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12 Posters with Reserves Under $1,200

12 Posters With Reserves Under $1,200

Our 87th Rare Posters Auction contains a number of beautiful designs that won’t break the bank. Preview our top posters with reserves of $1,200 and under before they go to auction on July 12.

30. The Pierce Arrow. 1910.
By Edward Penfield (1866-1925)
8 3/4 x 10 7/8 in./22.3 x 27.5 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

This is an advertisement for Life magazine, to which Penfield contributed several fine designs for the prestigious Pierce Arrow cars. The driver and tennis player lend a sense of upper-class luxury to the automobile.

97. I Want You For the Navy. 1917.
By Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952)
27 1/8 x 41 1/4 in./68.7 x 104.8 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

This sultry Christy girl was created at precisely the same time as Flagg’s Uncle Sam, and both are saying “I Want You”—but with ever-so-slightly different inflections. Not only is this an interesting comparison to Christy’s “Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man” (see No. 94), but the sheer sexiness with which she dons the sailor’s dress uniform anticipates the Van Heusen shirt campaigns of many years later.

127. George / The Supreme Master of Magic. ca. 1929.
By Anonymous
26 3/4 x 40 1/4 in./68 x 102.2 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700

Grover George (1887-1958), an Ohio native, began performing as a magician when he was only 10. He continued to perform at small theatres across the United States, then left with his company of 18 for a five-year tour of Central and South America. He returned to the States in 1929 flushed with success, and expected to storm the theatres of his own country. This spectacular poster is one of the designs created for that “triumphant American tour.” But that triumph was out of reach—the magician Howard Thurston was intent on maintaining his territory, and brought suits against George whenever he attempted to book a venue of any distinction. Although these suits were, in fact, frivolous, George did not have the necessary funds, and was relegated to playing second-rate stages. He returned to South America, making occasional minor trips back to the U.S., and died in São Paolo, Brazil, where he had retired. The uncredited artist pulls out all the stops to seduce the viewer with exotic and otherworldly affiliations: from demonic intervention to Oriental mysticism, the magician’s credentials are graphically laid out. Unfortunately, due to George’s legal woes, the poster may never have reached its intended audience.

192. Trentino. 1903.
Luigi Bonazza (1877-1965)
56 x 80 3/4 in./147.3 x 205.2 cm
Estimate: $1,400-$1,700

The Alpine Society of Trentino (a region of the Italian Alps) advertises its recommended shelters, inns, and lodges with a mother and child being borne up into the mountains on the wing of a gigantic mythological eagle. Bonazza gives us a view of sport, nature, and indeed the world that is unbridledly, gloriously romantic. Bonazza was born in the town of Trento, for which the surrounding region is named. He studied in Vienna, where he remained for some 15 years. He specialized in watercolors, but upon his return to Trento, he left his mark in a different art form: by decorating the Church of Valsugana. He remained in Trento and taught design until his death. This is a two-sheet poster.

276. Musicians. 1956.
By Jean-Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962)
12 1/2 x 16 in./32.5 x 40.7 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700

This sumptuous hand-colored and hand-signed lithograph with a remarque is from the portfolio “La Parisienne.” Written by Cecil Saint-Laurent and illustrated by Domergue, the narrative takes us on a tour of Parisian society and its characters in the 1950s. The portfolio contained 20 original lithographs, including this scene of a Pierrot and his chanteuse singing into the night.

296A. Philips. 1951.
By Pierre Fix-Masseau (1905-1994)
63 1/4 x 46 in./160.5 x 117 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700

For Philips transistor radios, Fix-Masseau presents us with an idyllic beach outing accompanied by the perfect tunes. Relaxing, isn’t it?

314. Chimay-Villegiature. 1900.
By Jules-Alexandre Grün (1868-1938)
34 3/4 x 49 in./88.2 x 124.4 cm
Estimate: $1,400-$1,700

The two female visitors to Chimay take advantage of the free skeet shooting instructions, presumably overseen by the man at right—it’s one of the attractions offered by this Belgian resort in the Ardennes hills. You’ve got to admire the pluck of the Annie Oakley character in red, who draws a bead on her clay pigeon and is ready to step up her game. But her friend is dolled up in a much more formal getup, and seems to be there more for spectator fun than actual shooting. This printing is before the addition of text in the sandy space at left. Rare!

410. New Haven Railroad / The Berkshires.
Ben Nason (1915- )
28 x 41 7/8 in./71 x 106.4 cm
Estimate: $1,200-$1,500

The Berkshires, in western Massachusetts, are always spoken of with a sigh—the kind of dreamy sigh of relaxation that comes from propping oneself on a lawn chair in the fresh winds, watching the dappled leaves flutter before a New England church steeple and a cold, clear lake. Nason quite cleverly makes us desire this landscape all the more by obscuring it with a magnificent tree that occupies the center of the frame.

414. General Dynamics / Exploring the Universe / Sub-Atomic Worlds. ca. 1957.
By Erik Nitsche (1908-1998)
35 3/4 x 50 3/8 in./90.8 x 128 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

Nitsche embraces his painterly side with this very abstract design, which is quite appropriate for the abstract concept of subatomic particles. A 1957 General Dynamics advertisement in the Michigan Technic paired this poster with this text: “To Greeks, the atom was literally ‘a-tomos,’ not to be cut. Now its very nucleus is split and scientists are tracking sub-atomic particles, seeking to discover the nature—order and meaning—of a vast, dynamic universe in which domestic notions of space and time and energy do not apply. The ‘finds’ of nuclear exploration must be employed not in the service of a scientific, economic, or political provincialism but wherever they are needful to the physical, mental, and moral rehabilitation of men and societies.”

441. Affiches / Villemot Savignac. 1949.
By Raymond Savignac (1907-2002)
15 x 23 in./38.2 x 58.3 cm
Estimate: $1,400-$1,700

Two of France’s greatest modern poster artists teamed up for this exhibition at the Maison des Beaux-Arts. At the same time, the two mounted an exhibition of maquettes on rue Danièle Casanova, in the studio where Villemot worked until the end of his life.

511. Chanel. ca. 1997.
By Andy Warhol (1930-1987)
46 1/2 x 69 in./118.2 x 175.3 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

Soon before his death, Warhol created a series of images featuring the iconic bottle of Chanel No. 5 seen through the lens of his signature silkscreen color-blocking. Years later, Chanel would reappropriate the designs for its own advertisements, putting out a series of at least four posters. This is the blue and yellow variant.

521. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. 1974.
By Tadanori Yokoo (1936- )
25 3/8 x 37 1/8 in./64.5 x 94.2 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700

One of Japan’s most famous graphic designers, Tadanori Yokoo was influenced by Milton Glaser’s pop sensibilities, Akira Kurosawa’s sense of drama, and Indian mysticism as he ventured forth through the 1960s. Here he is, pictured on the poster he designed for his 1974 solo show at Amsterdam’s Museum of Contemporary Art, signifying all of these influences.

View all lots with low reserves
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