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PAI-XCIII: Rare Posters
Auction: Thursday, July 11 at 11am EDT
Viewing: June 21-July 10 (daily 11-6)
Art Deco
150. New York Central Building. 1930.
By Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986)
27 x 40 3/4 in./68.3 x 103.6 cm
Est: $6,000-$8,000

This romanticized nighttime view of the New York Central Building—a major element in the Grand Central Station complex on 46th Street in Manhattan—looks south on Park Avenue. Almost fifty years after the 1929 edifice was designed by the noted architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore, it was renamed the Helmsley Building to honor its owner, New York real-estate mogul Harry Helmsley. With the emphasis here on glamour and prestige, we get only a hint of the ambitious design at the base of the 34-story building: two arched portals which allow automobiles to bypass street traffic below, flanked, in turn, by smaller rectangular portals opening onto pedestrian shopping arcades. Surprisingly, the building today looks better than it did at the time of the poster, thanks to the efforts of Helmsley, who revised the roof and facade in 1978 with gilding. Sadly, it’s difficult not to mention the marring of this spectacular urban vista by the inclusion of the 58-story high Pan Am building, whose Met Life renaming did nothing to change its invasive shortcomings.

159. Chamonix Mt. Blanc / Sports d'Hiver. 1930.
By Roger Broders (1883-1953)
24 7/8 x 39 1/4 in./63.2 x 99.7 cm
Est: $7,000-$9,000

In 1930, the Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships were held in three cities, starting with Chamonix, then moving on to Vienna and Berlin. Promoting the nine matches held in France, Broders created one of his most action-packed posters. This is the subsequent version of the design used to promote general tourism to the area.

194. Palace Hotel / St. Moritz. 1920.
By Emil Cardinaux (1877-1936)
35 3/4 x 50 3/8 in./90.8 x 128 cm
Est: $12,000-$15,000

This is one of Cardinaux’s best and most evocative posters. It recalls childhood memories of snowy escapes and family photographs from vacations past. The main purpose of the poster—the promotion of St. Moritz as a winter sports hot spot—is left to the background. Instead, an elegantly bundled lady is the focus, her party deep in lazy chitchat while skaters glide by their chairs. Cardinaux doesn’t need to overstate the Alps’ ideal climate for wintry sports—instead, he allows us to luxuriate in a relaxing getaway.

195. Aquarium de Monaco. 1926.
By Jean Carlu (1900-1997)
31 1/8 x 42 1/2 in./79 x 108 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000

Considered to be Carlu’s finest work, this aquatic collage perfectly encapsulates an underwater environment at the Monaco Aquarium, rather than depicting a specific species. In an interview the following year, the artist stated that he sought to simplify and impress, regardless of whether or not he maintained scientific accuracy.

199. Simca / La Cinq Ne Coûte Que 9.900 frs. 1936.
By A. M. Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron, 1901-1968)
22 3/4 x 15 1/8 in./57.8 x 38.4 cm
Est: $12,000-$15,000

“Is it possible that by this time the glorification of the machine wasn’t worth the gamble? Because, indeed, it’s the cost, and not the machine that’s pointed up here. It’s true that the crucial message is, in fact, the price of the vehicle” (Cassandre/BN, p. 116). However, even if the monetary bottom line has become the motivating factor in the mind of the consumer, it’s Cassandre’s Simca blue streak that provides the true visual impact. This is the rare smaller format—and one of his rarest designs overall.

279. O Cap / Pour les Cheveux. 1928.
By Charles Loupot (1892-1962)
46 5/8 x 62 3/4 in./118.4 x 159.5 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000

O Cap shampoo is not only “for the hair,” as the slogan says; in Loupot’s image, it is the hair—a soft white head full of it, foaming straight up out of the bottle. Completing the design is a triangle of type like the lower half of an hourglass through which our eye is funneled from product to brand name. It’s one of Loupot’s very finest works.

338. Novissima Film Roma / Thais Galizky. ca. 1916.
By Enrico Prampolini (1894-1955)
55 x 76 1/8 in./139.6 x 193.4 cm
Est: $5,000-$6,000

This modernist design is for one of the small production companies which proliferated in Italian cinema around World War I. Prampolini joined the futuristic trend in Italian graphic arts, and his interest in theatre and film later led him to become a set designer and art director. He founded the Case d’Arte Italiana in 1917 and the Teatro della Pantomima Futurista in 1927. The actress shown in this design probably adopted the first name Thaïs because she played the title role in the film of that classic Anatole France novel produced by Novissima in 1916.

