By the end of the 19th century the possibilities for poster designs were much improved by the process of colour lithography and artistic posters began to flourish in the 1890's. The Frenchman Jules Cheret is usually referred to as the "Father of the Poster." The increasing importance attached to advertising in 1890's gave impetus to the poster movement and the leading Parisian artists were Cheret, Toulouse-Lautrec, Steinlen, Grosset and Bonnard. French posters of this period for the theatre, cycles, cigarettes and drink, range from around £200 to several thousand pounds depending on the artist and graphics.
What to Collect
This article should give the readers a rough guide as to the wide variety of subjects and styles available. What people collect is usually determined by personal taste, interest and budget. The good thing about posters is that they are affordable and you do not have to outlay a particularly large sum in order to put together an interesting collection. Whilst some of the more sort after designs sell for over £5000 you can buy worthwhile examples for around the £1000 mark or much less in some cases.
The Poster in England
The artists who led the development of the poster in England were Dudley Hardy and John Hassall. Hassall designed the famous "Skegness Is So Bracing" poster of the jolly fishermen in 1908. Good examples of travel posters published up to 1914 are rare and tend to be in the £500 - £4000 price range depending on the subject and artist. Theatre posters from this period however offer remarkably good value, if they appeal to you, with prices starting at around £100.