Cassandre, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Mucha star at Swann Feb. 29

Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron), 'Cycles Brillant,' estimated at $15,000-$20,000 at Swann.

NEW YORK — Nearly 350 lots of vintage posters from the biggest names in Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Soviet governmental art will delight bidders at Swann’s on Thursday, February 29. The leap-year catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

So iconic in Finland that it was made into a postage stamp in 2006 is Bil-Bol, a 1907 poster that has murky origins. Based on the Finnish epic poem of Kalevalathe artwork depicts a nude maiden being whisked away by a determined suitor in an automobile. Many collectors have attributed this poster’s commission to an automobile dealer, but the most likely explanation is that it was designed by artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) for Swedish baron Carl Cederström. He founded Sweden’s first car company, Bil-Aktibolaget, better known and trademarked as Bil-Bol. The poster carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.

The sale includes a phenomenal nine posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). Estimated at $40,000-$60,000 is L’Estamp Originale, one of 100 signed copies by the artist in support of the art publication of the same name, published by André Marty. The publication’s goal was to highlight the upcoming generation of new artists, and Toulouse-Lautrec was featured in issue no. 1 with his cover art showing his muse Jane Avril standing in the Ancourt & Cie. printing shop while his favorite printer Père Cotelle is hard at work.

One of the giants of the Art Nouveau movement was Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), the Czech painter, illustrator, and graphic artist whose most iconic designs were collected in 1902 in Documents Décoratifs, a portfolio of 72 color plates. So revered was Mucha that art schools routinely taught from this publication. It is difficult to find a complete example of this work, as many have been broken up and sold off as individual plates. The portfolio is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

A.M. Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron, 1901-1968) was a French poster and type designer, two skills brought together beautifully in Cycles Brillant. This 1925 Art Deco masterpiece was created very early in Cassandre’s career, showing his powerful use of the cycle’s angle to affect the type and the viewer’s eye. The poster has an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.

Venereal disease has long been a public health issue, as seen in this prewar “She May Be … A Bag of Trouble” design ripped from a pre-code Hollywood one sheet. Created by an artist known only as Christian, the poster features an underline of VDgraphic-40, leading Swann to attribute a 1940 origin date, though it may actually indicate number 40 in a series of health warning pieces. The poster is modestly estimated at $1,000-$1,500.