Press Releases

Christie’s Spring Sale of Books & Manuscripts Totals $4.7 Million

Courtesy of Christie's

LUCA PACIOLI (1447-1517). Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità. Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, November 1494. PRICE REALIZED: $1,215,000

New York – On June 12, the Christie’s New York Summa de Arithmetica: The Birth of Modern Business and the Spring Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana auctions achieved a total of $4,693,750. The dedicated single-lot sale for Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica (1447-1517) realized $1,215,000 after two minutes of competitive bidding between the telephones and the room.

Notable results included Edgar Allan Poe’s gold pocket watch bearing his engraved name within, which realized $250,000; signed galley proofs of Francis Crick and James Watson’s articles on DNA: “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids,” which achieved $350,000, exceeding the high estimate of $250,000; a first French edition of Karl Bodmer’s Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Amérique du Nord, which sold for $187,500; and Marcus Elieser Bloch’s Ichthyologie, our Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere des poisson, which realized $100,000.

Additionally, strong results were achieved for Benjamin Franklin’s “the first American” letters to Henry Homes, Lord Kames, which realized $106,000; Albert Einstein’s correspondences including two letters between Albert Einstein and Paul Epstein, which realized $93,750 and $81,250; and a Thomas Jefferson signed letter to John Page, which realized $85,000.

To browse the full results, please visit the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Results Page.



Theater Portraits & Set Designs Led Illustration Art at Swann

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Al Hirschfeld, Paul Robeson as Othello, ink & masking fluid, for the 1943 Broadway revival, published in The New York Times, August 9, 1942. Sold for $68,750.


New York — Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on June 4 saw a bustling auction room with bidding wars delivering strong prices: “I was extremely pleased with the collector participation in all subject areas of the sale, but Broadway legends stole the show today, as it were, with two outstanding Hirschfelds and the Mielziner,” said Illustration Specialist Christine von der Linn.

The sale was led by Al Hirschfeld’s Paul Robeson as Othello, published on August 9, 1942 in The New York Times, which captures Robeson in his groundbreaking moment as the first time an American production of Othello cast a black actor in the titular role with a white supporting cast. The only portrait of the actor by Hirschfeld, it brought $68,750, the second-highest price for the artist at auction. Also of note by the caricaturist was The Merry Widow, published in The New York Times, August 15, 1943, which earned $20,000.

Additional theater illustrations included the backdrop design for Act One, Scene Two of the 1940 Broadway production of Pal Joey by Jo Mielziner. The work brought a record for the legendary scenic designer at $55,000 after a determined round of bidding between two collectors drove the price over its $6,000 high estimate.

Magazine cover designs were highly sought-after: Miriam Troop made her auction debut with the illustration for the June 15, 1940 issue of The Saturday Evening Post ($40,000); Frederick Cooper’s pen, ink and watercolor drawing for a special issue of LIFE magazine published on May 12, 1927 also made its auction debut ($9,375); the recently rediscovered Caty Fancy, 1993, by Edward Gorey featured on the December 10, 2018 issue of The New Yorker ($16,250); and Lee Brown Coye’s acrylic painting for the 25th anniversary issue of Weird Tales ($18,750).

Mead Schaeffer’s frontispiece and dust jacket design for the 1922 reissue of Moby Dick brought $50,000. Also by Schaeffer was an oil on canvas scene for A Tale of Tombarel’s Past published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1930 ($16,250). Further illustrations for literary works included a pen-and-ink drawing by Frederic Remington for his short story A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers published in The Century magazine in 1889 ($17,500), and Richard Power’s rear cover illustration for Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953 ($7,500).

Swann Galleries is currently accepting consignments for the fall 2019 season. Visit or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Additional highlights can be found here.



“Reading Between the Lines: Drawing Illustrations” Opens at the Getty Museum

Los Angeles — Today, illustrated books are generally associated with children’s literature, but pictures have long played a role in all sorts of reading matter. Reading Between the Lines: Drawing Illustrations (on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center through September 15) explores illustration during the 18th and 19th centuries, highlighting the flourishing of book art in France during the Enlightenment and revealing the role of literary inspiration for European artists of the Romantic era. Works on view derive primarily from the Getty Museum’s collection, along with loans from local private collections and the Getty Research Institute.

Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (84-B31322). Public Domain.

Pl. I., Cloutiers Grossiers, 1762-1772, Chez Briasson. 40 cm. (fol.). Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts liberaux, et les arts mechaniques, avec leur explication.

“This exhibition showcases some of the most beautifully finished 18th and 19th-century French drawings and watercolors in the Museum’s collection,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Many of these works were made in preparation for printed books, and a substantial group of these will be reunited with the print publications for which they were originally made. The increasingly prominent role that images played in book publication during this period is a somewhat neglected, but important, aspect of its intellectual history, and one that I am sure will resonate with the hyper-visual literacy of our culture today.”

In the 18th-century producing an illustrated book required a financial outlay much larger than most artists could afford. For this reason, artists seldom chose the texts they illustrated, working instead under contract to commercial publishers. Notable exceptions include Jean Baptiste Oudry, whose skills as an animalier inspired an extensive illustration campaign of a seemingly more personal nature for Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables, a collection of moralizing poems about animals and humans, and Jean Honoré Fragonard, who at the end of his career as a painter, turned to illustration with surprising vigor, producing some 200 drawings for Ludovico Ariosto’s wild, sprawling epic, Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Roland).

Jean Michel Moreau, called “le jeune” (the younger), was among the most prolific illustrators in 18th-century France. His ability to reinvent himself according to artistic and political fashion sustained him through a long and varied career, spanning the tumultuous half-century from 1760 to about 1810. Moreau contributed designs to new editions of literary classics by Ovid, Molière, and Racine as well as to books by his contemporaries Voltaire and Rousseau. A member of the Royal Academy, appointed draftsman and engraver to the king, he might easily have been targeted by the French Revolution at the end of the century, but a deft pivot in both style and subject matter—evident in his illustrations to the Aeneid—allowed him to blend in with the Neoclassical revolutionaries of the younger generation.

19th-century artists who illustrated scenes from literature often did so not as employees paid to faithfully translate words into images, but as readers moved and inspired by great writers such as Shakespeare, Goethe, or Byron. Many turned to watercolor—more intimate and spontaneous in its associations than oil paint—as the ideal medium for these deeply personal illustrations. For those artists who did wish to publish their illustrations, the evolution of print technologies in this period made the dissemination of images substantially cheaper. The advent of lithography, for instance, a technique that did not require the intervention of a trained engraver and that could produce many impressions from a single plate, helped spread Théodore Géricault’s and Eugène Delacroix’s literary illustrations across Europe in the 1820s. The development of more efficient techniques of wood engraving brought, for example, the biblical illustrations of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Gustave Doré into households around the world by the 1860s.

Reading Between the Lines: Drawing Illustrations will be on view through September 15, 2019, at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition is curated by Emily Beeny, associate curator in the Department of Drawings. Related programming will include gallery talks, a drawings hour, and more. Additional information on these programs can be found at


Single-Owner Collection of Rare Maps to be Auctioned Online

Courtesy of Crescent City Auction Gallery

Hand-colored copper engraving by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), titled Nova Virginia Tabula, 17 ½ inches by 22 ½ inches, with Native American vignettes (est. $1,000-$2,000).

New Orleans – An important single-owner collection of rare, historical maps – many of them hundreds of years old and colorful, beautiful renderings of the world, the United States and portions of the United States – will be sold in a two-part online-only auction by Crescent City Auction Gallery. Bidding is being done exclusively through the platform

Part 1 of the sale will start on Friday, June 14th, with lots 1-317, at 10 am Central time. Part 2 will begin a week later, on Friday, June 21st, also at 10 am, with lots 318-693. All lots have a starting bid of $25. That modest amount is designed to spur bidding, expected to be brisk.

