Time-Traveling Treasures: Discover the Marvel of "New Vintage" Prints! - Pink Flamingos

Time-Traveling Treasures: Discover the Marvel of "New Vintage" Prints!

When I was thinking through the reboot of my parents' vintage print company I realized that probably one of the more challenging concepts that I would want to share with customers was that of "new vintage." I'm not sure if I'm the one who coined the term "new vintage" with the meaning I'll define in this post, as I haven't searched the internet for it (yet). However, it's a critical concept in defining how incredibly rare and special our products are--that's why I blab on and on about it in many places on our pinkflamingos.shop and our Facebook page! So, please forgive me as my very first blog will be for more blabbing on this concept. 

With the exception of one product (My Father's Art Greeting Cards, purchased/printed in 1991), the entirety of the inventory that I have inherited was purchased between 1978-1981 by my parents. The inventory listed as "new" was purchased wholesale in its original bulk packaging. Most of my inventory is wrapped in brown Kraft paper in bundles of 50-250 prints per package, so each individual print has remained protected from UV light, insects/pests, handling damage, etc. that is otherwise unavoidable with vintage prints purchased second-hand.

~Here's a peek at our current inventory setup~

To understand why our products are still considered new, despite their chronological age being upwards of 80 years in many cases, let me share how my parents sourced these unique items.

With their love of these vintage subjects, my parents went from collecting items at flea markets (not new, in those cases) to reaching out to large lithograph companies and asking after their unsold inventory. (How they did this in the late 1970s without access to the internet, I will never understand. Major kudos to them!) In this way they uncovered thousands of gorgeous, mint-condition prints that had never been sold, as those particular items were no longer a focus for the large companies. The subjects my parents focused on were early-to-mid-20th century tropical prints, art nouveau ladies, and florals.

After establishing connections within the vintage art community, they were short-listed when Turner Manufacturing Company was closing its doors, and they jumped on the opportunity to purchase the remainder of Turner's Flamingo subject, including the original artwork, films, and copyrights.

Dana Mayes at Turner Manufacturing Company

~Dana Mayes at Turner Manufacturing Company around 1980~

Okay, I'm getting a bit long-winded, right? Now that I've established the history of our inventory and hopefully explained why our products are still new, despite their chronological age being upwards of 80 years in many cases, let me get back to how special this is and how differentiated our products are from those that you can purchase off of Ebay or in an antique store.

After my grandmother passed in 2010, I inherited her Turner Flamingo print. This print had been framed in the classic Turner mirror frame by my parents in the very early 1980s, and had been displayed on one wall or another ever since. After launching my version of Pink Flamingos last week, I had an idea. I decided to compare my grandmother's framed print, which had been on display for 40 years, with one of our untouched prints freshly pulled from its packaging. The difference in colors was stunning!

Turner Pink Flamingo prints--same age, different exposures. Top: print after 40 years on display with faded colors. Bottom: print freshly pulled from its packaging with vibrant colors.      Turner Pink Flamingo prints--same age, different exposures. Bottom: print after 40 years on display with faded colors. Top: print freshly pulled from its packaging with vibrant colors.
~Dang! Check out the color difference between these prints!!~

It's worth noting that the faded print in the pictures above has only been on display for 40 years, while the newly pulled print is untouched for 80 years. The stunning contrast between the two prints illustrates the lasting quality of our "new vintage" products. Both were printed in the 1940s, both are 80 years old, but one has been "used" since the 1980s, and the other is "new vintage." 

I replaced the weathered print with the vibrant one in my mirror frame, and I couldn't be happier. The colors are so much more rich and playful. Making this replacement has motivated me even more to get the word out about these beautiful pieces of art--even to those who already own a Turner Flamingo! If you have an old, faded print and would like to replace it with a mint-condition print of the same age, I'm offering a special discount. Simply reach out to me for more details on how to take advantage of this offer.

The happy author next to her fresh Turner Flamingo print in her grandmother's mirror frame.

~See how happy this makes me? Vintage, but new! I'm in love!~

My hope is to be able to improve on this set of pictures by adding in an 80-year-exposed print for further comparison, and to brighten up the rooms of art lovers everywhere. My next post will be on how to protect your beautiful new vintage lithograph from fading so that your grandchildren will be able to see these vivid prints when they are 100+ years old!

What do you think? Do you still have questions? Please drop a comment below!

Back to blog

1 comment

Would love to get your info on obtaining a catalog of these prints to purchase. Have always loved Turners prints!

Mark Tillinghast

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.