In the Middle Ages, the "gold background" masters called the faithful to prayer, this being the most peremptory form of "consumption" of the time. The medium has changed and posters have become the "gold backgrounds" of the twentieth century; having abandoned the spiritual for more earthly concerns, posters now invite consumers to purchase material goods. In this perspective, advertising posters are unquestionably the most attentive chroniclers of the twentieth century. Playbills and tourist posters - in addition to advertising posters - are very interesting collector's items: they are attractive and decorative as well as being a form of investment of considerable potential.
Bolaffi has been the first in Italy to organise regular period poster auctions every six months since May 1996. The selling prices have gone up considerably since then and despite the market is still young and has yet to take off, some collectors have been very successful. Over six million euros worth has been sold at Bolaffi's sixteen auctions. Some posters have multiplied their value more than ten times. "Good posters" are currently being revaluated by at least 10% every year.