Linen Backing and Restoration: How Does It Affect Value?aaaposters
Linen backing is NOT recommended for newer posters, double sided posters, or for older rolled posters that are still in Near Mint Condition and need no restoration.
For older folded posters: If you don’t like fold lines and/or it is not in what you consider “displayable condition”, and you purchased it mainly to display and enjoy, and you are not very concerned about its “investment potential”, then we recommend you go ahead and have it linen backed and preserved. If you are a die hard movie poster investor/collector, you may want to think twice about having an EX C8 or better condition poster backed. There is a belief among some investor/collectors that EX C8 or better unrestored posters will command a premium over restored/linen backed posters.
If a rare poster has some unsightly flaws, linen backing and restoring it will most likely increase it’s value.
If a rare poster is in EX C8 condition or better with no real major unsightly flaws, linen backing will either have almost no affect on its value or slightly decrease its value. This really depends on how rare the poster is.
There are two types of buyers of vintage movie posters: collectors and non collectors. A non collector buys just one or a few posters for a home theater, a gift, or whatever. At least 50% of our sales are to non collectors. We have found that non collectors generally prefer linen backed posters. Most true “Collectors” of vintage movie posters would prefer an unrestored poster over a restored one. Most of these collectors still collect linen backed posters however because many titles are so rare and few have survived in great condition.
The bottom line: Linen backed posters sell better than non linen backed posters because they appeal to both collectors and non collectors. In most cases, you can’t go wrong if you have your poster linen backed.
Can linen backing be reversed? No, not really. Some linen backers will tell you it is a reversible process, but it really isn’t. If for any reason a poster needs to be removed from linen (i.e. the initial linen backing was poorly done) the poster will almost always have to be mounted again.
Please keep in mind that all linen backers are NOT created equal. We have seen some horrible results from those that claimed to be professionals but obviously weren’t. DO NOT LET YOUR LOCAL FRAME SHOP ATTEMPT TO DO IT!
For more information, please see our linen backing page.