A star lot of Part 1 is expected to be a 1642 hand-colored copper engraving by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), titled Nova Virginia Tabula, a 17 ½ inch by 22 ½ inch depiction of Virginia, with Native American vignettes (est. $1,000-$2,000). Blaeu was a Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher. He was one of the notable figures of Dutch cartography in its golden age.

Two maps by Blaeu are being sold as one lot. One is a hand-colored 1640 effort titled Virginiae partis australis et Florida partis orientalis, 15 inches by 20 inches. The other is titled India Quae Orientalis Diktur et Insulae, also from 1640, 22 inches by 18 inches. The pair has a pre-sale estimate of $500-$1,000. Maps by Blaeu are highly coveted by collectors.

A map from 1710, titled A New and Correct Map of the World, by Herman Moll (1654-1732), hand-colored and 22 inches by 38 inches, carries an estimate of $800-$1,200. Moll was a London-based cartographer, engraver and publisher. He also hobnobbed with many writers and intellectuals, and was mentioned in Jonathan Swift’s book Gulliver’s Travels.

Abraham Ortelius’s (1527-1598) hand-colored 1579 map of the Caribbean and south Florida, titled Culliacanae, Americae Regionis, Description - Hispaniolae, Cubae Aliarumque lnsularum Circumiacientium Delineatio, 16 inches by 20 inches, should realize $600-$900. Ortelius created the first modern atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

A map of Louisiana and Part of Arkansas, done in 1838 by the American cartographer Thomas Bradford (1802-1887), 12 ½ inches by 9 ¾ inches, is expected to change hands for $300-$500. Bradford lived in Boston and worked for the America Encyclopedia. His work is held in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Boston Public Library.

Johann Baptist Homann’s (1661-1774) hand-colored map of North America, titled Regni Mexicani von Novae Hispaniae Ludouicianae, N. Angliae, Carolinae, Virginae, et Pensylvaiae, circa 1725, 21 ½ inches by 25 ½ inches, has an estimate of $500-$1,000. Homann was a German cartographer-geographer who also made maps of the Americas.

Part 2, beginning on June 21st, will be highlighted by a map showing North America, Mexico and the Caribbean by Jean Baptiste D’Anville (1699-1782), titled Amerique Septentrionales (1746), 33 inches by 35 ½ inches (est. $800-$1,200). D’Anville was a French geographer and cartographer who greatly improved the standards of map-making.

A hand-colored map executed around 1740 and focusing mainly on Florida and Mexico by Matthias Seutter (1678-1781), titled Mappa Geographica Regionem Mexicanem et Floridam Americae Unsulas Cursus, measuring 20 inches by 23 ½ inches, should fetch $600-$900. Seutter was one of the most important and prolific German map publishers of the 18th century.

Previews are currently underway and ongoing, from 10-5 Central time, in the Crescent City Auction Gallery showroom located at 1335 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Lots can be viewed every day except Sunday when the gallery is closed. Phone and absentee bids accepted.

Crescent City Auction Gallery is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you can call them at (504) 529-5057; or, you can send an e-mail to All phone calls and e-mails are confidential.

For more information about Crescent City Auction Gallery and the two-part online-only auction of an important single-owner map collection on, with Part 1 starting June 14th and Part 2 starting June 21st, visit Updates posted often.


170 First Editions, Property of Nicole and William M. Keck, at Bonhams

Courtesy of Bonhams

FAULKNER, WILLIAM. 1897-1962. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1929. Estimate: $10,000-15,000

New York – Bonhams is pleased to present The Property of Nicole and William M. Keck II at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on June 13. The collection offers over 170 lots of first editions by authors Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, William Faulkner, and also classic children’s books. All books will be sold without reserve to benefit charitable institutions around the world including Maryknoll Father and Brothers, bringing health clinics, schools and clean water to areas in Nepal; Harvey Mudd College tuition aid, thus adding to the existing William M. Keck II Scholarship Funds; The Julliard School of Music for tuition scholarship funds; and the UCLA Medical Center & Jules Stein Eye Institute to benefit ongoing research, to name a few. 

