Auctions | December 3, 2014

Travel Posters from the Julius Paul Collection and Literary Posters Coming Up at Swann Galleries


New York—Two outstanding collections of posters form Swann Galleries’ December 17 auction, with 185 travel posters from the esteemed Julius Paul Collection and 200+ literary posters from a Southern California Museum Collection.

This is the second auction at Swann devoted to the Paul collection—our December 2013 sale saw institutional buyers competing with private collectors for the exceeding rare examples in unbelievably fine condition. The travel posters from Paul’s collection are equally rare and stunning. The majority pre-date the First World War, and hearken back to the age of nobility, before the ravages of WWI interrupted the European way of life. The posters are also largely free from crass commercialism and marketing gimmicks, reflecting a time when artists had free reign to depict a location as they saw fit. It was an era when a beautifully rendered image of a landscape was enough to encourage people to buy a train ticket.

This international collection features vacation destinations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and more. There are early ski images, such as Gustav Jahn’s Arlberg, circa 1900 and Wintersport, 1910 (estimate: $2,000 to $3,000 each) and Ernst Nicolaus Küsel’s Nordiska Spel, 1901 ($1,500 to $2,000); and sun-drenched images for travel to Thermalkurort Baden Schweiz by Otto Baumberger, circa 1916 and Split / Jugoslavija by Ciho, 1925 ($2,000 to $3,000 each).

Impressive ocean liners dominate Henri Cassiers’s Red Star Line / Antwerpen - New York, 1899 and Hamburg - Amerika / "Deutschland," by an unknown artist, circa 1901 ($2,000 to $3,000); while the power of the railways is expressed in Alfred Röller’s allegorical Schneeberg Bahn Bei Wien, 1904 ($5,000 to $7,500).

Also stunning are Secessionist Franz Fiebiger’s Aquileia, circa 1905 and Emil Cardinaux’s Bern, 1906 (each $2,000 to $3,000).

The fin-de-siècle era is also well represented in the second part of the auction, which is devoted to a California collection of literary posters.

Examples of William H. Bradley’s American Art Nouveau include his first poster for Victor Bicycles / Overman Wheel Co, New York, 1895, which employs his signature tall, thin image surrounded by a decorative floral border ($6,000 to $9,000); his design for the Chicago humor publication, The Echo, 1895 and St. Nicholas for Young Folks, 1899 ($800 to $1,200 each).

Among Maxfield Parrish posters are the lush Scribner's Fiction Number, August, 1897 ($6,000 to $9,000); Harper's Weekly / National Authority On Amateur Sport, 1896, featuring three young men playing golf ($5,000 to $7,500) and the iconic and colorful The Century / Midsummer Holiday Number, 1897, for which he won second prize in The Century’s 1896 poster contest ($4,000 to $6,000).

Also featured are Alice Russel Glenny’s classical image of a woman with flowers in her hair for Womens Edition / (Buffalo) Courier, 1895 ($3,000 to $4,000); Ernest Haskell’s Truth / Xma's, 1896, the first American ski poster, and possibly the earliest ski poster from anywhere; Louis J. Rhead’s Mandeville and King, 1897; and Lafayette Maynard Dixon’s Sunset Magazine / October, 1902, with an image of a Navajo that become so popular it sold more than 250,000 copies ($2,000 to $3,000 each).


The auction will begin on Wednesday, December 17 at 10:30 a.m. with the Julius Paul Collection and then continue after a lunch break with the literary posters at 1:30 p.m.

The posters will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Friday, December 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, December 13, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, December 15 and Tuesday, December 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A two-volume illustrated auction catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Swann’s poster department at (212) 254-4710 ext. 53, or via e-mail at

Live online bidding is available via Invaluable. Click the Invaluable link on the homepage.

First image: Alfred Röller, Schneeberg Bahn Bei Wien, 1904, from the Julius Paul Collection. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,500.

Second image: Edward Penfield, Harper's Christmas, 1894, from a Southern California Museum Collection of Literary Posters. Estimate: $800 to $1,200.