Warner’s Safe Nervine Tiger

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.


36 thoughts on “Warner’s Safe Nervine Tiger

      • Michael,
        See my earlier reply regarding reproductions of this poster. Not sure about the value of the reproduction, but I would think $15-20 in good condition.

  1. If it is an original in good condition, then you could be talking several hundred dollars at least. The trick is, as I said in the post, that most of the ones that you see for sale are reproductions and worth considerably less than that.

  2. Thank you so much for the feedback. The poster I have does have the 1893 in the bottom right and on the bottom left the poster has “PORTAL EDUCATIONS…”. So do you think it would be an original? Plus it looks as if it has been used a bit with damage to the edges and holes as it was hung up with pins.

  3. Let me address the last two comments. First, Charles, I don’t know if anyone is still making the Nervine Tiger reproducations. I suspect not. The best way to get one is to watch eBay or other auction sites as they seem to appear several times a year. I think there was one on eBay just recently. You may also want to internet search for companies that deal in advertising reproductions. Good luck.

    Second, Trevor, my gut reaction is that you have a reproduction. I don’t want to hold myself out as an expert in the authenticity of vintage advertising, but the fact that it says “Portal Educations,” sounds more contemporary to me. I am not sure who the original lithographer for this piece of advertising was, but I’m betting it was not Portal Educations. If it was sold to you as an original, you may have a beef with the seller. How much did you pay, if I may ask?

    • Hello. I have a question about this old wooden cabinet I found on my farm. It has this poster image painted on it, someone put carpet inside the cabinet. Is it something original? could the cabinet be a doctors cabinet. I want to know everything and anything about it please!


      • Chelsey,

        My guess would be that it is not original, but if you can send me some pictures, that would help me have a better idea of what it may have been. Thanks.


    • Hi I am selling my poster that I just bought but I would like to put it in auction on Ebay!!! Best price wins this beautiful poster, that has all 1893, and Portal Publications, Sausalito, Calif. 94965

      • Michael,
        Not sure what you paid for your poster, but, assuming it has “Portal Publications, Sausalito, Calif. 94965” on the bottom left, it is a reproduction and NOT an original. The give away is that the US Postal Service did not begin using Zip Codes until the 1960’s. You may want to look at my follow up post on this poster: https://warnerssafeblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/warners-safe-nervine-tiger-revisited/. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. To the extent the poster was sold to you as an original, then I would complain to the seller.

  4. Virginia,

    If it is an original from the 1890’s in good condition, you are probably talking several hundred dollars. But, bear in mind, that there are plently of reproductions out there that would sell for less than $50.


    Stecher Lithographic Company
    The company was previously known as Charles F. Muntz & Company, Mensing, Rahn & Stecher (Lithographic & Chromo Company), and Mensing & Stecher (Lithographic & Chromo Company).

    Chromolithography came to Rochester early in 1871 when three partners, Charles F. Muntz, Frank A. Stecher, and Anton Rahn founded Charles F. Muntz & Company. In 1874-75 when Muntz left and J. D. A. Mensing became a partner, the firm became Mensing, Rahn & Stecher. Three years later when Rahn left, the firm became Mensing & Stecher. The firm’s advertisements in the city directories from 1875 through 1881 also have the phrase “Lithographic and Chromo Co.” with its name.

    In 1882, Mensing & Stecher opened a new, three-floor plant on St. Paul Street. Mensing and his son were in charge of the financial and office matters, while Stecher was in charge of the general management of the engraving and printing department. Late in 1886, Stecher bought out Mensing and the firm became Stecher Lithographic Company. Mensing, who had been in ill health, died early the next year at the age of 62.

  6. Daniel,

    Sounds like you might have an orginal. Thanks for the background on the Mensing & Stecher lithography firm in Rochester. With your permission, I will do a supplemental posting including that information. That firm must of have a considerable amount of lithographic work for H. H. Warner as their name appears on some trade cards too.


  7. I have a Warner’s Safe Nervice framed poster, I have never taken it out of the frame to verify it is an original, but when it was given to me I was advised it was “very, very valueable”, not really sure what that means, I am currently looking at selling it but am not sure where to go for appraisal or to verify it is an original, the date on the bottom right is “1893”, the middle says “MENSING & STECHER ROCHESTER N.Y.” and on the bottom left says “Portal Publications Sausalito, Calif. 94965”,

    • Danae,

      Based on your description, it sounds like you have one of the reproduction posters probably from the 1960’s or early 1970’s. While they are not nearly as valuable as the original, I have seen them fetch $40-50 on eBay.


