Looking to dress up your walls in a novel way? Poster collectors in the city offer many choices from vintage to contemporary.
Aarti K Singh's James Bond poster collection was incomplete. "I was looking to source the poster of On Her Majesty's Service and there is an unbelievable story of how I managed it," she says. As a film buff and freelance writer, the 34-year-old happened to meet one of the famous Bonds, Roger Moore, in Mumbai in 2005.
"I mentioned to him that I was looking for the poster, and a week later, it landed on my doorstep, stamped, autographed and posted by Moore himself," says Singh. It is a spectacular story, and there is a story behind each of the 9000-plus posters that she has stored in her Delhi house.
Currently based in Panchkula, Singh — along with her husband Gursimran Singh — decided to go commercial with their poster collection. It started with Posteralia in October 2011, with their first sale-cum-exhibition on Facebook. From vintage art to cinematic classics and contemporary shots, from old print adverts, flyers and lobby cards to handmade film premiere invitations, tickets and songbooks, the couple has a reservoir of rare posters, sourced over the years from flea markets, locked-up studios and during their many journeys. "Now that people are investing in home theatres, the demand for such posters has gone up," says Aarti, who, over the years, has ventured out of Facebook and started retailing from online shops including Indiebazaar.com, Facebook page Posteralia, and Shopo.in
"We also have our posters available at Hakunamatata in Sector 6, Panchkula," adds Aarti, who started collecting posters at the age of 11.
It is an enviable collection, and the couple has restored it with much passion. "I scan them, recolour them and print them on the thick photograph sheet as it's durable," says Aarti. To give them a vintage sepia look, she has also learnt the art of chemically treating them. "Most of the time, sellers at flea markets claim that these are original works, but they are not. These are prints and chemically treated," she says. For this reason, they have priced the prints reasonably, between Rs 200 and Rs 1,000. The originals come at Rs 4,000 and up.