Auctions | January 21, 2016

Chic Ski Posters and Masterful Art Nouveau at Swann Galleries’ Poster Sale

Lot 432 copy.jpg

New York— On Thursday, February 11, Swann Auction Galleries will offer Vintage Posters, with nearly 600 lots in a wide range of collecting sub-categories, including ski, travel, ocean liner, propaganda and war posters, early American theatrical, Art Nouveau and more.

            Among the Art Nouveau posters are multiple works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec including [Aristide Bruant dans son Cabaret], 1893, depicting performer and nightclub owner Aristide Bruant in his signature black cape and red scarf (estimate $60,000 to $90,000). Other works by Toulouse-Lautrec include Caudieux, 1893 ($30,000 to $40,000) and Reine de Joie, 1893 ($20,000 to $30,000). Works by Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha include his 1896 advertisement for Job cigarette rolling papers ($20,000 to $30,000), and La Dame aux Camelias, 1896, featuring Sarah Bernhardt in Alexandre Dumas’s masterpiece ($15,000 to $20,000).

            Ski and winter resort posters tout the crisp snow and groomed runs of chic destinations. Wilhelm Friedrich Burger’s Pontresina, 1914 ($7,000 to $10,000), and Winter: Sport /  Heiden ($4,000 to $6,000) are both rare examples of his work, as is Augustus Moser’s Sun Valley, 1936 ($4,000 to $6,000). Pierre Fix-Masseau’s Bon Voyage / Bonne Neige, 1938 shows stylish skiers on their way to the slopes ($3,000 to $4,000), while Alex Walter Diggleman’s Chateau d’Oex, 1933 depicts a downhill skier at full speed ($3,000 to $4,000).

            Travel posters advertise the highlights of various cities like Leslie Ragan’s New York / The Upper Bay from Lower Manhattan, 1935 ($6,000 to $9,000), as well as showcasing natural wonders like Maurice Logan’s Redwood Empire Tour / Southern Pacific, 1928 ($3,000 to $4,000). Roger Broders’s Marseille / Point de Départ de la Cote d’Azur, circa 1929, pairs the deep cerulean of the ocean with a crisp clear blue sky to entice travelers ($2,000 to $3,000), while James Northfield’s Australia / The Blue Mountains, circa 1930s, beckons viewers to the quiet mists of mountain passes ($2,000 to $3,000). Ocean liner images boast luxurious travel on mammoth ships such as Willem Frederick Ten Broek’s Holland - America Line, 1936 ($4,000 to $6,000), and Edward Wright’s Cunard Line / Liverpool - New York - Boston, 1905 ($3,000 to $4,000).    

            Propaganda and war posters include an example of James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic I Want You For U.S. Army, 1917, featuring Uncle Sam ($8,000 to $12,000). William Dodge Stevens’s Teamwork Builds Ships, circa 1918, encourages participation in the war effort ($3,000 to $4,000), while a set of four Norman Rockwell posters [The Four Freedoms], 1943, remind citizens of the freedoms being defended ($2,000 to $3,000).

            Early American theatrical posters give us a peek into the past, highlighting a range of stars and plays. The dramatic image of Edwin F. Mayo as “Davy Crockett,” by an unknown designer circa 1887 shows Mayo in character astride a racing horse ($1,500 to $2,000), while an 1890 poster by an unknown designer for Uncle’s Darling depicts an epic chase. ($1,000 to $1,500). Other items featuring performers and performances include several posters for French star Mistinguett, such as Charles Gesmar’s 1925 example showing a made-up Mistinguett ensconced in feathers and jewelry ($2,000 to $3,000), as well as Zig’s 1930 poster Casino de Paris / Josephine Baker, with the famous beauty being presented with a bouquet of flowers by a charming leopard ($3,000 to $4,000).

The two-part auction will be held Thursday, February 11, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public, with an exhibition opening Saturday, February 6 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, February 8 through Wednesday, February 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated auction catalogue 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 Director Nicholas D. Lowry at, or via phone at 212-254-4710 ext. 57.  

Image: Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Lait pur Stérilisé, 1894. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.