New York — The 81st auction from Poster Auctions International on Tuesday, July 21st presents numerous never-before-seen designs, including 43 Spanish Art Nouveau posters, 16 hand-painted posters from North Vietnam and important works from Cappiello, Chéret, Loupot, Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec and other renowned artists.
The Rare Posters Auction will be on view to the public from July 6th through the 20th. The auction will be held live in PAI’s gallery at 26 West 17th Street in New York City and online at posterauctions.com. The auction will begin promptly at 11 am Eastern time.
Jack Rennert, president of Poster Auctions International, Inc., said, “Despite the setbacks of a global pandemic, we are eager to continue our dedicated work with posters. Our 81st Rare Posters Auction will include not only the high-quality works that our collectors expect, but will also feature notable works that we have never had at auction before.”
The auction will kick off with a collection of posters from Spain, many of which are seen here for the first time. Largely from the Modernisme era, these designs herald the revival of Catalan culture and promote the democratization and integration of the arts, blending influences from Pre-Raphaelite painting, Japanese woodblock prints, and Belgian lithography. Highlights include Alejandro de Riquer’s 1900 The Four Seasons (est. $7,000-$9,000); Femina, by an anonymous artist (est. $4,000-$5,000); and Carlos Verger Fioretti’s 1911 Barcelona / Ciudad de Invierno (est. $4,000-$5,000).
Hand-painted posters from North Vietnam will also be available for the first time. These images, from the collection of Deborah Salter, express the struggles of the Vietnam War and hope for a better future. Artists responded to the sense of urgency by hand-painting—rather than printing—their posters for quicker dissemination to the vast rural population. Works of particular note include Thanh’s ca. 1960 All Working Together to Improve the Collective Economy (est. $2,500-$3,000) and Kho’s 1975 North and South We Are One (est. $3,000-$4,000).
As always, transport posters for bicycles, aviation, and automobiles are featured. Highlights include Penfield’s ca. 1900 The Northampton Cycle Co. (est. $12,000-$15,000), Livemont’s 1902 Automobile Club de France / 5me Salon (est. $6,000-$7,000), Bellery-Desfontaines 1905 Automobiles Georges Richard (est. $12,000-$14,000), Mazza’s 1910 Verona Concorsi Aerei (est. $14,000-$17,000) and Anonymous’ 1909 G.N.R. / Doncaster (est. $3,000-$4,000). Eight posters from the Tour de France are included, two of which are hand-signed by Greg LeMond.
Collectors of Art Nouveau have a plethora of heralded images to choose from. Bonnard’s 1896 Salon des Cent is always a must for collectors (est. $7,000-$9,000). Several images from Bouisset are sure to charm, including two versions of his iconic Chocolat Menier (est. $3,000-$4,000). Classic designs from Chéret include his larger-than-life 1894 Palais de Glace (est. $5,000-$6,000)—but the showstopper is his ca. 1905 Project pour Palais des Rois de Sardaigne : Painting (est. $17,000-$20,000), a joyous preliminary work for his mural in the palace’s gallery, which is visible to this day. From Malerba, a large-scale 1910 design, Mele & Ci. / Mode Novità, is sure to impress—as is Roubille’s charming ca. 1909 poster, Spratt’s Patent Ltd. (both est. $10,000-$12,000).
Of course, the pinnacle of Art Nouveau is Alphonse Mucha. 25 of his greatest works will be on offer, including La Dame aux Camelias (est. $25,000-$30,000) and Lorenzzacio (est. $14,000-$17,000), both from 1896. The artist’s decorative panels for the seasons remain classics of design, and several iterations will be available: his iconic 1896 The Seasons (est. $40,000-$50,000), the second variation of The Seasons from 1897 (est. $12,000-$15,000), and a rare 1900 variant of The Seasons with the imprint of L. Brancher and the complete titles and descriptions (est. $45,000-$55,000). Further works include his 1896 Job (est. $15,000-$20,000) and his 1899 Moët & Chandon (est. $30,000-$35,000).
The Belle Epoque continues to enthrall with Toulouse-Lautrec, who chronicled the gritty and enticing night life of Paris. Tour de force works include his 1894 Eldorado / Aristide Bruant (est. $70,000-$90,000), the 1893 Caudieux (est. $35,000-$40,000), and the 1893 Jane Avril (est. $70,000-$90,000). Most notably, his stupendous 1896 La Chaîne Simpson will be available for the first time in nine years (est. $70,000-$90,000).
Offerings from the Art Deco era are similarly robust. 39 works from the legendary Cappiello trace his career from 1900 to 1938, and include Pneumatiques Torrilhon (est. $7,000-$9,000); a spirited 1919 signed gouache maquette, Le Printemps (est. $14,000-$17,000); the playful 1928 Porto Pitters (est. $8,000-$10,000); and his enchanting ca. 1907 Cognac Gautier Frères (est. $7,000-$9,000).
From Charles Loupot, Art Deco classics include the 1925 Huile Raoul Citroën (est. $14,000-$17,000) and the 1930 Cointreau (est. $6,000-$7,000). Most notably, two impressive maquettes will be on offer: the ca. 1917 L’Impartial (est. $7,000-$9,000) and a full-size St. Raphaël drawing from 1947 (est. $40,000-$50,000).
Public viewings will be held daily from July 6-20. For more information and to download the digital catalogue, visit www.posterauctions.com. You may call the gallery at (212) 787-4000.
Jack Rennert, president of Rennert’s Gallery / PAI, is the world’s foremost authority on rare original poster art, and is the author of over a dozen books on the subject, including the catalogue raisonée for the “father” of modern French poster art, Leonetto Cappiello.