Viewing: October 20-November 11 (daily 11-6)
Our 91st Auction marks some notable changes to our traditions.
It has been our greatest pleasure to be one of the last poster auction houses to provide a printed catalogue, but we are finally adapting to the digital world, and have made the decision to provide the catalogue online only. The digital catalogue will continue to provide the contextual information and research that our printed books have always prioritized.
Additionally, in keeping with our colleagues, we are increasing our buyer’s premium from 20% to 25% on all bidding platforms. We hope you will understand the necessity of these modifications as we adapt to today’s auction house standards and needs.
As always, we are so grateful for your support and involvement in our auctions, and we are always here if you have any questions or need assistance. We look forward to seeing you at our next sale.
By Paul Colin (1892-1986)
“Josephine Baker and the Revue Nègre would be a hard act to follow for anyone less noted and less experienced than ‘La Loïe,’ but the dancer who had captivated Paris for over thirty years was still up to the task. When she came to the Champs-Élysées… she was 63 years old. ‘Old, but still very interesting,’ recalls Colin… It was her use of lighting effects and wind machines and other devices, all of which she devised herself in her own laboratory, that turned her appearance into a spectacular, ‘psychedelic’ light-and-motion show… A year later, in 1926, she gave her final performance in London; she died in 1928. And how successfully Colin has caught the swirling rotating motion of the dancer with this circular design. To hold up this poster to the Loïe Fuller designs of Chéret, Lautrec, Orazi and others, is to gain an instant lesson in the history and progress of the poster and to appreciate the fact that Colin ranks with equal stature with these luminaries of the medium” (Colin, p. 7-8). This design is very different from almost all Colin posters in forsaking the figurative and concentrating on form and color.
By Michel Bouchaud (1902-1965)
This is one of the best beach scenes in true Art Deco style ever printed. It’s just one of three posters created by Michel Bouchaud. After his military service, he asked to be demobilized in Algeria, where he joined his brother at Villa Abd-el-Tif and discovered the Mediterranean light. Returning to Paris, he worked on behalf of perfumers, chocolatiers, designers, and jewelers. His work normally concentrated on a smaller, more experiential scale: barrels of Rum Négrita, record covers, and the like. The totality of the Art Deco infusion in this poster is redolent of his will to immerse himself in the creative experience.
By A. M. Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron, 1901-1968)
In this magnificent poster, Cassandre perfectly portrays the two most important factors in early rail travel: romance and speed. Our eyes are both focused on the geometric whirl of the wheels and the seemingly endless far-off horizon. The size and power of the engine is so brilliantly executed that one can almost feel that solid wall of hot air hitting you as it races by.
By Charles Loupot (1892-1962)
A famous fabric and clothing merchant in Zurich, Grieder frequently commissioned top poster artists to create lavish images for their seasonal offerings. The company repeatedly used the services of Loupot, as he perfectly captured the decadent nature of the product. Here, an ivory-skinned lady hides behind her delicate parasol as the sun sneaks a glimpse of her sensuous summer attire.
By Walter Schnackenberg (1880-1961)
One of several posters Schnackenberg created for this Munich-based ballet duo, this image promotes an act they dubbed “Light and Shadows”—a spin on the “Beauty and the Beast” theme. It is at once highly expressionistic and extremely tender, and employs a remarkable balance of emotions in a visually gripping composition. Schnackenberg borrows some of Lautrec’s silhouetting to create the menacing plane of the devil’s black shadow, while the girl’s figure—formed from the white of the paper—slashes through the darkness. The effect makes her appear candescent.
By Jean Dupas (1882-1964)
While no specific store is mentioned, it can be presumed that this poster promoted the spring fashions available at Arnold Constable, a favorite client of Dupas’. The design itself is a romantic springtime fantasy, mixing flora and fauna with breezy white dresses. This is the finest specimen we’ve ever seen!
By Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949)
In his classic poster for the Café Odeon—which also served as Munich’s leading and most fashionable pool hall at the time—a sportily attired billiards player receives a drink from a liveried black waiter. Note the use of the vertical and horizontal lines: the cue stick and the piping on the waiter’s trousers are exactly parallel, and so is the tray and the baize surface of the pool table. And of course, the checkered pattern on the man’s vest reinforces the dominance of right angles.
By Ferdinand Schultz-Wettel (1872-1957)
“Glues everything, even iron” reads the legend; thus a lovely fin-de-siècle angel is calmly using the adhesive to mend broken hearts. It’s a most romantic scene for an incredibly ordinary product.
By Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942)
“A red-haired secretary types up a storm on her Remington. The usual Cappiello creative overflow turns humdrum office work into an exciting poster. Remington was a gunsmith in upstate New York; when typewriting was invented, he noted that some of the precision metal work involved used machining techniques very similar to those used in making gun parts, and quickly set up a new department in his factory to manufacture typewriters” (Cappiello/Rennert, p. 125). Rare!
By Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939)
“The jovial beer drinker has her long flowing tresses adorned with some appropriate beer ingredients, including barley stalks and green hops, and field poppy flowers indigenous to northeastern France. This is another one of Mucha’s characteristic designs featuring a beauty, semi-circular motifs, and artfully meandering hair” (Rennert/Weill, p. 126). The product being advertised is itself a bit vague—while there are a handful of other posters for Bières de la Meuse, it is never clear if they are for a particular brand of beer or simply for the many beers produced in the Meuse region of France. This is the rare, before-letters version of the poster.
By Jules Chéret (1836-1932)
The ethereal performer Loïe Fuller commissioned and paid for many lithographic posters for her performances, and this one from Chéret lives on in infamy. The editor of The Poster wrote in 1899, “With excellent judgment she went to Chéret—Chéret the master of gorgeous and fantastic color—to herald her earlier performances in that metropolis to the gaiety of which his posters have added so materially… In his long career as an affichiste, Chéret has produced nothing more successful than his series of designs for Loïe Fuller” (Loïe Fuller/Current, p. 129).
By Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Summer, 1895. Lautrec and fellow artist Maurice Guibert are on board the steamer Le Chili, en route along the Atlantic coast from Le Havre to Bordeaux. Lautrec cannot keep his eyes off the young woman berthed in cabin No. 54. Lautrec, suddenly obsessed, ignoring pleas from Guibert, refuses to get off the boat at Bordeaux. Finally, he is persuaded off the boat at Lisbon. But not before he’s captured a photograph of the unknown woman, which he turned into a lithograph of the exact same pose, “exquisite both in its execution and in the remoteness of the subject’s personality” (Wagner, p. 31).
By Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)
“Bonnard was just 24 when he made his first foray into lithography and poster design, but his initial effort, France-Champagne, was a stunning success. The great poster connoisseur, Maindron, immediately called it ‘one of the most interesting works to be seen on the walls of Paris.’ It created a marked contrast to Chéret’s colorful fairyland: it was sparse and subtle, making the most of a few strokes of black against a muted yellow and pink background, with ingenious composition and fluid lettering. Some saw in it the first major advance in the art of poster-size prints since the work of Daumier a generation earlier” (Wine Spectator, 57). Jane Abdy adds this interesting note: “He received a hundred francs for this ebullient design, in which the froth of the champagne foams like a bubble bath. Toulouse-Lautrec so admired it in the hoardings that he sought an introduction to Bonnard, and the two artists were intrigued by each other’s talents. Bonnard took Toulouse-Lautrec to Ancourt, his printers” (Abdy, p. 90).
By Paul Berthon (1872-1909)
“Gabriel Mourey, writing in The Studio, illustrated La Viole and commented: ‘It may perhaps be urged against this artist that he is somewhat too much under the influence of M. Grasset, an influence from which, it must be remarked, decorative draughtsmen do not take sufficient care to escape. Nevertheless, M. Paul Berthon has an exquisite sense of line and colour, and he seems to attach more importance to expression than does his master” (Berthon & Grasset, p. 104 & 114). This decorative panel is hand-signed by the artist.
By Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923)
The word “Cocorico” is the French equivalent to cock-a-doodle-do, making it rather unnecessary to show the entire word as the rooster says enough. The publication did much to encourage fine poster design by reproducing posters, selling them in its pages, and illustrating the works of major poster artists. This is Steinlen’s most forceful poster, and in the larger format.
By David Dellepiane (1866-1932)
“During the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution fundamentally changed the appearance of the world due to a number of major scientific breakthroughs… A series of revolutionary discoveries enabled electricity to be generated, harnessed and sold… Innovations were sold to the steadily growing crowds visiting the pavilions at world exhibitions and electricity trade fairs. Public response to the Electricity Fairy and her vision of the future was overwhelming. The dazzling allegorical figure, giving a human face to a physical phenomenon which by its very nature cannot be depicted, conveyed intimations of luxury and festive extravagance in ever greater measure… The advent of electric power and lighting coincided with the triumphant arrival of the art poster. It comes as no surprise, then, that progressive entrepreneurs frequently used this modern medium to win over public opinion… The Electrical Fairy’s theatrical pose and the hypnotic lighting effects high above the Marseilles exhibition ground give this poster by David Dellepiane strong dramatic expressiveness. The effects of the light on the Fairy’s green body and the trailing clouds and plumes of smoke against the red sky are extremely subtle” (European Electricity, p. 17).
