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An information site about the value of original posters (movie, war, travel, advertising), vintage advertising (signs and tins), political memorabilia, ocean liner ephemera, animation cels and just about any other 20th and late 19th Century collectible.

Nothing is bought or sold on this site, but if you do wish to sell, I will be happy to suggest the best way to market the item you own: via auction, direct sale to a dealer or collector, or through eBay. I do not charge for this service or for the actual evaluation.

The site is owned and run by rudy franchi, who has been a pop culture collectibles appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow since its first season in 1995. For close to 40 years he and his wife Barbara owned The Nostalgia Factory and since 1993 ran the web site Both were sold at the end of 2005 and the husband and wife team now consult with various auction houses, do a lot of traveling and are heavily involved in what had been a life long avocation, the world of mystery fiction. Barbara runs the highly regarded mystery book information site and rudy is in the process of writing a series of murder mystery novels set in the world of collectibles trading. The first of which is Murder On The Roadshow, which follows the adventures of Carlo Parigi — rougish New York collectibles dealer who travels the U.S. with Antiques On The Road, discovers a dead body and solves a murder. It is a available on Amazon... search Rudy Franchi and this and several of my other books will pop up. They were co-authors of a major text on film posters (Millers Movie Collectibles, Phaidon Press, NY.) They have organized poster auctions for Skinner of Boston, Heritage Galleries of Dallas and Christie's, New York and continue to appear on Antiques Roadshow.

If you wish to inquire about the value or history of an item you own please provide the following:
  • A brief description
  • The size of the piece
  • If it is a poster, the text from the very bottom line of printing (may be in the border)
  • The general condition of the item
  • A .jpg would be most helpful
It's best to e-mail this information or you can snail mail it (with photos if possible) to rudy franchi, 1228 S. Holt, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

I can be reached by phone at 310 360 0830, but please remember this is Pacific Coast time.

Please be aware that the response you receive is the equivalent of a verbal appraisal and will have no value for insurance, tax deduction donation or estate evaluation purposes. All three of these require a different method of calculation and presentation and unfortunately if you do need one of these types of appraisals, a charge must be made. They are time consuming and quite difficult to do correctly.

I would urge you to submit any items you are curious about, especially posters. This is perhaps one of the most confusing areas of collecting. A movie poster from the 1930s can sell from between $5.00 and $500,000 and only an expert or advanced collector would able to tell which was which. Of course, finding a poster with the higher value is somewhat like winning the lottery, but in both cases, it does happen. The value assigned to the item (or items -- we will evaluate collections) will usually be what the collectible would fetch at a suitable and well advertised auction.

The information we provide is confidential and will not be passed on to potential buyers without your permission. And to repeat, I do not make offers for the material you inquire about nor do I get involved in its eventual disposition. I provide a value range and suggest the best way to realize that value.

After 40 years of dealing in this stuff and having disposed of 8 24 foot trucks of inventory, I have no desire to start accumulating all over again. Barbara and I do have a modest collection of London Transport Posters from the 20s and 30s which decorate our California home and our flat in London. Of course, there is my collection of film clappers (it was the logo on our web site) and then there's my really large collection of Wile E. Coyote items plus the several hundred cartoon character ties (which serve as the source of my neckties on The Roadshow.) Oh yes, Barbara collects advertising teapots and our kitchen is decorated with several hundred contemporary advertising tins and.... Well, it's a hard addiction to cure. Instead of starting this site I was thinking of organizing a series of 12 step program meetings in a local church basement: "My Name Is rudy And I'm A Collector."

Actually, I started the site because all those years of dealing in pop culture memorabilia have been pretty good to us and I'd like to give something back. Also, I'm a bit obsessed with the stuff and hate the thought of really good pieces being tossed or lost. And finally, in connection with my Roadshow career, it's a great way to keep up on what's happening in the field now that I don't deal with it on a daily basis.

Please don't hesitate to e-mail if you have any questions about the appraisal, auction, or dealer process. I know it can be very daunting, but that's only because that's the way dealers and auctioneers want it to be. There's a great British expression - blinding with science - and those in the world of antiques and collectibles have perfected it to an art. As a previous top practitioner, perhaps I can help expose a few table rappers. Regards, rudy franchi