NEW YORK — In a two-day event, Swann Galleries will present a special offering of deaccessioned duplicates from the rich collection of Letterform Archive on May 12, alongside the spring Graphic Design auction on May 13. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Selections from Letterform Archive will include 153 lots of graphics, books, posters and examples of typography. Within the trove of inspirational material are type specimens from around the world spanning decades of typographical innovation. Highlights from prominent type foundries include Schelter & Giesecke is Proben J. G. Schelter & Giesecke, Erster Brand, Leipzig, 1899, estimated at $800-$1,200; Berthold is featured with Garnituren Berthold-Grotesk, Probendruck Nr. 262, Berlin, 1928, estimated at $400-$600; Peignot & Fils with Album d’Applications des Nouvelles Creations Francaises, Paris, 1901, estimated at $1,200-$1,800; and Bauer with Hauptprobe in Gedragter Form der Bauerschen Giesserei Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, 1915, estimated at $800-$1,200, as well as many other foundries.
Also featured is a plethora of design material and books from such luminaries as Eric Gill’s The Game, Dtichling, 1916–23, a scarce complete set ($3,000-4,000); Ladislav Sutnar’s K Catalog Design, New York, 1944, estimated at $800-$1,200; Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept. 1923 Weimar, a 1923 color lithograph postcard estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and Piet Zwart’s Serie Monografieen over Filmkunst, Rotterdam, 1931–33, a series of 10 complete titles each illustrated with numerous montages of photographs, graphic elements, and film stills, which carries an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Also featured are works from Klingspoor, Karel Teige, Herbert Bayer, Jan Tschichold, Paul Klee, Paul Rand, Lester Beall, and others.
Graphic design will feature a wide range of material from early European Secession art to Modern design to Rock & Roll concert posters. Leading the offering is a run of works relating to Dadaism and the Bauhaus movement. On offer is Walter Dexel with an ad promoting the use of gas Verwende Stets Nur Gas, 1924, estimated at $20,000-$30,000; Alexander Rodchenko’s design for the Russian Society of Volunteer Air Fleet Dobrolet, 1923, estimated at $20,000-$30,000; and Johannes Molzahn’s 1929 work for an architectural and design exhibition in Breslau, Wohnung Und Werkraum, estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Also of note is a selection of works by El Lissitzky including Pro Dva Kvadrata, an inscribed 1922 publication of Lissitsky’s children’s fable about a black square and a red square that fly to earth, which is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
A run of works by American born artist and designer Edward McKnight Kauffer are set to cross the block with Soaring to Success! Daily Herald – The Early Bird, circa 1963, estimated at $15,000-$20,000; Keep It Under Your Stetson, 1942, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and American Airlines / Paris, circa 1948, estimated at $1,000-$1,500, as well as a selection of dust jackets designed by Kauffer.
Significant works from Japanese pop-psych artist Tadanori Yokoo are available with Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I Was Dead, 1965, estimated at $20,000-30,000; The City and Design / The Wonders of Life on Earth, 1966, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and Yukio Mishima / The Aesthetics of End, 1966, estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
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