Turner Auctions has WWI posters in its sights May 30
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Hilman Walker Collection, showcasing an array of French posters from World War I and American posters from World Wars I and II on Saturday, May 30. The sale also offers other war-era lithographs by Lucien-Hector Jonas; a large replica of the USS Mahan (DLG-11) and related items; and tableware, posters and memorabilia from the United States Lines. Several lots from other collectors include World War I photographs and a World War II roadside billboard. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Hilman Walker is a longtime resident of Northern California, where he was born, raised and educated. Admitted to the California bar in 1976, he had a long and successful career in various management positions at a Fortune 100 company in the San Francisco Bay Area before retiring and moving to the Carmel area.
Hilman Walker’s collections in this sale focus on three areas. Most prominent are the World War I and II posters, which Walker began collecting in 2008, triggered by divisiveness and angst of that time’s financial crisis, which paralleled in some ways the fear and stresses of wartime. Attracted initially to French posters from WWI because of their aesthetic and historical qualities, Walker said this was a very personal collection. Most were purchased from a professor of French studies at Indiana University, who imported the posters and backed them with archival material. These posters cover a wide range of war-related subjects such as the sale of government war bonds, promotion of troop and home front morale, dissemination of war goals, and sale of war damage reconstruction bonds. All posters are original; almost all are 100 years old; most are stone lithographs. Despite their age, the posters retain bright colors, attesting to the superb quality of early 20th-century French lithography.
Also from the WWI era are a portfolio of 24 wartime drawing by Lucien-Hector Jonas and nine newspaper front-page flonges used for printing end-of-the-war news. Lucien-Hector Jonas (1880–1947), was a French artist who captured life at the front through his graphic images, thereby providing an important visual record of the war. Flonges are temporary negative molds made to cast a metal stereotype used on a rotary printing press. These flonges – from Auburn, New York, newspapers – reveal what front-page news Americans were reading at the war’s end; their headlines include “Germany Bombs Paris,” “Kaiser Abdicates” and “Germany Surrenders.”
From 2015 to 2016, the WWI poster collection was exhibited at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School Library, Monterey, California, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Over the two years, the posters were displayed in groups in order to associate particular poster messaging with the state of the conflict at that time. In view of student interest, Walker broadened the collection display to include American war posters.
French posters from WWI, created by academy-trained artists, focus more on the uplifting and positive aspects associated with war efforts. This contrasts with American posters from WWII, created by commercial artists, which are more visceral and often show the pathos and agony of war. Nonetheless, regardless of the era or country of origin, all posters are striking and memorable, both as compelling propaganda and stand-alone art.
In addition to the intriguing selection of wartime posters, Walker also focused on items related to USS Mahan, the guided-missile frigate on which he served for 18 months during the Vietnam War, as part of his eight years of active and reserve naval duty.
In 1984, Walker had a 64-inch model ship built of USS Mahan. The frigate model graced his San Francisco office for 15 years.
The third portion of the auction’s Hilman Walker Collection includes tableware and flatware from the United States Lines, plus related memorabilia and posters from the 1950s-1960s.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming sale:
– Howard Chandler Christy vintage World War I poster, Americans All, 1919 (est. $800-$1,200).
– Georges Dorival (1879-1968) vintage World War I poster, Foyer means home in France,’ 1918,
28½ x 39 inches (est. $300-$500).
– Joseph Pennell (1858/60-1926) vintage World War I poster, That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth, 1918, 42¾ x 30 inches (est. $500-$700).
– Lucien-Hector Jonas (1880-1947) Les Grandes Vertus Françaises by artist Lucien-Hector Jonas (1880-1947), lithograph edition: 196/300, pencil signed, 23½ x 16¾ inches, overall good condition (est. $80-$120).
– Bernard Chavannaz, vintage World War I poster, 1918, 31 x 45¾ inches (est. $200-$300).
– Robert Falcucci (1900-1989, vintage World War II poster, La France continue…, Transsaharien Maréchal Pétain, 1942, 31½ x 23 5/8 inches (est. $400-$600).
– James Henry Daugherty (1889-1974), vintage World War I poster, The Ships are Coming, 1917, 33 x 23 inches, (est. $200-$400).
– James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960), vintage World War I poster, Side-By-Side, Britannia, 1918, 31½ x 21½ (est., Linen backed. Estimate $500 – $700).
– Alcide Théophile Robaudi (1850-1928), vintage World War I poster, Forward a savings army. It’s for the motherland, 1916, 47¼ x 31¾ inches (est. $200-$400).
– Harry J(ames) Westerman (1877-1945), vintage World War I poster, Girls, Do Your Duty, 1918, 28 x 19 inches. (est. $400-$600).
– Fred Strothmann (1879-1958), vintage World War I poster, Beat Back the Hun, 1918, 34 x 24 inches (est. $200-$300).
– Adrien Sénéchal (1896-1974), vintage World War I poster, City of Reims Reconstruction Loan 6% net of taxes, 1921, 45 1/2 x 29 1/2 (est. $200-$400).
– Ocean liner memorabilia, United States Lines, gold eagle show plates, seven pieces, Lamberton China (est. $300-$400).
– John Philip Falter (1910-1982), vintage World War II poster, If you tell where he’s going…, 31 x 23 inches (est. $200-$300).
– William B. King (1880-1927), vintage World War I poster, Lest They Perish Campaign for $30M, 1917, 21½ x 15 3/8 inches (est. $200-$300).
– Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978), vintage World War II poster, Freedom from Want, Rockwell, 31 x 23 inches (est. $150-$250).
– M. Richard-Gutz. vintage World War I poster, Subscribe for Victory, 1916, 31 x 44 inches (est. $150-$250).
For more information, contact Stephen Turner, president of Turner Auctions + Appraisals, at 415-964-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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