By Henri-Gabriel Ibels (1867-1936)
One of the best and most important posters having to do with the art of the poster, this design by Ibels is always a highlight in any sale. Pierrefort was one of the many dealers involved in the sale of printed multiples of the 1890s, along with Sagot, Arnould, and Kleinmann. He commissioned a variety of posters to promote his shop, calling upon the talents of Lobel, de Feure, and Thiriet. None are quite so charming, however, as this one by Ibels, which showcases the delights of a pantomime complete with a harlequin, a singer, and Pierrot.
By Evelyn Rumsey Cary (1855-1924)
This early and important poster promotes the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. The allegorical image brings the origin of the name of the famous waterfall to life: “Niagara” means “Maid of the Mist” in Mohawk. It is an ethereal and dreamy composition in muted twilight hues. Cary contributed only the image for this poster, while the commercial artist Frederic F. Helmer added the gold metallic text and organic border.
One of the unusual aspects of Buffalo Bill’s posters are the many billboards his Wild West used. Cody was by no means the first to use large billboards, but there is no question that he did the most to popularize them, and these billboards reached their height (and length) when advertising the Wild West. This six-sheet, 10 foot-wide poster recreates Buffalo Bill’s scouting days (”Buffalo Hunting in 1869”) and features the military heroes for whom he worked, all identified in the bottom text. This same image, slightly shortened and without the cameos, was printed by Chaix and used in the 1905 European tour. This is the only known copy!
By Roger Broders (1883-1953)
This design in subdued colors for the PLM Railroad shows sports lovers arriving for some skiing activity at a small station in the Alpine winter wonderland. In the period between the wars, Roger Broders was the finest designer of French travel posters bar none. Many images were for the French Railways, and specifically the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée. He used three distinct approaches in his travel and tourism posters. One highlighted the fashionable sorts of people who frequented the advertised resorts and hotels. The second approach was the impressionistic rendering of the scenery alone. The third was Art Deco influenced stylization of the scenery into areas of flat color and boldly graphic, near-geometric patterns. He was especially masterful at setting up his compositions—the view is often elevated to provide some panoramic sweep with a defined area of focus. The result is always an engaging, effective design: one doesn’t just view the scene, but one comes upon it.
This design is a lithographic masterpiece. Acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest posters, this image of a flame-tressed sylph, propelled among the stars by the Gladiator and its winged pedals, has been appropriated throughout culture ever since its debut in 1895. Shockingly, it remains anonymous, despite the presence of the faint initials LW in the lower right corner. Even in the famed 1896 Reims exhibition, it was attributed to “Anonyme.”
By Malcolm A. Strauss (1883-1936)
This poster for the 400-mile Grand Prix in Savannah, Georgia in 1908 is arguably the rarest and finest of all early American racing posters. It’s a most powerful image, showing the driver and mechanic on the open road at dawn amidst the palmettos, with the wheels and front exhaust spewing out a cloud of smoke, fumes, sparks, and dust. It must have been hellish—but it looks very glamourous. America was the second country (after France) to stage a Grand Prix. The winner was Louis Wagner in a Fiat, going at an average 65.2 mph over the 16 laps of the 25.13 mile road circuit; no American cars ran the full distance. Strauss was a lifelong resident of New York City who honed the illustrative skills we see here by creating magazine covers and advertising art.
By Charles C. Dickson
KLM announces flights to the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam with this bold design centered on the newly developed Fokker F.VIII. Designed for English-speaking audiences by British artist Charles Dickson, the main goal of this image was to entice Londoners to the Games; in fact, the London-Amsterdam route was incredibly popular, and KLM had to increase service to meet demand. And in terms of the Games, this year saw the introduction of the now iconic Olympic Flame.
By Joseph C. Leyendecker (1874-1951)
What’s more American than Uncle Sam playing baseball? Leyendecker pulls out all the patriotic stops to get Americans involved in the war effort.
By Louis J. Rhead (1858-1926)
Throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, it would not be uncommon for the ultra-wealthy to feast upon peacock at Christmas and other special events. That archaic tradition is referenced in this elegant poster by Rhead promoting The Century’s Christmas number, featuring “poems and pictures, 25 full-page illustrations, Rudyard Kipling’s first American story [and] the new life of Napoleon.” This is the smaller format version of the design.