Dr. Hans Sachs Poster Collection is universally described as being the most significant collection of its type in existence. The story starts, however, in the late 1800's when a German Jewish student, fascinated by the strong graphics applied in promotional posters, began a quest to collect. Thus began what is internationally regarded as the first major poster collection. As the student graduated into the world of dentistry, so did his Collection grow. The categories of posters the young Dr. Sachs sought out covered the worlds of art, propaganda and politics, entertainment (from cabarets and dining to opera and early film), travel, sports, consumer products (from cigarettes to the first automobiles) to scenes of war.
Dr. Sachs acquired posters by such noted artists as Mucha, Steinlen, Cassandre, Cheret, Schnackenberg, Hohlwein, Christy, Flagg... more than five hundred artists in all. In time, his interest was so great that he organized the first poster collecting society and, in 1911, followed that by publishing Das Plakat (The Poster), an international magazine devoted to poster art.
By 1938, under the direction of Josef Goebbels, the Gestapo seized the Collection, placing Dr. Sachs in a concentration camp. Although, with the help of family and friends, Dr. Sachs was able to gain his release, he never saw nor heard of his Collection again, believing that it had been destroyed at the hands of the Nazis. With war clouds brewing, Dr. Sachs and family were able to immigrate to the United States.
Following a conscientious effort to select the firm most well suited to properly represent this most important Collection, New York City-based Guernsey's was chosen for the prestigious task. The auction house is now considering offers from those interested in acquiring the Collection intact, thereby preserving the integrity of this unprecedented body of material.