NEW YORK CITY – A collection of over 50 rare, original propaganda posters will be auctioned on Sunday, Oct. 28, by Poster Auctions International Inc., as part of the firm’s Rare Poster Auction #76. The collection includes World Wars I and II, the inter-war period, the beginnings of the Cold War, and the Cuban Revolution. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The sale overall will feature 475 lots, to include lithographs, maquettes, oil paintings and illustrations, plus rare books, with item estimates ranging from $500 to $350,000 – a wide range catering to all level of collector.
Artists in the catalog will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the genre – iconic giants such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, A.M. Cassandre, Alphonse Mucha, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, H.R. Hopps, James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, Jules Cheret, Leonetto Cappiello, El Lissitzky, Theophile Steinlen and Yokoo. Most of the posters and maquettes will be from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco periods.enri H
“The propaganda poster collection is of great importance,” said Jack Rennert, president of Poster Auctions International Inc. “The issues we’re dealing with today, as a society, are little different from those of a century ago—conflicts over gender roles, economic inequality, rapid political change, ethnic violence and anti-Semitism among them.”
The propaganda collection includes multiple famous works by James Montgomery Flagg (e.g. I Want You for U.S. Army) and Howard Chandler Christy (e.g. Gee! I Wish I Were a Man), the two most prominent American posterists of World War I.
The entire collection, though, delves far beyond that. When browsing the catalog, bidders will see:
– The dialogue between the competing socialist parties of post-WWI Europe;
– The sparking and inflaming of anti-Semitic sentiment during the inter-war period;
– The various modes of American propaganda;
– Post-WWI humanitarian outreach;
– Propaganda in Vichy France; and
– Exceptionally rare work by Fidel Castro’s chief propaganda artist.
Highlights from the auction overall include Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster, the 1891 Moulin Rouge/La Goulue, which established the artist’s worldwide fame (est. $300,000-$350,000); plus numerous other famous and rare Lautrecs, including Le Jockey (est. $40,000-$50,000); P. Sescau/Photographe ($60,000-$70,000) and L’Anglais au Moulin Rouge, rarely seen at auction (est. $100,000-$120,000).
From A.M. Cassandre will come four separate prints of his world-famous Art Deco triumph, Normandie—all from the opulent ocean liner’s inaugural cruise year of 1935, with slightly different text variants. It’s the first time all four 1935 lithographs have been offered simultaneously (est. $10,000-$18,000).
Thirty posters, decorative panels, maquettes and other material by Alphonse Mucha will come up for bid, including special printings of the 1897 and 1900 The Seasons set (est. $10,000-$40,000); and the finest specimen of the 1897 Monaco-Monte-Carlo Poster Auctions International has ever handled (est. $17,000-$20,000). Also sold will be an especially superb lithograph of Bernhardt’s Lorenzaccio (est. $14,000-$17,000).
Twenty-three posters, rare books and unique items from the Russian Avant-Garde – including Lissitzky’s Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (est. $3,500-$4,000) and Victory Over the Sun: Anxious People (est. $17,000-$20,000)—will conveniently coincide with a major exhibition on the period now at New York’s Jewish Museum.