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Poster Auctions International's Rare Posters Auction, Nov. 12, is led by seldom-seen lithographs, grosses $1.65 million
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Nov 20, 2023, 1:09 PM ET
The auction saw an ongoing passion for posters and proved bidders’ vested commitment to bolstering collections. A work by Alphonse Mucha fetched $75,000.
The cool November morning began with a flurry of interest from a small crowd of interested buyers in the gallery. “It is always my great pleasure to see collectors at the gallery,” Jack Rennert, President of PAI, mused. “This auction welcomed both regular clients and several new faces. For me, there is no better feeling than watching someone fall in love with a poster—and clients at this sale certainly demonstrated passion for the medium.”
The sale started off strong with a small but choice selection of Winter Images. Roger Broders’ 1930 Les Sports d’Hiver / St. Pierre de Chartreuse sold for $9,375 (est. $7,000-$9,000) and Martin Peikert’s MOB swiftly surpassed its estimate of $2,000-$2,500 for a win of $5,500.
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
The rarest and the most iconic images for transit sold well on auction day. The perennial favorite, the ca. 1895 Cycles Gladiator, by an anonymous artist, sold for $37,500. Malcolm A. Strauss’ 1908 Automobile Club of America / Savannah Race sparked a lot of interest in collectors, leading to a winning bid of $13,750 (est. $8,000-$10,000). The top aviation lot was Jean Jacquelin’s 1930 Aéropostale / Au Maroc Par Avion, which sold for $4,000 (est. $3,000-$4,000).
Several War & Propaganda posters saw notable sales. The never-before-seen 1885 National Soldiers Reunion, by an anonymous artist, was won for $5,000 against an estimate of $2,000-$2,500. James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic 1917 Wake Up, America! was secured for $6,875; Joseph C. Leyendecker’s rare 1917 Get in the Game went for $3,500 against its estimate of $2,000-$2,500; G. Kibardin’s 1931 Lenin Flagship Dirigible Squadron was claimed for $6,250 (est. $2,500-$3,000).
Collectors purchased 24 of the 29 works available from Leonetto Cappiello, and this auction featured some of his rarest and greatest works. The 1903 Les Parfums de J. Daver went for $4,500 (est. $4,000-$5,000); his 1907 Mele was secured with a winning bid of $18,750 (est. $17,000-$20,000); this auction’s cover piece, the 1910 Remington, went home for $31,250 (est. $20,000-$25,000; his celebratory 1932 Conchita Supervia / Frasquita was claimed for $11,875 (est. $7,000-$9,000). A rare stained-glass variant of his Je ne fume que Le Nil, from ca. 1912, received a winning bid of $15,000 (est. $15,0000-$20,000).
For Jules Chéret, his rare, early posters and original works received the most attention from collectors. The 1869 Valentino / Samedi et Mardi Gras was won for $3,250 (est. $2,000-$2,500); his 1876 Cirque d’Hiver / Cendrillon was secured with a top bid of $3,250 (est. $1,400-$1,700); the joyous 1893 Palais de Glace was won for $6,875 (est. $2,700-$3,000). Two original works sold well: his 1910 preparatory oil painting for his La Danse panel was secured for $15,000 (est. $12,000-$15,000) and a pastel drawing, Femme dans le vent, went for $8,750 (est. $7,000-$9,000).
Collectors of works by Alphonse Mucha once again vied for his rare variants and original works. His Sarah-Bernhardt / Farewell American Tour 1905-1906—one of only three known copies—was won for $10,000 (est. $10,000-$12,000). His impressive 1896 Zodiac was captured with a bid of $25,000 (est. $20,000-$25,000). The lovely 1903 Exposition de St. Louis was won for $32,500 (est. $30,000-$35,000). His 1925 Pageant on the Vltava River (Slavnostní Hra na Vltave) swiftly surpassed its estimate of $6,000-$7,000 for a win of $21,250. This auction’s top sale was his 1898 quartet, The Arts, printed on silk—it was won for $75,000 (est. $70,000-$90,000).
There were several other notable Art Nouveau sales. The only known copy of the anonymous 10-foot-wide billboard, Buffalo Bill / The Last of the Buffalo was won for $47,500 (est. $40,000-$50,000). Evelyn Rumsey Cary’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition went well above its estimate of $5,000-$6,000 for a winning bid of $8,750. David Dellepiane’s 1908 Exposition International d’Électricité spurred competitive bidding, leading to a win of $25,000 (est. $12,000-$15,000). Ludwig Hohlwein’s 1912 Besuchet den Tiergarten, featuring North American bison, enchanted collectors, leading to a winning bid of $10,625 (est. $6,000-$8,000). The top sale for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was his 1896 The Ault & Wiborg Co. / Au Concert, which sold for $52,500 (est. $50,000-$60,000).
As for Art Deco posters, several performed very well at auction. Charles Loupot’s stylish 1919 Grieder was swept away for $25,000 (est. $20,000-$25,000). Leslie Ragan’s ca. 1938 New York Central System / The Century in the Highlands of the Hudson was won for $5,500 (est. $3,000-$4,000). Walter Schnackenberg’s haunting ca. 1918 Peter Pathe / Maria Hagen was sold for $22,500 (est. $20,000-$25,000). Paul Colin’s 1925 Champs Élysées / La Loïe Fuller was won for $32,500 (est. $30,000-$40,000). And Roger Broders’ summery 1928 La Plage de Calvi. Corse received a winning bid of $13,750 (est. $12,000-$15,000).
Poster Auctions International’s next Rare Posters Auction will be held in New York in March, 2024. Consignments are accepted until December 15, 2023. Poster Auctions International is located at 26 W. 17th Street, New York, NY 10011. PAI may be reached by phone at 212-787-4000, or via email at email@example.com. To learn more about PAI, visit www.posterauctions.com.
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