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Lot 0326


c.1896 Cameo paper sign 30"x40" printed by J. Ottmann Litho. Co., N.Y. Without taking away anything from the other rare and magnificent pieces in this collection, in my opinion this is the star of the show. Obviously Bill and Jan Schmidt thought so as well. It has been prominently displayed as the first thing you see when you entered the museum. It is to say the least magnificent and a perfect example of the high quality lithography produced before and at the turn of the century. Produced by J. Ottmann Litho Co. in New York. The Puck Building which housed them still stands. This piece has been professionally restored back to magnificent. Not that it wasn't magnificent before, but it was folded neatly and found in a trunk. It did have some tears. This piece has everything you want, beauty, size, color, super graphics, and top of the line lithography. Mounted on conservation linen and only touched up in absolutely necessary areas. This piece is just amazing. Beautifully matted and framed. Provenance is so important today in documenting pieces of historic importance. This magnificent piece of advertising can be traced right back to the day it was printed, just prior to the turn of the century. The J. Ottmann Litho Co., of New York were producers of extremely high quality lithography. They were located in the Puck Building. Their trademark script logo can be found on many of the periods finest lithography of the day. Trade cards, posters, lobby cards and had a reputation for only producing the finest quality work. They seemed to outdo themselves with this piece. The finished product did not travel far after production. This piece hung for a few years over a soda fountain bar in a theater in New York City's Time Square area. The custodian of the theater had a fascination with printed posters. At the end of theater production instead of throwing them out he folded them up and took them home. Thankfully this piece was among the stacks found in the attic/office of his home by his daughter and granddaughter after their mother passed away. I met them at the auction where I acquired this piece in the mid-1970's, and they related the story of finding hundreds of theater posters in his trunk. At the time the piece was glued to thin canvas for support and folded into quarters. Still in beautiful condition, the creases and minor tears were a distraction and total disservice to this piece of art. It took me two years of locating and talking to restorers before I became comfortable enough to have this piece restored back to its original beauty. This outstanding restoration was completed by Mr. Walt Nowatka of Gate House Galleries in Pompton Plains, New Jersey in the late 1970's. It hung proudly in my collection for many years until it was passed on for everyone to enjoy with a place of honor in the Schmidt Museum Collection. Today it will be passed on to another collector who hopefully will love it and enjoy it as we all have over the years. Some day this wonderful documented provenance will continue on with this piece.--Allan Petretti


(Excellent++) R.

Buyer's Premium

  • 18%


Estimate $25,000 - $30,000Sep 17, 2011
Starting Price $10
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