William M. Keck II was the grandson of the legendary oil wildcatter, William Myron Keck, the family patriarch who created one of the country’s largest philanthropic institutions: the W.M. Keck Foundation. Known as “W.M.” to the family, Bill’s grandfather and sole namesake founded The Superior Oil Company in Coalinga, CA in 1921, which – following decades of growth – was sold to Mobil Oil in 1984. At the time of the sale, Superior Oil Company was the largest independent oil producer in the country. Bill’s grandfather originally established seven separate foundations to further education and research in the fields of science, engineering, and social welfare. Among the numerous grants distributed over the years, the W.M. Keck Foundation may be best known for the construction of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and for its original funding of the programming for Sesame Street.


Very First Published Tintin Cover Sold for $1.12 Million at Heritage Auctions

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

Dallas, TX – The very first original cover art featuring  the beloved comic character Tintin, Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, sold for more than $1.12 million by Heritage Auctions on Saturday, June 8, in a sale of European Comic Art held in Dallas, Texas.

The remarkable discovery is one of the few known privately owned cover illustrations signed by Hergé, and also the oldest. In addition, the 1930 artwork also is the first cover image featuring both Tintin and Snowy, his faithful canine companion.

Both the previous owner and the winning bidder do not wish to be identified at this time.

“Tintin is a seminal character, who has been loved and admired for generations the world over,” said Joe Mannarino, a Director of Comics and Comic Art at Heritage Auctions. “His popularity is as great now as it has ever been.”

The original cover art is 21 by 26 centimeters. It incorporates Hergé’s unique artistic style and his reflection on the political scope of the time depicting arguably the most popular comic character worldwide. The title character is shown carving a makeshift propeller for his plane from a tree trunk, under the watchful eye of a bandaged-but-attentive Snowy.

Hergé, born May 22, 1907 in Brussels, is considered the star of European comics. His success is global. His pseudonym “Hergé” is derived from reversing the initials “R” and “G” of his real name: Georges Remi. Most of Hergé’s existing original cover art featuring Tintin is the property of the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, near Brussels.

The special piece was sold on the first day of Heritage Auctions’ June 8-9 European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas. Worldwide online bidding is available through


University Archives’ June 26 Auction Will Feature Einstein, Capone & More

Courtesy of University Archives

One-page letter typed and signed by Albert Einstein, regarding “the moral, social and political implications inherent in the construction and use of a Hydrogen Bomb,” (est. $9,000-$10,000).


Westport, CT – A letter written and signed by the legendary Kung Fu master Bruce Lee, a bank interest note twice signed by the notorious gangster Al Capone, and a letter typed and signed by Albert Einstein regarding the development and use of the hydrogen bomb are a few of the featured lots in University Archives’ Internet-only auction slated for Wednesday, June 26th.

The auction will begin at 10:30 am Eastern time. Live bidding has already been posted online and bidding is available via and The auction is packed with rare and highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics – 261 quality lots in all. People can visit the company website at

“Our June sale offers another great opportunity to collectors,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “Not only does the auction feature the strong American items, but unique foreign material as well. You’ll find autographs from European royalty, revolutionaries, and political influencers from English King Edward IV to the Russian mystic Grigory Rasputin.”

There are several Bruce Lee items up for bid, but the centerpiece lot promises to be the letter Lee wrote and signed in 1966, on Twentieth Century-Fox Television, Inc. stationery, with content relating to The Green Hornet and episodes titled “The Preying Mantis” and “The Hunter and the Hunted.” The letter, addressed to a Mr. Taky Kimura in Seattle, should sell for $15,000-$17,000.

The one-page bank interest note twice-signed by Al Capone (as “Alphons Capone”) is dated Nov. 18, 1926, when Capone was at his infamous peak as a Chicago-based crime boss. The partly printed document is also signed by his mother, Theresa Capone, and his wife, Mae. It’s matted and framed and comes with a photo of Capone holding a cigar (est. $20,000-$24,000).

