Swann Galleries Summer Auction of Vintage Posters

Swann Galleries New York summer auction of Vintage Posters will take place on Wednesday, August 4 and offers fine selections of summer resort and beach posters, World War I and II and other propaganda posters, and Mather Work Incentive posters. There are also posters advertising tourism to Bermuda; ocean liner and airline posters; a run of Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company posters; and some lovely Art Deco works.

The sale opens with posters from World War I and II and other propaganda pieces. In addition to well-known recruitment images by James Montgomery Flagg and Howard Chandler Christy, this section features one of the rarest World War I Judaic posters, Alfred F. Burke’s Share / Jewish Relief Campaign, circa 1915 (estimate $3,000 to $4,000); Flagg’s Wake Up America Day, 1917 ($2,000 to $3,000); and Christy’s In Her Wheatless Kitchen, 1918, a rare large format poster issued by the United States Food Administration urging Americans to cut back on their wheat consumption during the First World War ($2,000 to $3,000). Also by Christy is We the People, 1937, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution ($2,000 to $3,000).

There are 23 colorful and clever Mather Work Incentive posters, produced in Chicago in the late 1920s to boost employee productivity and safety. A Hole in the Gas Tank (Stop the Leak Before it stops you), 1925 ($1,200 to $1,800), and Willard Frederick Elmes’s A Leak in the Tank! (Stopping Leaks Protects Your Job), 1929 ($1,500 to $2,000), are particularly timely today.

Beach and summer resort images are in abundance, ranging from Adar Lanz’s Onival Sur Mer / Chemins de Fer de l’Est et du Nord, circa 1905 ($1,000 to $1,500); and Julien Lacaze’s Côte d’Azur, 1935 ($1,000 to $1,500); to an elegant poster for San Sebastian, 1956 ($800 to $1,000).

Among advertisements for various forms of entertainment are Jean-Denis Malclès’ two-sheet poster for Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bète, Paris, 1946 ($3,000 to $4,000), and two for foreign showings of James Bond movies, Gösta Aberg’s Goldfinger, 1965 ($800 to $1,000); and Tutti Contro James Bond, for an Italian film festival, 1972 ($700 to $1,000).

Rounding out the sale are several French Art Deco works, including a gouache and watercolor maquette by Rene Vincent for the French luxury department store Au Bon Marché, circa 1925 ($5,000 to $7,500); a group of 12 double-sided pochoir plates from Paul Colin’s portfolio Le Tumulte Noir, 1927 ($4,000 to $6,000); and Robert Bonfils’s poster for the Salon d’Automne, Paris, 1928 ($2,000 to $3,000).
The auction will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4.

The posters will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Friday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, August 2 and Tuesday, August 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Wednesday, August 4, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Image: San Sebastian, 1956

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