How to sell a valuable Grateful Dead poster?
June 15, 2012 11:19 AM   Subscribe

An elderly family friend has an original poster (known as BG074) and program from the 1967 Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead concert at the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto. He is interested in selling the poster and program, and I've offered to help out. According to Wolfgang's Vault, "BG074 is among the rarest of posters. There are hard to verify stories that the original cache of posters was confiscated at the Canadian border by border patrol, but whether the posters were seized or simply put away by contented Canadians, this summer concert made a big impression." Accordingly, I've seen auctions and online memorabilia stores listing this poster in the $5,000 and up range, and the program for close to $1,000. What is the best way to authenticate and sell these items? I contacted Wolfgang's Vault but they don't normally purchase individual items, and the art dealers I've been in touch with don't deal with rock memorabilia. Is there a Sotheby's of rock? Is eBay even worth considering?
posted by Paid In Full to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just searched on "Rock Memorabilia Dealer" and got a bunch of results, some more confidence-inspiring than others. I know anecdotally that there are high-end dealers in this market, but don't know of any myself.

It might be interesting to call or email the staff at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the Experience Music Project to ask for referrals or ideas. Their curators most likely deal with such dealers continuously.
posted by Miko at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2012

There's a Grateful Dead Archive at UC-Santa Cruz. They should be able to guide you.
posted by jabes at 11:45 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check out Heritage Auctions. There is a free online form to get the appraisal process started.

Full Disclaimer - I work for heritage but not in this department or anything with consignments or sales.
posted by doorsfan at 11:50 AM on June 15, 2012

Stating the obvious, try Sothebys; or Christies. Between the two, I prefer Christies. They do specialised rock memorabilia sales.
posted by priorpark17 at 11:32 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This seems like it will take quite a while to sell. Heritage Auctions says the value is too low for them, but at the same time hard to sell at the going rate (???). I've requested an auction estimate from Christie's which will take 4-6 weeks. Thanks for the answers so far - any other ideas?
posted by Paid In Full at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2012

Did you call the museums to ask for dealer/resale recommendations?
posted by Miko at 2:09 PM on June 26, 2012

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