Animal Planet

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Posters of a wild flavor flock together. Ah, the menagerie!

17. Sells Brothers / Whole Australian Menagerie. ca. 1892.
Artist: Anonymous
27 3/8 x 38 3/4 in./69.5 x 98.5 cm
Est: $3,000-$4,000.

An absolutely dizzying array of Australian fauna – parrots, cockatoos, lovebirds, kangaroos, emus, dingoes, black swans, a platypus, and several animals we can’t even identify are bounding and flapping across this incredibly detailed image.

28. Phénomène. ca. 1870.
Artist: Anonymous
22 3/4 x 30 5/8 in./57.7 x 77.7 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500.

The text reads, in part: “PHENOMENON: Extraordinary and Alive. You have to see it to believe it! This young two-headed bull is the most curious living phenomenon throughout Europe. Capricious nature has placed its second head on its derrière.” The circus menagerie has just gotten weirder. The second head is just about visible in the illustration, but the extra legs and udder emanating from the beast’s spine are quite interesting indeed.

93. TWA / Africa.
Artist: Anonymous
25 3/8 x 37 7/8 in./64.6 x 96.2 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500.

Z is for Zippy. Klein is best known for his destination advertisements on behalf of TWA in the 1950s and ’60s: his typography, coloration and aesthetics both defined by, and defining, American style of the period. To express the idea that TWA knows Africa A to Z, he creates a hypnotic convocation of zebras in the tall Serengeti grass: a classic example of Mid-Century Modern design.

Provenance: Gail Chisholm Estate, NYC. Proceeds to be donated to Planned Parenthood of New York.

186. Hirschprung Cigars. 1966.
Artist: Ib Antoni
24 1/2 x 39 in./62 x 99 cm
Est: $700-$900.

Ib Antoni’s style is unmistakable: a deft combination of the precise and the slapdash, an emotional tenor that was pinpoint-calibrated between droll and whimsy. His designs helped to define the midcentury aesthetic, and at the agencies Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, and at Time Magazine, he produced over 300 posters for more than 150 companies including Carlsberg, Volvo, Phillips, and Nieman-Marcus. Here, he’s right at home in his native Denmark, with a hunter and his stork-legged, dumbly-pleased stag enjoying Hirschsprung cigars together.

194. Mistinguett. ca. 1913.
Artist: G.K. Benda
46 x 60 1/8 in./117 x 152.8 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500.

My, is it windy out there! G.K. Benda may well have taken a page from L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, as he depicts Mistinguett fetchingly pulling a Toto-esque purse pup back from the whipping winds. Over her 50-year career in French song, dance, and cabaret, Mistinguett was known both for her coquettish whimsy and for her flamboyant costumes, which we see here: a red chrysanthemum-like butterfly at the end of her hat, extending from caterpillar-like stripes; ivy on her shoe-buckles; the candy-cane-like line of the dog leash… This costume is perfect for both December and March holidays.

198. Anisetta Evangelista. 1925.
Artist: Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia
38 3/8 x 54 1/4 in./97 .5 x 137.7 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700.

One of the most famous and whimsical posters in history. In a dizzying arena of alcohol advertisements, and a saturated market for aperitifs, digestifs and anise-based liquors, Evangelista needed something immediately eye-catching, that would burn into the memory. This funky monkey did the trick. Biscaretti, who was a founder of the Museo dell’Automobile in Turin, was an industrial designer who only produced a handful of posters – most of them for the auto industry, between 1920 and 1930.

220. Cinzano. 1925.
Artist: Leonetto Cappiello
Size: 116 3/4 x 75 3/4 in./296.5 x 192.4 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000.

What the red horse did for Chocolat Klaus, the zebra did for Cinzano. With a highly respected, long-established firm from his native county endorsing his unorthodox approach to advertising, [Cappiello] was now universally honored as a pioneer of the new bold wave of product publicists… Shrewd enough to recognize that [this poster, first drafted in 1910, was a stroke of genius], the progressive firm used it again and again” (Cappiello/Rennert, p. 118). This specimen from 1929 is in an especially large, 2-sheet version, which is particularly rare!

302. Telemaster.
Artist: Paul Fromentier (1914-1981)
Size: 22 1/8 x 30 in./56.2 x 76.3 cm
Est: $1,000-$1,200.

What a delightful vision of the Mid-Century Modern out of France! Cats are normally clever enough to avoid mistaking a televised image for the real thing, but with the Telemaster’s perfect image, pure sound and simple adjustment, this kitty (and you) can’t resist the temptation.

326A. Papier a Cigarettes.
Artist: E. Hilda
12 7/8 x 17 3/8 in./32.7 x 44.2 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700.

Turns out, you can add a cat to anything, and it’ll be adorable or hilarious – including an ad for cigarette rolling papers. The Abadie Company still exists, making rolling papers today, just not in France.

Bonus content:

“That Cat is High,” by the Ink Spots, 1938