An extremely rare military checklist signed during the summer of 1475 by England’s King Edward IV, approving a list of men and munitions required for his imminent invasion of France, is expected to reach $35,000-$40,000. The king’s distinctive monogram appears at the top of the first page. The document is displayed alongside Edward IV’s portrait in a double-sided frame.

An equally rare two-page letter inscribed and signed by the French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), displayed to the right of a color reproduction of Cezanne’s Self-Portrait (1877-1880), in an antiqued gilt frame, carries a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-$30,000. The letter was written in Paris on Nov. 30, 1896; Cezanne’s signature is on the second page.

A one-page letter typed in English and signed by Albert Einstein, regarding “the moral, social and political implications inherent in the construction and use of a Hydrogen Bomb,” typed on Didier, Publishers (N.Y.) letterhead, should fetch $9,000-$10,000. The letter, signed by Einstein on April 19, 1950, is matted and framed and is accompanied by the original transmittal envelope.

Official schedules for President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy during their fateful visit to Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963, including Jackie’s signature in initials, is expected to realize $15,000-$17,000. Also, items pertaining to Marilyn Monroe – strands of her hair, a brassiere, two custom blank checks and a color publicity still, all in a shadowbox frame – should bring $5,000-$6,000.

The Rev War-date endorsing signature of Jewish financier Haym Solomon, on a check issued by Robert Morris as Superintendent of Finance, with double-sided portrait and plaque, is estimated at $20,000-$24,000; while a ship passport dated March 15, 1793, signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson regarding the British-seized ship Sampson, should make $10,000-$12,000.

A one-page letter written and signed by French Impressionist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), from his days as a Parisian art student, accompanied by a color print of a self-portrait, has an estimate of $18,000-$20,000. Also, an impressive and large architectural drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright of the Duey Wright House in Wausau, Wisconsin, circa 1957, should command $5,000-$6,000.

A letter written and signed by Depression-era criminal John Dillinger, penned while in prison in Indiana, circa 1929-1933, to the prison assistant superintendent, requesting a job transfer, has an estimate of $15,000-$17,000. Also, the fine binding six-volume set of Winston Churchill’s The Second World War, signed by Churchill in 1957 on volume one, should achieve $8,000-$9,000.

A one-page letter written in Russian Cyrillic by Peter the Great (Czar Peter I, 1672-1725), in which he announces the birth of a daughter, Natalia, dated Sept. 10, 1718, should earn $14,000-$15,000; while a one-page letter of recommendation written and signed by the Siberian holy man Grigory Rasputin (1869-1916), for a starving unemployed man, should make $12,000-$14,000.

A three-page letter written in Latin by Anne I, the Queen of England (1665-1714), exhorting Britain’s allies to aid her in defeating the French (an “arrogant and common enemy”) has an estimate of $6,000-$7,000. And a two-page letter written and signed by women’s rights activist Lucy Stone (1818-1893), calling for a suffrage meeting in 1868, should sell for $1,000-$2,000.

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers.

“We can offer up to a 100 percent cash advance and a highly competitive commission structure,” Reznikoff said. “We’re only able to do this owing to our position in the industry as the premier auction house for signed historical documents, letters and manuscripts. Our reputation is rock-solid worldwide and has been earned over a period of four decades. People respect us globally.”

Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by Mr. Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.
For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, June 26th Internet-only auction, please visit For phone bidding, please call 800-237-5692.


Works by Cuban Graphic Artist Conrado W. Massaguer on Exhibit at The Wolfsonian–FIU

Courtesy of The Wolfsonian–FIU, The Vicki Gold Levi Collection

Pamphlet, Come to Cuba, c. 1930. Conrado W. Massaguer (Cuban, 1889–1965), illustrator Cuban National Tourist Commission, Havana, publisher Sindicato de Artes Gráficos de la Habana, S.A., printer.

