Back in 2008, when I wrote about the famous Warner’s Safe Nervine Tiger poster, I suggested that this poster was appearing rather frequently for sale on eBay and other sites and I felt like many of the posters were, in fact, reproductions, rather than originals. I still believe this to be the case and have seen at least a half dozen of these come up for auction in 2009 alone. There is simply no way that so many originals have survived to be offered for sale.
In a recent auction, the seller did an excellent job photographing the poster he was offering. I have attached above two of those photographs. Looking at the first photograph, you could easily believe that you were looking at an original. One of the great difficulties with buying antique paper over the internet is that you cannot actually examine the piece being offered. In this case, the second photograph is key. You will note that it says the piece was copyrighted by “Portal Publications, Sausalito, Calif. 94965”. This tells you that you are looking at a reproduction. While Portal was not the only publisher to reproduce this vintage poster, it was undoubtedly one of the most prolific. The other clue is the presence of the Zip Code after Sausalito. Zip Codes did not come into wide use by the U.S. Postal Service until the 1960’s. While there are no indicators of what is a genuine Nervine Tiger poster, any prospective buyer should carefully examine the item offered for markings that disclose a reproduction.