342. The New 20th Century Limited. 1938.
By Leslie Ragan (1897-1972)
27 x 40 1/2 in./68.6 x 102.8 cm
Est: $6,000-$8,000

This is one of the greatest, most iconic images in the history of American art. “In June 1938, the New 20th Century Limited… made its debut. To mark the occasion, Ragan created a poster that became the archetype of American streamliner designs. His rendering left locomotive driving wheels and gadgetry in shadow, instead focusing on the Century’s distinctive satin-finished crescent-shaped prow as it caught the morning sunlight while streaming alongside the Hudson River, New York City-bound” (Travel By Train, p. 124).

394. Russian Olympics in Kiev. 1913.
By V. Tschetschets
26 x 39 in./66 x 99 cm
Est: $5,000-$6,000

This especially rare image announces the first—and only—All-Russian Olympics, which was somewhat ironically held in Kiev. Given the current war in Ukraine as well as the upcoming Olympics in Paris, this image packs a lot of contemporary punch. The event included track and field, soccer, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, swimming, gymnastics, and even motorcycle racing. The Kiev Sports Ground was opened in August, 1912 and soon destroyed during World War I. This lot includes a book on the history of this Olympics by Oleg Vorontsov, which was published in 2006.

Art Nouveau
168B. La Caisse Simon / Huîtres Exquises. 1901.
By Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942)
54 x 37 5/8 in./137.2 x 95.6 cm
Est: $10,000-$12,000

A brisk day by the seashore—and the delirious, aphrodisiacal taste of fresh-shucked oysters right on the pier—that’s the promise of La Caisse Simon, serving up exquisite oysters that arrive in a perfect state, anywhere in Europe. Cappiello adds the eye-winking touch of the ladies’ skirts blown by the breeze, while the gentleman waits in anticipation as his companion slurps a shell.

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215. Palais de Glace. 1893.
By Jules Chéret (1836-1932)
33 x 93 3/4 in./84 x 238.2 cm
Est: $4,000-$5,000

Dashing red on a water-washed blue background, this skater beckons us to join her at the popular ice-skating rink on the Champs-Élysées. One of the very best in the series, it’s also one of the most unusual: no gentleman-skater silhouette lurks behind her. This is the ladies’ skate. This is a two-sheet poster.

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265. Pierrefort / Affiches Artistiques. 1897.
By Henri-Gabriel Ibels (1867-1936)
31 3/4 x 24 1/8 in./80.6 x 61.6 cm
Est: $10,000-$12,000


Milwaukee Art Museum, 2012-2013

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, 2019

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.

285. Il Mattino. 1896.
By Giovanni Mataloni (1869-1944)
46 x 64 5/8 in./116.8 x 164.2 cm
Est: $4,000-$5,000

This sensuous, unencumbered two-sheet design is perhaps one of the most provocative newspaper promotions ever created. A larger-than-life nude basks by the seaside, her head reclining into the trees, her pose orgiastic, the earth beneath her fertile. The sun, anthropomorphized, gazes upon her either with longing or wonder. Is she Eve, relishing in sin? Or is she Gaea, giving birth to all the landscapes and creatures of Earth? We may never know, but Mataloni’s design for the daily newspaper Il Mattino is a remarkable example of Italian Art Nouveau tinged with Jugendstil—and an artist’s vision of unbridled dynamism. Rare!

295. Cycles Perfecta. 1902.
By Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939)
41 7/8 x 59 in./106.4 x 150 cm
Est: $30,000-$40,000

“It is clear that Mucha understood well the principles of selling not the object itself, but the feeling that is associated with it. Here, he is barely showing a piece of the bicycle… but as to the pleasure of riding, this sylph has it all over any dreary mechanical details. Airily she caresses the machine, her windblown hair embodying motion and a restless spirit, a vision of idle loveliness and a perfect Mucha maiden. Her gaze at us is straight and direct, not flirtatious but inviting and challenging, daring us to take her on in a race… Mucha finally had a perfect subject that justified hair in motion, and he took full advantage of it, giving her the most dizzying configurations of his famous ‘macaroni’ [hair]. The Perfecta was an English brand bicycle, which makes this one of the very few Mucha posters for an English client. It was also sold in France” (Rennert/Weill, p. 294). This is the larger format—and the finest specimen we’ve seen!

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333. Western Lawn Tennis Tournament. 1896.
By Edward Penfield (1866-1925)
19 x 27 3/4 in./48.2 x 70.5 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000

This exercise in elegance is one of the rarest of Penfield’s posters. An impeccably dressed woman observes a lawn tennis match played on a real grass surface. How much more high-class can you get?

