Sale of rock concert posters nears $300K at Stephenson’s

Original first printing of Grateful Dead ‘Aoxomoxoa’ Avalon Ballroom concert poster, Jan. 24-26, 1969. Lithograph, artwork by Rick Griffin. Sold for $16,250 against an estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Jimi, the Doors, the Dead, and many other immortal rock bands of the 1960s and ’70s were there in spirit as Stephenson’s conducted a blockbuster auction of concert posters on August 14th. The 339-piece personal collection from the estate of pioneer poster collector/dealer Perry Pfeffer took bidders on a magic carpet ride back to San Francisco’s Summer of Love and the heyday of New York’s Fillmore East, chalking up a total in excess of $291,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding was provided exclusively by LiveAuctioneers.

The top lot of the sale (shown at top of page) was an original first printing of the Grateful Dead’s “Aoxomoxoa” Avalon Ballroom concert poster from a performance on Jan. 24-26, 1969. Designed by Rick Griffin (1944-1991), it was estimated at $1,000-$2,000 but reached Nirvana with a winning bid of $16,250.

Not far behind was a lithographed poster touting two back-to-back shows by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, May 10, 1968 at the Fillmore East. David Byrd’s dazzling pink and yellow op-art poster design features the faces of Hendrix and bandmates Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. Estimated at $6,000-$9,000, it soared to $15,000.

Original preconcert first printing of Jimi Hendrix Fillmore East concert poster promoting May 10, 1968 show. Lithograph, artwork by David Byrd. Sold for $15,000 against an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. Stephenson’s Auction image

Stephenson’s owner/auctioneer Cindy Stephenson commented: “We were stunned by the amount of interest this poster collection generated. After articles about the collection started appearing online and in newspapers, there were nonstop enquiries from all over the United States and abroad. Mr. Pfeffer was very well known in the concert poster collecting world. Everyone knew his personal collection was outstanding and that it contained many first printings and artist-signed posters. We were extremely happy with the results.”

All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of buyer’s premium. To contact Stephenson’s about consigning to a future auction, call 215-322-6182 or email info@stephensonsauction.com. Visit them online at www.stephensonsauction.com.

Click to read the full preview ACN published prior to the auction.