NEW YORK — The summer Vintage Poster auction at Swann Galleries on Thursday, August 3, will feature one of the largest and most impressive collections of Italian Liberty-style posters to come to market in decades. Additional highlights include Art Nouveau and Art Deco images from across the globe, summer travel posters to inspire wanderlust, and a selection of propaganda posters from both world wars. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction opens with more than 50 posters from the collection of Italian Liberty-style posters. The offering features the work of many of Italy’s most renowned graphic designers: Oswaldo Balerio, Luigi Bompard, Mario Borgoni, Marcello Dudovich, Giovanni Mataloni, Aldo Mazza, Leopoldo Metlicovitz and Aleardo Terzi.
Among the highlights are exceptional images that have not appeared on the international auction scene in more than two decades, including Dudovich’s circa-1910 Societa Torinese Automobili Elettrici / Torino, estimated at $15,000-$20,000; Metlicovitz’s Alla Spezia from 1907, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and Mazza’s Scienza Per Tutti, dating to 1909, estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
French Art Nouveau choices are led by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s magnificent 1892 poster of Aristide Bruant, titled Ambassadeurs and estimated at $50,000-$75,000; exquisite, top-end works by Alphonse Mucha, such as the complete 1896 series of The Seasons, estimated at $40,000-$60,000, and the complete 1899 Times of Day, which has an estimate of $30,000-$40,000. Also on offer by Mucha are two posters for Moet & Chandon from 1899, together estimated at $25,000-$35,000; and all of his Maitres de l’Affiche images.
Also on offer is a run of Art Deco Japanese advertising posters that includes Lily Brand Bordeaux Mixture and Stain & Oil Remover, together estimated at $800-$1,200; a Hanging Bell/”Tsurigane”/Luxury Store poster, also estimated at $800-$1,200; and a Damola/Ch. Takeda & Co. poster with an identical estimate.
Beach and summer resort posters are represented by the 1896 image Sutro Baths, estimated at $12,000-$18,000, and a selection of Australian travel images that include an American Airlines advertisement estimated at $1,220-$1,800; William Dobell’s circa-1938 Orient Line to Australia, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; Gert Sellheim’s circa-1936 Australia/Surf Club, estimated at $1,200-$1,800; and a circa-1937 example, Australia/Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, which has an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.
Early American entertainment is solidly represented by three scarce Buffalo Bill show posters—most notably Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Pioneer Exhibition from 1907, estimated at $8,000-$12,000 — and one of the great tattoo images, Captain Costentenus from 1876, estimated at $5,000-$7,500.
Rounding out the auction is a featured selection of world war and propaganda posters, including James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic 1917 image I Want You For U.S. Army, estimated at $5,000-$7,500, and Keep Calm and Carry On! from 1939, estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Food and beverage advertisements of note include works by Leonetto Cappiello, such as the 1921 poster Bitter Campari, estimated at $8,000-$12,000, and 1927’s Cognac Monnet, estimated at $3,000-$4,000. Other choice pieces from this category include Philippe Henri Noyer’s 1938 Limonade Brault, estimated at $4,000-$6,000, and Luck Lager / It’s Lucky When You Live in America, a circa-1940s design attributed to Charles Allen, estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
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