Calling all Jimi Hendrix and Beatles fans! There’s an auction at PAE (the Psychedelic Art Exchange) with your name (actually Jimi’s) written all over it.
Dust off those wallets!
PAE is auctioning a vintage collection of headshop and blacklight posters straight from the 1960s. Just peruse the site, and you will see a veritable who’s who of 1960s psychedelic rock and the counterculture movement.
At the top of the list is the poster child of cutting-edge ‘60s rock, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but the auction also includes vintage rock and counterculture artwork of the Beatles and the iconic Yellow Submarine, Bob Dylan, Timothy Leary, Mouse & Kelley, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, and even a poster for the Peter Fonda movie, Easy Rider.
What makes this set so special is the fact that it all came from a single owner, a rarity in today’s world of collecting on the secondary market. Whether it is comics, baseball cards, sports memorabilia, or even concert posters, the pieces are generally well traveled, swapping hands many times as the market ebbs and flows. Here you have a range of niche poster art that has only been in the possession of one person for five decades. In other words, these are the authentic, real deal.
In an interview with PAE’s blog, the owner of the amazing set, Houston Freeburg, explained that he began buying these as a teenager. “I started collecting blacklight posters in 1967 at the age of 14,” he said. “My father built an annex to my bedroom which I called my black light room. By the time I had the walls filled with original posters, I had about twenty on display.”
The fact that there has only been one owner who has taken gentle care of these nostalgic, artistic treasures is why the posters are graded near-mint by the in-house experts at PAE. No doubt these will fetch handsome prices by the end of the auction, and part of the fun will be seeing just how high they go.
Hendrix is Still Hot
Just this past week, a Jimi Hendrix blacklight poster from 1981 brought $89 on eBay. If posters printed in the 1980s can push $100, we can be sure this near-mint set from the ‘60s will easily top that. In fact, an original blacklight poster for Hendrix at Woodstock sold for $400 in March.
The most eye-catching sale was the $995 price tag that another ‘60s Hendrix blacklight poster nabbed earlier this year. That one was described to be in “very good” condition. With Freeburg’s near-mint gems grades, that will mean higher prices. It would not be at all surprising if some of these manage to break records.
Could We See a Record?
Aside from the Hendrix artwork, I would keep a close eye on the Yellow Submarine poster. The fact that it is not only vintage but features art from the Beatles’ legendary album will likely reel in the high bids. Worldwide, there are millions of rabid Beatles fans and collectors who would love to get their hands on that piece. After all, a 1968 Yellow Submarine movie poster brought $780 on eBay. Have you ever tried to collect vintage movie posters? Then you know that finding those in top condition is fairly rare. This particular one was folded, as is typical, and had pinholes from years of display.
That being said, if that poster can bring almost $800, Freeburg’s blacklight Yellow Submarine art should fetch a hefty price tag.