Pick-Me-Ups

Feeling sluggish? Is the world weighing upon you? Here’s just the thing to lift you up, get you moving and get you high.

Florite
537. La Florite. 1922.
Jean d’Ylen
50 1/4 x 78 1/8 in./127.2 x 198.4 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500.

What flowers! In 1922 d’Ylen said, “A poster must be expressive, colorful, and an attraction which captures the attention of a passer by.” This work, advertising a seed distributor, is a complete expression of that ideal. Delight in it. Rare.

474
474. Pacha Cichorei.
Ro
63 1/8 x 46 5/8 in./160.5 x 118.4 cm
Est: $800-$1,000

Chicory’s heritage goes back to ancient Egypt, and its use flourished throughout the Roman Empire and outward to the Arab world. The plant’s European use can be traced to the Dutch in the 9th century, under Charlemagne. When Napoleon blockaded England’s shipping in 1806, he inhibited the trade in tea between England and the European Continent, leading to the importation of chicory to the French-controlled Louisiana Territory. Today, New Orleans chicory coffee is one of the classic, characteristic elements of The Big Easy. As Pacha Chicory’s advertisement says, “drinking it is better than getting paid.”

182
182. La Conquete de l’Air. 1909.
Anonymous
30 5/8 x 23 3/4 in./77.7 x 60.5 cm
Est: $1,500-$2,000

Those magnificent men in their flying machines! The year is 1909, five years after the Wright Brothers got high at Kitty Hawk. In honor of the First International Aviation Meet in Reims, Le Petit Journal put together a brilliant sketch-map of the historical benchmarks in aviation history up to that point.  The Fall of Icarus in the upper right-hand corner was a less-than-auspicious beginning. Then there are the fish-shaped dirigibles, Wright-style flyers and the emerging propeller state-of-the-art.

Plombiéres
538. Plombiéres. 1931.
Jean d’Ylen
28 5/8 x 42 in./72.8 x 106.7 cm
Est: $800-$1,000.

Like magic, a formerly convalescent pensioner dances out of his wheelchair after a brief stay at Plombières-les-Bains. The hot springs resort town is known for its healing waters, and has specialized in curing rheumatism and gastrointestinal issues since the time of ancient Rome.

Guiness
334. Have a Guinness When You’re Tired. 1936.
John Gilroy
20 x 30 in./50.8 x 76.2 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700.

Gilroy created almost all of Guinness’s advertisements from 1930 to 1960. This one in particular is brilliant for its simplicity in turning a perceived negative – the beer’s heaviness – into an exceptionally witty positive, borne out by its 125 calories, which is low for a non-light beer, yet high in carbohydrates and antioxidants.

536
536. MIK.
Jean d’Ylen
15 3/4 x 23 3/4 in./40 x 60.2 cm
Est: $700-$900.

Morning, midday or night, MIK is your coffee alternative, and this kindly gentleman in triplicate is here to assure you of the fact. Morning-MIK’s bed-head is perhaps the most charming element of d’Ylen’s genteel design, which distills the whimsy of your favorite grandfather into round-the-clock wit. However the precise nature of MIK is currently lost to time.

420
420. India Australia/P&O.
Arthur C. Michael
24 3/8 x 30 5/8 in./62 x 106 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000.

A tremendously cheery Art Deco classic with all trimmings from the Golden Age of cruising: crisp white naval uniforms, bob cuts and rouged cheeks. We can even sense the sexual frisson between the young woman in yellow, with her halo of seagulls, and the ramrod-straight purser welcoming her aboard. The woman in coral is grinning widely at the scene: she knows what’s going on.

503
503. La Framboisette.
Francisco Tamagno
24 3/8 x 30 5/8 in./62 x 106 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000.

That sneaky grin of pleasure says it all: you’ll steal a little time for the delightful taste of this strawberry liqueur, whether mixed with white wine, vermouth, Champagne or seltzer – your train tickets and the conductor be damned.