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Australia & New Zealand
11 designs for the lands down under.

From the Great Barrier Reef to rain forests and New Zealand’s Mount Egmont, these images revel in the natural splendors of these two countries.

144. Australia.
By Percy Trompf (1902-1964)
24 7/8 x 39 1/2 in./63.2 x 100.3 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000

Many geographic aspects pop to mind when one hears mention of Australia, such as the Great Barrier Reef, but rain forests aren’t necessarily one of them, most likely due to the equatorial nature of this region. And yet, some of the most breathtaking  rain forests in the world are located in tropical North Queensland, stretching from Townsville to Cooktown. Trompf puts a very civilized veneer on all of this spectacular scenery and rugged topography, making the entire affair out to be a rather pleasant walk in a very exotic park. Trompf studied at the Ballarat Technical Art School before relocating to Melbourne in 1923, where he established his reputation as a freelance artist specializing in posters before opening his own design studio. The Australian landscape and wildlife directly influenced his output. By the 1930s, Trompf’s brightly colored posters were well known in Australia and his work had attracted attention in both Britain and North America.

146. Australia / Surf Club. 1936.
By Gert Sellheim (1901-1970)
25 1/8 x 40 1/4 in./64 x 102.2 cm
Est: $7,000-$9,000

“Sellheim’s rarest and most famous poster is Surf Club. It depicts a team of five female lifeguards performing a reel-and-line rescue exercise, a subtle way to assure seaside visitors that they will be safe while they enjoy all the thrills the sea has to offer. The blue surf, accentuated by stylized waves, the sandy yellow beach, and the bronzed lifeguards all combine with Sellheim’s expert use of diagonals and geometric patterns to result in a true art deco masterpiece” (Crouse/Deco, p. 279). Gert Sellheim was born in Estonia and studied architecture in Berlin, Munich, and Graz before migrating to Australia in 1926, where he spent two years working as a farm laborer before his architectural qualifications were recognized. Moving to Melbourne in 1930 must have supplied him with lithographic inspiration, as he began designing posters the following year. Sellheim designed the famous flying kangaroo symbol for Qantas airlines, as well as the 1948 two-shilling “Aboriginal Art” stamp.

147. Western Australia.
25 1/2 x 39 1/8 in./64.7 x 99.4 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000

This anonymous artist gives us a dramatic vista of Castle Rock in the Porongurup Range in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. At the top of the summit, travelers can take in the 360 degree panoramic view, as well as the unusual “Balancing Rock,” a 20-foot high boulder weighing about 410 thousand pounds that rests on a base of just 13 square feet.

149. Australia / Great Barrier Coral Reef. ca. 1932.
By James Northfield (1887-1973)
24 3/4 x 39 3/4 in./63 x 101 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500

The Great Barrier Reef, off Australia’s east coast, is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s great natural treasures. Currently, more than two million people visit the reef each year. That number was obviously not as elevated when Northfield angled to draw a few more outdoor sportsmen to the area with this action poster, featuring both above and underwater lures. With the multitude of fish in the Barrier Reef region, it’s easy to see why it would be promotionally touted as a fisherman’s paradise. And though sport fishing is still a major attraction, the contemporary realities of conservation have required that various parts of reef are protected with restricted fishing. Even with its various environmental challenges, the Great Barrier Reef retains its environment of extraordinary beauty and richness, with a diversity of plant, animal, and sea life that makes it an essential part of Australia’s natural heritage.

152. American Airlines / Australia. ca. 1969.
30 x 40 3/8 in./76.2 x 102.5 cm
Est: $1,000-$1,200

The Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly Australia’s most beloved landmark, so this designer draws on its wing-like shapes to find a vibrant echo in the sails below. It’s simple, straightforward, and certainly eye-catching.

154. New Zealand. ca. 1935.
By Leonard Cornwall Mitchell (1901-1971)
26 x 39 1/2 in./66 x 100.3 cm
Est: $1,200-$1,500

So convinced is New Zealand’s Tourist Department of the untouched splendor of Mount Egmont that all they ask of designer Mitchell is to show the rest of the world precisely what they’re missing. And what they’re missing is an active volcano also known as Taranaki that last erupted in 1755. Easily one of the most beautiful volcanic cones anywhere in the world, Mount Egmont is New Zealand’s largest and most spectacular volcano. A national park since 1900, Taranaki is home to a number of beautiful walks through verdant forest to waterfalls, wetlands, and excellent elevated viewpoints.

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