Auctions | October 31, 2016

Early Travel Posters Go Far at Swann Galleries' October Sale

143-Dickson copy.jpgNew York-Swann Galleries’ October 27 sale of Rare & Important Travel Posters set at least ten auction records. The selection reflected the rapidly changing technology and styles that epitomized the beginning of the twentieth century.

The top lot rare example of Paul George Lawler’s iconic Fly to South Sea Isles / Via Pan American, circa 1938, which set an auction record for the artist at $20,000*. The image, a variant with text rarely found at auction, features a massive “flying boat.” Another example of early aviation advertising is Jupp Wiertz’ 2 Days to Europe / Hamburg - American Line, 1936, which depicts a zeppelin hovering near the Empire State Building; this moody poster sold for $10,000. In a similar vein, an early airline advertisement for Imperial Airways / The “Silver Wing” De Luxe, by Charles C. Dickson, circa 1927, shows a passenger sticking her hand out of the airborne plane to wave at a friend on the earth. The charming reminder of just how strange it is to fly sold for $11,875, an auction record for the artist.

Another record was set for Frederic Kimball Mizen’s Fifth Avenue - New York / The World’s Greatest Shopping Street, 1932, which sold for $6,250. The price nearly doubled the previous record, set by Swann in 1999-the only other time this rare poster has been seen at auction.

Other notable lots include Percival Albert Trompf’s Australia, 1929. A view of the scenery and fashions at Bondi Beach and one of the first posters commissioned by the Australian National Travel Association, the poster sold to a private collector for $13,750.

Swann Galleries’ President Nicholas D. Lowry said of the sale, “This wonderfully curated sale moved briskly as dedicated collectors from around the world participated by phone and internet. The room was unusually crowded and active as several of the big buyers chose to attend in person. At least ten records were set, and as in any good auction there were some unexpected (pleasant) surprises as posters far exceeded their estimated value.”

The next sale of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be Alphonse Mucha & Masters of Art Nouveau: The Harry C. Meyerhoff Collection, on January 26, 2017. For more information, or to consign to future Vintage Posters auctions, contact specialist Nicholas D. Lowry at or via phone (212) 254-4710, ext. 57.

Image: Lot 143 Charles C. Dickson, Imperial Airways / The "Silver Wing" De Luxe, circa 1927. Sold October 27, 2016 for $11,875, an auction record for the artist.