  8. Hello I Just Got A Warner’s Litho Also . No 1893 on the Bottom Left . No Mensing & Stecher Rochester On the Bottom . I Looked at the Bottom Edges Have Not Been Trimmed . It Does have Thumb Tacks Markings One Right At the Bottom At One Top Center A Inch Down . Thanks For Any Information. It came from a Estate Auction of a 93 yr. old Thanks Tim

  9. I bought it at an auction for $5, but it is lithographed on a wooden boards and has a wire on the back of the boards to hang it. It says 1893 on the bottom right hand corner. I was wondering, what it might be worth, because it not just a regular poster?


    • Tiffany,

      At $5, you did not loose money. Even the reproduction Nervine Tiger posters bring $30-40 in good condition. I would have someone who knows old paper look at it and they can better judge the age. Besides it’s a great conversation piece.


  10. I got a reproduction. Bottom sticker says “Original Raisinrak” Copyright 1974 Four Seasons Marketers INC. It’s the poster but cut and put on a crate type with a wire on the back. What do these go for on ebay in good shape? Anything helps. Like to know where to start and what to expect. Is pretty cool though. Thanks!

    • Mike,

      I wish I good give you an honest estimate, but it would be little more than a guess. When it come to reproductions of the Nervine Tiger, I have seen them go around $25, but that is for the poster and not one that is mounted on a crate. Wish I could be more help. Good luck.


  11. I can understand why this fantastic poster was reproduced but it makes it difficult for those of us who have one to know if ours is an original or not.

    I believe mine is as it has no date at the bottom, just Mensing & Stecher, Rochester, NY centered at the bottom of the poster. I have had it since the 80’s when I purchased it at an auction at Mesaba Cooperative Park, Hibbing, MN for $2.00. I purchased other posters, some political, most were not in good shape and had water marks. An old Finn had donated them to the park. Even if it isn’t an original it hangs in my bathroom and everyone loves it.

    • Deb,

      This issue probably generates the greatest number of comments that I get on this blog. I wish there was a simple way of telling the reproduction from the original. The best way I know for sure is to have it examined by someone who knows ephemera. They can look at the paper and know if its old enough to be original. If you paid $2 then you did not lose money even if it was a reproduction. Bottom line, great advertising poster and a great conversation piece. Case closed.


  12. I bought a reproduction Warner’s Nervine poster on Ebay that was not advertised as an original, but it was advertised as “1893”. When I received it, it had the maker’s name and address on the lower unprinted area, including zip code. That’s how I knew it was a reproduction. Zip codes started in 1963. I paid $140 to get an original and returned it for a full refund. I would have kept it if it had been an original. The reproductions are worth no more that $5-10.

    • Bruce,

      I followed up that post with “Nervine Tiger Revisited” (https://warnerssafeblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/warners-safe-nervine-tiger-revisited/) in 2009. I noted the same issues you identified with the zip code being the giveaway. Good eye. Not sure what the value of the reproductions are, but there seem to be quite a few in circulation. When I see a Nervine Tiger poster offered for auction as an original and I can tell that it is a reproduction, I will email the seller and tell them. Most sellers are appreciative, but some have told me to mind my own business.


  13. Im currently liquidating all my art work as i am retiring onto a boat, I have an original that I would rate at least a 9 of 10 in condition. I was going to put it on ebay, but found this as i was doing research on it. If anyone is still looking for a great representation of an original you can email me at kristoffpiercepierce#gmail.com swap out the # for the @ (dont feel like having bots spam my email). I can email or text you a few pictures, im located in CT but am willing to ship. Thanks for all the great info!

    • Kristoffer,

      I would be happy to look at the pictures. I have heard the claim of having an original Nervine Tiger many times and am always skeptical because they turn out to be reproductions. Always prepared to be pleasantly surprised.


  14. i have this in the form of a wooden plaque in the range of an 8 by 10 ish size. i havent been able to find a single one of them posted anywhere…

    • Brian,
      Without seeing a picture of what you have, I am pretty certain it is a reproduction. This is especially true if the size is 8″ x 10″. The Nervine Tiger ad has been reproduced many, many times since the 1960’s and most of the examples that surface are reproductions.


  15. I just found an old poster on wood in my grandma’s shed the wood pieces have a little worn to them but still a beautiful piece, I guess I’m asking how much would a wood poster go for?

    • Franki,

      I would be happy to look at pictures if you want to send them along. The Nervine Tiger poster was reproduced many times since it was first issued and it is likely that you have a reproduction. Take a look at the base of the poster by the wheels of the safe and let me know if there is anything printed.


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