Miami Beach, FL — In a focused installation, The Wolfsonian–Florida International University highlights the transnational legacy of Cuban graphic designer, illustrator, publisher, and caricaturist Conrado Walter Massaguer—a leading voice in shaping early 20th-century Cuban culture who is often credited for bringing modernism to the island nation. Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer, on view June 7, 2019 through February 2, 2020, presents selections from a new gift of Massaguer material from collector Vicki Gold Levi in addition to loans and other Wolfsonian collection objects. Featuring magazine covers, advertisements, original paintings, rare sketches and personal letters, and caricatures of famous figures from Hollywood stars to royalty and presidents, the nearly 100 works on view call attention to Massaguer’s profound influence on design in both Cuba and the U.S. over his 40-year career.

“Conrado Massaguer’s art left an indelible mark on Cuba, helping to define not only what Cubans considered ‘in vogue,’ but also informing day-to-day culture and politics,” said Frank Luca, Wolfsonian chief librarian and the installation’s curator. “Though he won his international acclaim a century ago, his style remains fresh and imaginative in a way that still feels incredibly modern to us today.”

Added Gold Levi, “I first discovered Massaguer through his magazine Social when I began research for Cuba Style, a book I wrote with Steve Heller—I was immediately captivated! As I continued studying, collecting, and traveling to Cuba over the years, I only fell deeper in love with Massaguer’s witty graphics and simple, pure, evocative lines. I’m honored to collaborate with The Wolfsonian on raising awareness about such a versatile, talented artist.”

Born in the Cuban city of Cárdenas, Massaguer (1889–1965) was educated in both Cuba and America and frequently traveled back and forth, simultaneously building his reputation as a premier artist and art director in Havana and New York City. Over the course of four decades—and particularly during a brief exile in the U.S. during Gerardo Machado’s dictatorship—Massaguer became a prominent trendsetter in America by designing covers and illustrations for many of the leading magazines of the time, including Vanity Fair, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, and Literary Digest. While he took many cues from American publications and artists for these commissions, Massaguer put a distinctly Cuban stamp on a 1931 exhibition of his work at Delphic Studios, a New York gallery. There, Massaguer’s impressions of his native country were placed front and center, with a uniquely Cuban flavor evident in the style and themes.

Back in his homeland, Massaguer likewise cemented his role in publishing by founding and art directing his own lifestyle magazine, Social, in which he nurtured the careers of numerous Cuban illustrators and caricaturists. From the 1920s into the 1950s, Social set the tone for Cuban values and taste, heavily publicizing the idea of the liberated and sexualized “new woman” (or flapper) and incorporating a bold Art Deco aesthetic. Massaguer was also central to Cuba’s tourism campaigns, creating striking advertising art that packaged Cuba as a product and sought to lure Americans south through vibrant visions of a tropical playground. His status in Cuban society brought him in close proximity to foreign dignitaries, politicians, and visiting celebrities, many of whom he parodied in his signature, New Yorker-esque caricatures.

Key works in Cuban Caricature and Culture are:
    •    A humorous self-caricature used by Massaguer to announce his arrival in New York in the 1920s and introduce himself to the American art scene;
    •    A sketch of Walt Disney paired with a photograph of Massaguer and Disney;
    •    Several illustrations of the artist’s “Massa-girl” types, fashionable women with bobbed hairstyles that popularized the “new woman” ideal in Cuba;
    •    Come to Cuba, a vibrant, early-1950s brochure produced for the Cuban Tourism Commission that touts the various attractions (dancing, beach-going, gambling, and horse racing) of “the loveliest land that human eyes have ever seen”;
    •    A Social cover showing a Deco-style evolution of the “new woman”; and
    •    A Christmas holiday advertisement for Esso made in the aftermath of the Allies’ victory in the Second World War, with caricatures of Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle, Chiang Kai-shek, and Santa Claus.

Massaguer’s immense popularity is reflected in a robust market for fakes that Cuban Caricature and Culture will address through a counterfeit illustration of Albert Einstein. By displaying this fraudulent piece beside a genuine version, The Wolfsonian reveals the forger’s tactics for, and missteps in, mimicking the designer’s trademark flair.

The installation coincides with the publication of Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction, a new companion book to a 2016 Wolfsonian exhibition of the same name also drawn from Vicki Gold Levi’s gifts. Touching upon many of Massaguer’s groundbreaking works, the book is the culmination of twenty years of Gold Levi’s interest in Cuban memorabilia and photography, and a capstone to almost two decades of Wolfsonian support and ongoing gifts.