358. Odeon Casino. 1912.
By Walter Schnackenberg (1880-1961)
35 3/4 x 46 3/8 in./90.6 x 117.8 cm
Est: $25,000-$30,000

One of Schnackenberg’s finest creations, this couple exudes Art Deco style and sensuality. “One of Munich’s finest amusement venues, where the elegant world gathered after the theater and concert, was the Odeon Casino, for which Walter Schnackenberg designed a series of unusual posters. His vampy type of woman with a pageboy haircut and a fashion that anticipated the 1920s was a sensation and provocation in Munich at a time when the busty, sumptuously equipped ladies of the Wilhelmine era still dominated the image of women. [Schnackenberg’s woman was] thus a powerful motif for the ‘Jeunesse dorée’ (golden youth)” (Plakate München, p. 92). But there is also a sense of the uncanny, especially with the male dancer who emerges out of the shadows, his body confined to the darkness around him. It’s a perfect example of this artist’s “scenes of a decadent morbidity” (Weill, p. 111).

369. Motocycles Comiot. 1899.
By Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923)
52 1/2 x 76 5/8 in./133.4 x 195 cm
Est: $25,000-$30,000

Based off of models by Dion-Bouton, Comiot Cycles was a short-lived brand produced around the turn of the century. “For Comiot, Steinlen signs one of his most famous works. The machine, a motorized bicycle, is barely visible in the composition, but the sensation of speed is very present: the movement of the scarf and the long dress; the noisy flight of the frightened geese. Thanks to this engine, the young woman, though haughty, crosses the countryside with elegance and ease. In the background, Steinlen evokes… with a vigorous line a couple of peasants in the fields, bent over their hoes: one immediately thinks of the compositions of Millet or the sketches of van Gogh. The political commitment, the sensitivity of the artist, and his animal talent are reflected in the realism of this poster” (Ailes, p. 22). This is the larger, two-sheet version with excellent colors.

375. L'Estampe Originale. 1895.
By Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
32 1/4 x 22 3/4 in./82 x 57.8 cm
Est: $70,000-$90,000

This is one of 100 signed and numbered copies (#40). “By 1893 if there were any doubts that there was a printmaking renaissance and that lithography dominated this general print revival, those doubts were quieted forever by a new publication entitled L’Estampe Originale… From March 1893 to early 1895, in collaboration with [critic] Roger Marx, [André] Marty published a series of quarterly albums of ten prints each (except for the last which contained fourteen prints) in the media of etching, drypoint, mezzotint, woodcut, wood engraving, gypsography and lithography. In all, the publication encompassed ninety-five prints by seventy-four artists representing the young avant-garde such as Lautrec and the Nabis, as well as their established mentors including Gauguin, Puvis de Chavannes, Redon, Chéret, Whistler, Bracquemond and Lepère. L’Estampe Originale offers a remarkable cross-section of the most advanced aesthetic attitudes in fin de siècle French art” (Color Revolution, p. 22). Marty felt that Lautrec “deserved ‘a place of honour in the golden book of the modern print’… [and he] accorded Henri exactly that place, using him as the artist for the cover of the first issue” (Frey, p. 323). Lautrec shows us his favorite model, Jane Avril, at his favorite lithographic workshop, Ancourt, studying a proof pulled by Père Cotelle, the experienced printer at the Bisset press behind her. This is the finest specimen we’ve ever seen—with full margins.

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395. De Hollandsche Revue. 1899.
By Johann G. Van Caspel (1870-1928)
42 1/2 x 31 in./108 x 78.7 cm
Est: $17,000-$20,000

A line of readers are engrossed in their copies of the Hollandsche Revue, a literary journal published by DeErven Loosjes in Haarlem. It’s a masterful drawing, fascinating for its authentic historical feel, detail, and characters. Although van Caspel designed show cards, book covers, calendars, and book plates in addition to several posters of note, “one of his most interesting posters was executed for the ‘Dutch Review,’ representing a well-known Amsterdam rendezvous, the reading room at Krasnapolsky’s. It is treated in the style of some American artists, reminding one of J. J. Gould’s manner, with more elaborate details… To conclude, J. G. van Caspel is an affichiste with a great future… His name, although not yet famous beyond Holland, must be remembered by lovers of art, and the Senefelder Printing Co. must be congratulated to have retained such a brilliant artist” (The Poster, May 1899. p. 213-214). It’s one of the most magnificent posters ever created in Holland, and a true international masterpiece.

