1966 FD-26 Grateful Dead Skeleton & Roses Poster 9.0

closed on Sunday, March 13, 2022

Final Auction Price
*Final prices include buyers premium
Starting bid: $1.00
Total bids: 16

We are once again pleased to present to the collecting community a copy of THE essential concert poster. This is of course Mouse and Kelley's FD-26-OP-1 Skull and Roses Grateful Dead Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco California September 15-16 1966, the Keystone to any serious collection of 1960s concert posters.

There is very little that we can add to the rich backstory of this historic concert poster. Like the culture from which it was born, practically every element of this poster's history is steeped in serendipity and LSD. Most notably, the secretly appropriated artwork chosen for this poster will forever be associated with the birth of a rag-tag collection of Bay Area musicians who formed a rowdy, raunchy psychedelic blues band in 1965. A band that would evolve to the status of a cultural phenomenon. A band that would carry the ethos of the 1960s counterculture to future generations. The Grateful Dead were clearly the stewards of the 1960s Haight Ashbury phenomenon. The seeds they helped plant in 1965 San Francisco are still bearing fruit today in our culture and society.

Serious poster collectors, regardless of their musical taste, understand this is a must-have item. The artwork alone is immediately recognizable and will endure the test of time. The trajectory of past auction sales of this poster clearly illustrates its potential. When PAE was founded in 2007, strong copies of the FD-26 could be bought for under $10,000. Psychedelic Art Exchange sold the first copy to break the $50,000 mark at auction in 2018. Following that sale, Heritage auctions broke the $100,000 mark for a 9.8 in their auction. In a market that is still considered niche, this is the poster that has paved the way to respectable value. With nearly daily headlines reporting record-setting values in collectibles across the board, the future is bright for our humble concert posters.

The copy we are offering is graded 9.0 by CGC. According to available data this print is in the top 67 % of graded copies. It was a mail-order purchase from 1970 and remained rolled in the original shipping tube for 40 years until it was unearthed, flattened and encapsulated. The colors are strong and the paper is clean. There are a few thin patches of toning that are primarily visible on the verso. The poster is also printed slightly off register as is relatively common. There are a few minor creases. (Note: the images provided by Liveauctioneers offer limited resolution. Serious bidders please contact PAE customer support for hi-res scans of the poster.)

--TITLE: Fd-26
--GRADE: CGC 9.0
--PERFORMERS: Grateful Dead
--VENUE: Avalon
--CITY: San Francisco
--DATE: 09/16/66
--PRINTING: OP-1; Original Poster
--SIZE: 14.13 x 20 inches