Auctions | December 2, 2011

Swann Galleries' Single-Owner Sale of the Poster Works of Roger Broders

New York—On Thursday, December 15 Swann Galleries will offer an unprecedented single-owner sale of The Complete Poster Works of Roger Broders, the celebrated travel poster artist whose name is synonymous with French Art Deco. Not only is this the first time that a collection of Broders’s work, including previously unknown variants and non-travel images, has come to auction, it is the first time the complete works of any poster artist have been offered at one time.
 
“Being surrounded by all of these stunning posters was glorious and uplifting,” said Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President and Director of the Poster Department, “It is like seeing France as it hasn’t been seen since the 1920s. To see them in person, all in once place, is an exceptional opportunity for anyone who appreciates vintage posters.”

Best known for the 65 images he created for the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée Railway (PLM), Broders also designed posters for car companies, lotteries and other railway lines. The 100 lots in this sale are presented chronologically by printing date, and offer a view into how Broders’s work evolved from 1920 to 1935, when he stopped designing posters.

Among the most sought-after examples of his work are images depicting glamorous men and women enjoying the beaches and nightlife of the Cote d’Azur. These include views of languid sunbathers in La Plage de Calvi Corse, 1928 (estimate: $8,000 to $12,000); Antibes, circa 1928, with a variation advertising a local casino in Juan-les-Pins (each $10,000 to $15,000); and Agay, 1928 ($5,000 to $7,500), and smartly dressed visitors enjoying the views in Vichy / Comité des Fêtes, circa 1928 ($15,000 to $20,000) and Dunkerque, circa 1930 ($20,000 to $30,000).

Sports-themed images include hikers in Le Mont-Blanc / Chamonix, circa 1924 ($5,000 to $7,500); a female golfer in Vichy, 1928 ($8,000 to $12,000); Golf de la Soukra Tunis, 1932 ($4,000 to $6,000); and tennis enthusiasts in St. Honoré les Bains, circa 1928 ($5,000 to $7,500); Lys-Chantilly, circa 1928 ($3,000 to $4,000); and Monte-Carlo, circa 1930 ($15,000 to $30,000).

Broders also created several iconic ski posters, such as Winter Sports in the French Alps, circa 1929, promoting the Mont-Blanc railway, the highest altitude railway in France ($8,000 to $12,000); Les Sports d’Hiver dans les Vosges, circa 1930, in which a skier goes so fast his clothing becomes a blur ($7,000 to $10,000); Les Sports d’Hiver / St. Pierre de Chartreuse, 1930, depicting a crowd watching a bobsled team whoosh downhill ($8,000 to $12,000); a blonde woman—based on Broders’s wife—on the slopes in Le Hohwald, circa 1930 ($3,000 to $4,000); and Chamonix Mt. Blanc, 1930, depicting an ice hockey game at the site of the first Winter Olympics, held in 1924 ($6,000 to $9,000).

There are stunning landscape posters, employing Broders’s signature ability to capture depths-of-field, including sunlit views of the ships docking in Marseille, circa 1922 ($3,000 to $4,000), and 1929 ($7,000 to $10,000); the snow-covered peaks of La Chaine du Mont-Blanc, 1924 ($4,000 to $6,000); the palm trees and sailboats of Sainte-Maxime, 1928 ($5,000 to $7,500); and an incredible find, a group of 17 printer’s proofs of his poster for Jura. Environs de Pontarlier, which offer insight into the complex nature of lithographic printing, 1930 ($3,000 to $4,000).

Broders also designed posters for Baghdad, Florence, India and Rome, as well as non-travel specific advertisements for Peugeot, with Gatsby-esque couples riding with the top down, 1923 ($2,000 to $3,000); and Loterie des Régions Libéréres, 1934 ($1,000 to $1,500).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 15. The items will be on public exhibition Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, December 12 through Wednesday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, December 15, from 10 a.m. to noon.
 
    A fully illustrated color catalogue with information on bidding by mail or fax is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25 Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.

    For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid during the auction, please contact Nicholas Lowry at (212) 254-4710 ext. 53, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.