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What's It Worth?

January 10, 1998|KATHY BRYANT

What is it?

A 31-inch-by-19-inch color poster of beach volleyball player Randy Stoklos signed by the athlete.

What's its history?

Posters have been around since the 1860s, when the French began to make lithographic postersto announce, promote and sell. Because this design form only had a second to catch someone's attention, bright colors and simple designs were used. In the U.S., posters were an effective method of mass communication, especially before 1920. This sports poster, printed quickly on inexpensive paper, shouldn't be confused with the art posters that were auctioned off at Christie's in New York recently.

What's the legend?

The Stoklos poster was given away at the Fila Boutique in Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza in 1996. It was later signed by Stoklos in San Diego.

How was it made?

"This type of poster is created using a four-color, offset printing process, just as magazines are," said David Early, manager of Poster Art 'N Graphics in Costa Mesa. "This [mass-produced method] is [cheaper] than lithography, which is sometimes hand-pulled."

Why is it popular?

Posters usually have sentimental value for the owner.

What is it worth today?

"This is probably worth roughly $5 to $10," said Ron Troutt, manager of Mr. Beau J.J.'s inFountain Valley." Beach volleyball players aren't that much in demand since the sport is mainly a Southern California phenomena. "The fact that Stoklos signed it for free also lessens its value. If a player can get money for his signature, it's worth more." Troutt said most memorabilia's value is based on supply and demand. Someone may pay more if he or she really wants this particular poster. Also, volleyball posters are more popular during the years in which the game is played in the Summer Olympics.

Where can I find it?

Sporting good shops, collectibles stores and poster stores have inexpensive posters. Signed posters of deceased sports figures are usually worth more.

Where can I find out more?

Books on the subject include "The Poster: An Illustrated History from 1860," by Harold Hutchinson (Viking), and "Collecting Prints and Posters," by Richard Barclay (Reed International, London).

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