For years, I have seen the Warner’s Safe Nervine poster featuring a heroic woman killing a tiger. The advertisement reads “Warner’s Safe Nervine Gives Rest & Sleep, Cures Headache & Neuralgia, Vertigo or Dizziness. Is A Positive Remedy for Nervous Prostration Caused By Excessive Pains, Drinking, Mental Shocks, Overwork, Etc.” At the base of the ad it reads “Warner’s Safe Pills Have No Equal.” All in all a wonderful piece of advertising.
The problem is that at some point in the 1960’s or 1970’s, the original poster was reproduced and distributed as a piece of vintage advertising. Over the years, many of those reproduced posters have made there way into the market and have appeared on auctions sites like eBay. At least one copy of the original poster does exist and is in a private collection. Other originals may also be available for purchase, but the prospective buyer should be careful. Often, the reproductions are listed as “vintage” with no mention that the poster is a reproduction. This may be because the seller does not realize that he is selling a reproduction or perhaps he does. On the reproductions that I have seen, a copywrite date is visible in the lower right hand corner of the document. Sometimes that date is obscured by framing around the poster. The above example shows a date of 1893 and may well be an original, but would still require careful examination by a buyer to ensure its authenticity.