-not in a criminal sense, but in the sense that everything in that his office says something about him, where he came from, what he thinks, what he’s curious about.”
Bill and I get along like a house on fire. He has learned to accept the fact that my book-keeping is well-intentioned, if not precise, and I have forgiven him for the fact that his posters are remarkably odorific when they arrive in the gallery (Bill is a major cigar smoker). I’ve sold hundreds of his posters (and I look forward to selling hundreds more!), and each time I do, Bill thanks me sincerely and tells me I’m doing a good job. I appreciate that almost as much as I appreciate the man himself.
Every now and then I’ll write about some of our other consignors. I am thankful for their trust, their posters, and now, their friendship. They help us provide one of the most outstanding collections of vintage posters available anywhere – and for that I thank them!