Featured Collections
1. Miss Levi’s. 1971.
By Ida van Bladel (1931- )
28 x 40 1/8 in./71 x 102 cm
Est: $2,000-$2,500

Years before an underaged Brooke Shields scandalously confessed that nothing came between her and her Calvins, van Bladel showed the world that slipping into a pair of Levi’s was as good as slithering into a very tight second skin. It’s a directly clever and succinct visual statement. The Antwerp-born designer was the art director at Young & Rubicam International in Brussels, where this remarkable poster was created. And while it was a huge hit in Europe, the image was not approved for American distribution. This uncut printer’s proof emphasizes Levi’s new wares specifically for women; it’s quite rare!

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54. Flanders Colonial Electric. 1912.
By Clarence Coles Phillips (1880-1927)
40 1/4 x 27 in./102.3 x 68.5 cm
Est: $3,000-$4,000

A trio of young sophisticates are ready to paint the town thanks to their Flanders Colonial Electric Model-30. The text included here gives us plenty of information: the 1913 make “has set a new standard in design, in finish, in mileage, hill-climbing, riding qualities, and all those other requisites of a high-class equipage for city and suburban service. Combines electrical excellence with faultless coach work—utility with beauty and grace.” Born in Ohio, Phillips began illustrating for Life Magazine in 1907 at age 26, leading to a lifelong career with that publication. He was known for his illustrations of stylish young women surrounded by his signature negative space. Rare!

62. Monaco Grand Prix 1932.
By Robert Falcucci (1900-1989)
30 3/4 x 47 in./78 x 119.3 cm
Est: $17,000-$20,000

This is the third poster Falcucci created for the glamourous Monaco Grand-Prix. “In a masterful display of pastels, he contrasted the tranquil and sunny slopes of the Riviera with the blue of two speeding racers. As in his first two Monaco posters, he drew streaks of white around the lead car to convey a feeling of breathless velocity. The cars have emerged from the Tir aux Pigeons tunnel to rush daringly into a tight curve at the water’s edge and on to the finish line. At the top of the hill sits the casino and the majestic Hotel de Paris, 130 feet above the sea. Since the race was now a major success, some streetcar tracks were removed and much of the road was resurfaced to improve the course for the 1932 event” (Monaco, p. 22). That year, first through third place were swept up by Italy in Alfa Romeos, with Tazio Nuvolari leading the pack.

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14. Une Semaine d’Aviation / Denhaut. 1909.
46 3/4 x 60 1/4 in./119 x 153 cm
Est: $6,000-$8,000

This extremely rare poster advertises a week of aviation celebrations (plus theatre, gymnastics, bicycle races, walking trails, and a grand concert) hosted by the connoisseur of the flying boat, François Denhaut. He built his first biplane in 1908; after making some modifications, he successfully constructed the first flying boat in 1912. Also mentioned here is one Bouyer a M. Mercier, a mechanic who was instrumental in Denhaut’s constructions.

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35. Victor Bicycles / Overman Wheel Co. 1896.
By William H. Bradley (1868-1962)
38 3/4 x 62 1/8 in./98.6 x 157.8 cm
Est: $17,000-$20,000

Known for his love of intricate patterns based on nature and the work of Art Nouveau bad boy Aubrey Beardsley, Bradley does not shy away from giving a heavy nod to both in this painstakingly detailed design. With its rhythmic variety and organic flow of line, it’s obvious why it is considered one of the greatest examples of American poster art. As for the product itself, the Victor bicycle was launched by A.H. Overman in 1887, and was among the first to include wheels of matching height (as opposed to the velocipede which had a higher front wheel). Here, Bradley promotes the Torino-based Italian distributor of the brand.

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84. Production. 1942.
By Jean Carlu (1900-1997)
40 1/2 x 29 7/8 in./102.8 x 76 cm
Est: $1,400-$1,700

Arguably America’s most substantive role in World War II was supplying the sheer material preponderance that eventually overwhelmed the much more aggressive and better trained German and Japanese forces. This is one of the first posters that mobilized Americans and made them aware of the way they could help to end the bloodshed. Carlu worked in the United States from 1939 to 1952. When he first submitted this design, in the pre-Pearl Harbor summer of 1941, it was a mobilization poster; it became a war poster when it was reissued in 1942.

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PAI-XCIII: Rare Posters
July 11 at 11am EDT

In-gallery viewing June 21-July 10 (Daily 11am-6pm)

Register to bid online, or bid by phone or absentee.
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