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Top Posters with Reserves of $1,000 and Under

Top Posters With Reserves Of $1,000 And Under

Our 83rd Rare Posters Auction contains a number of beautiful designs that won’t break the bank. Preview our top posters with reserves of $1,000 and under before they go to auction on March 14.

8. Davos Parsenn-Bahn. ca. 1930.
By Willy Trapp (1905-1984)
24 3/4 x 39 3/4 in./62.8 x 101 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

In Switzerland’s “cradle of skiing,” a cherry red trolley connects Davos to the more remote Alpine region of Parsenn. Trapp envisions the two destinations as the natural essences most key to the sport: sun, snow, and slopes. The geometric sun, pulsating in deep orange and lemon yellow, provides a hypnotic focal point to this graphic image.

103. Swissair / Metropolitan. 1956.
By Kurt Wirth (1917-1986)
35 1/2 x 50 7/8 in./90.2 x 128 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

Wirth gives us effective in-your-face graphics for the recently reorganized Swiss airline. The nose-on view of the Metropolitan craft—seen here in its premiere year of service—is impressive in the extreme, but the recreation of the radar-equipped “Newest Airliner in European Service” as it bullets the blue skies with its technological prowess is inspirational as well. The Convair plane was the most efficient final piston-powered aircraft of its time, staying in production until 1976. Though its navigational features are the focal point here, it also featured a pressurized passenger cabin that was touted as the plane “that won’t hurt your ears.”

106. Air India / Paris. 1969.
By Tomi Ungerer (1931-2019)
25 3/4 x 40 in./65.4 x 101.5 cm
Est: $1,000 - $1,200

In 1969, Tomi Ungerer created a series of destination images for Air India, each displaying a bit of the wry, whimsical humor so common in his other illustrations. Of all the wonders to behold in Paris, Ungerer zeroes in on its rich art history—specifically, the history of painted nudes. But Ungerer adds his characteristic comedic flair by having the muse reach right out of the painting to tap the gentleman viewer on his shoulder.

342. Free South Africa. 1985.
By Keith Haring (1958-1990)
48 x 48 3/4 in./122 x 123 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

Distributed at an anti-apartheid demonstration, this iconic Haring design shows a native African figure crushing his oppressor. Initially created as a painting, Haring felt the image was strong enough to work well as a poster too. “20,000 of the posters were given away for free; the print was later sold in the Pop Shop for the symbolic price of one dollar” (Haring Posters, 26).

459. UCLA Asian Performing Arts Institute / Nihon Buyo. 1981.
By Ikko Tanaka (1930-2002)
28 5/8 x 40 1/2 in./72.8 x 103 cm
Est: $1,000 - $1,200

A geisha is brilliantly abstracted into geometric form: a specialty of Ikko Tanaka, who created a style of graphic design that fused modernist principles and aesthetics with the Japanese tradition. It’s probably Tanaka’s most representative work, among a portfolio that includes work for Mazda and Issey Miyake. It’s one of a series of twelve posters made by Japan’s leading graphic artists for the 1981 Asian Performing Arts Festival held at UCLA. Nihon Buyo refers to a Japanese performing art that includes elements of dance and pantomime.

485. Bank / RCA Color Scanner. 1968.
By Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
45 1/4 x 30 in./115 x 76.2 cm
Est: $1,400 - $1,700

“Pretty as a pigture, huh?” In 1968, RCA came up with a novel piece of technology: a device that could scan camera film for printing. Warhol immediately saw the implications: the traditional processes of the graphic artist and lithograph designer would become obsolete, since one could lift an image directly from film to poster. Since Warhol’s own art involved messing about with photos, he must have looked at RCA’s invention with a wry sense of humor. So the poster he created is a multi-layered joke: a live pig is painted as a piggy-bank, photographed, and scanned, with all the fine detail of fur reproduced perfectly. Warhol then went one step further. As Warhol painted the pig at RCA’s ad agency J. Walter Thompson, Irwin Horowitz photographed it. Andy’s entire team from the Factory was there. Warhol then negotiated the film rights to the work, seizing back the means of production in a move both artistically and professionally savvy. If any of our readers have a copy of it, please call us.

354. Mustermesse Utrecht / Holland. 1930.
By Pieter Adrianus Hendrik Hofman (1885-1965)
24 1/4 x 36 7/8 in./61.5 x 93.7 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

This stylized composition with a swift messenger carrying a staff uses plenty of angles to give a feeling of urgency and speed. In this poster for the Dutch Fair at Utrecht—as well as in Hofman’s other posters—typography plays a vital role. The poster was printed with several different texts and the space at bottom was used for each year’s particulars. Hofman was a painter of landscapes, seascapes, and portraits; he designed windows, murals, and book covers too.

492. Egyptian State Railways. 1938.
By Zakj
26 3/4 x 39 in./68 x 99 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

Completed around 1854, the Egyptian State Railway originally just linked Alexandria to Cairo. Demand for cotton after the American Civil War forced the line’s expansion into Libya and the South Sudan, and by the time of this poster the tracks linked almost the entire country to its neighbors.

292. Mecca Cigarettes. 1912.
By F. Earl Christy (1883-1961)
19 x 36 3/8 in./48.3 x 92.4 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

There’s not a single cigarette or pack in sight, but this stylish vixen certainly attracted passersby to stop and take notice. Mecca Cigarettes were a product of the American Tobacco Company. This poster is in the original display frame.

311. Münchener Fasching 1939.
By Ludwig Lutz Ehrenberger (1878-1950)
33 1/4 x 46 1/2 in./84.5 x 118.2 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

Ringing in the 1939 Carnival season is a German bombshell, toasting the skies while wearing an oversized jester hat. The rich black of her evening gown stands out against the head of a Roman centurion and the twin bell towers of Munich, both printed in gold leaf. This would be the last Lenten festival to be celebrated in Germany until the end of World War II.

51. Clear-The-Way-!! 1918.
By Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952)
20 1/8 x 29 7/8 in./51 x 75.8 cm
Est: $800 - $1,000

A beautiful and desirable Columbia, laurels upon her temples, appears as the guiding spirit over marines manning one of the guns on the deck of a destroyer. The veracity of this picture is notable; Christy was one of the U.S.’s best war artists, and he produced illustrations to accompany the articles of war correspondent Richard Harding Davis.

371. Niagara Falls / New York Central Lines. ca. 1924.
By Frederic Madan (1885-1972)
26 7/8 x 40 5/8 in./68.3 x 103.2 cm
Est: $1,200 - $1,500

Madan gives us a breathtaking, painterly interpretation of the iconic view of Niagara Falls, which is easily reachable via the New York Central Lines. Rare!

431. Harper's / February. 1898.
By Edward Penfield (1866-1925)
13 1/4 x 19 in./33.6 x 48.2 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

On a cold winter’s day, what you need is the comfort of a fireside, the company of a pet, and, of course, Harper’s. It’s another irresistible vignette by Penfield.

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