“The Wolfsonian’s collection is renowned for its examples of graphic design, yet until Vicki’s gifts just a fraction demonstrated the mammoth impact of Cuban culture on its northern neighbor,” said Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “This new material marks an exciting addition that proves how our cultural exchange was indeed a two-way street paved in large part by Cuban artists and tastemakers. Sharing Massaguer’s story right here in Miami—the gateway to Latin America—is remarkably fitting.”


Extremely Rare Lincoln Lantern Shines at Heritage Auctions

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

A glass and tin parade lantern from Abraham Lincoln’s presidential election campaign.

Dallas, TX – An exceedingly rare parade lantern from Abraham Lincoln’s presidential election campaign is being offered in Heritage Auctions’ auction of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential and Political Americana, Part V June 22-23 in Dallas.

Lanterns like this Abraham Lincoln: A Fabulous, Colorful Political Glass & Tin Parade Lantern, with a candidate’s name and portrait on the side panels, were used frequently in political campaigns in the 1860s and beyond. The lanterns were attached to poles during nighttime parades and rallies.

Lincoln’s enormous popularity and the delicate materials from which the lantern was made is the driving force behind collector demand. That it survived for more than 150 years in quite nice overall condition makes the piece all the more extraordinary, Heritage Auctions’ Americana Director Tom Slater said.

“This lantern represents a rare opportunity for collectors of historical and Abraham Lincoln memorabilia,” Slater said. “They were an important part of political efforts in that era, allowing people to show their support for various candidates.

“Considering they were made mostly of paper and glass, very few have survived. There are probably only about a dozen left for all candidates. For Lincoln, who is so popular, there may be as few as three such lanterns left in private hands, so this is an extremely rare opportunity for collectors.”

The lantern, which stands 7-1/2 inches high, is pictured on page 274 of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s Running for President: The Candidates and Their Images 1789-1896.


Charles Loupot Reaches New Heights at Swann’s Graphic Design Sale

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

CHARLES LOUPOT (1892-1962) TWINING. 1930. 63x47 1/4 inches, 160x120 cm. Les Belles Affiches, Paris. Sold for $20,000

New York – Swann Galleries’ auction of Graphic Design on May 23 offered a selection of vintage posters by important designers from the twentieth century, boasting auction debuts and five auction records.

Charles Loupot’s luxury advertisements from the early twentieth century led the sale. Highlights included a 1926 poster for the French automobile company Peugeot which earned an auction record at $37,500, and Wanneroil / Huile du bon Chauffer, 1926, a first at auction that garnered $22,500. Also of note was a 1930 ad for Twining Tea, which sold for $20,000.

Additional auction records included Edmond Maurus’s lively circa 1930s poster for Chrysler ($13,750); Clotilde et Alexandre Sakharoff, 1921, an Art Deco advertisement by George Barbier ($17,500); Ferdinand Ludwig Graf’s 1908 secessionist poster Kaiser – Jubilaeums / Wien ($10,625); and U.S.A. Surpasses All Genocide Records!, 1966, by George Maciunas ($9,100).    

Three works by Japanese designer Tadanori Yokoo made their auction debuts: Takarazuka / Grad Revue, 1966 ($10,000), Laboratory of Play / Tenjo Sajiki Troupe, 1967 ($9,375), and Ballad to an Amputated Little Finger, 1967 ($9,375). Further psychedelic posters by Yokoo included Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I was Dead, 1965 ($20,000), and Koshimaki – Osen, 1966 ($9,375).   

Nicholas D. Lowry, President and Principle Auctioneer of Swann Galleries and Director of Vintage Posters, was pleased with the sale: “Dealers and institutions were mere involved in this auction than in previous years, suggesting that the market is expanding. A number of record prices were set, and some fantastic material came to the market for the first time.”

The next auction of Vintage Posters will be held August 7. Visit or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Additional highlights can be found here.