Chicago — Potter and Potter's May 22nd Vintage Poster Sale generated wall to wall interest -- and results! After the hammer fell for the last time, 65 lots realized between $500-999; 21 lots made between $1,000-1,999; and 11 lots broke the $2,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.
Posters featuring dramatic 19th and 20th century magic acts were headliners in this sale, taking several of the top lot slots. Lot #656, an eight-sheet color lithograph The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation. Samri S. and Miss Baldwin in Oriental Hypnotic Dream Visions came well within estimate, making $4,800. This 109 x 81” c. 1895 graphic pictured Miss Baldwin - blindfolded and empowered with second sight by magical forces - sitting and surrounded by red imps rushing to her with questions. And lot #663, a 28 x 41 ½” poster of Kar-Mi (Joseph Hallworth) titled Performing The Most Startling Mystery of All India rose to $3,120 on its $300-400 estimate. This 1914 color lithograph depicted the magician levitating a sarcophagus amongst skeletal hands and frightened, turbaned observers.
As noted in Potter's December, 2018 Vintage Travel Poster sale, examples featuring destinations and celebrations in India again proved hot commodities at this event as well. Lot #273, an India Car Festival At Puri poster produced in Bombay by the New Jack Printing Works Ltd., in 1958 raced its way to $2,640 on its $600-900 estimate. Millions of devotees gather to drag the chariot and be blessed at this annual event. Lot #275, a 1960s era India Kanchenjunga near Darjeeling poster also produced in Bombay by New Jack Printing Works Ltd. sold for $2,640 on its $300-500 estimate. This stunning 40 x 26 ¼” piece was finely illustrated with two men playing large instrumental horns in the snow-covered mountains. And lot #422, a 1960s era Otto Nielson (Danish, 1916-2000) Scandinavian Airlines System India traded hands at $1,800 on its $200-300 estimate. This 39 ¼ x 24 ¾” example, printed in Denmark by Axel Andreasen & Sonner, featured a fuzzy, friendly monkey holding an orange, sitting in a tree.
First class travel posters illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005) caught the attention of adventuresome bidders worldwide. Klein was talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s. Lot #321, Klein's Fly TWA New York poster came well within estimate, landing at $2,400. This brilliantly colored poster featured an abstract rendering of New York City in quadrilaterals and sparkling lights, with a TWA Lockheed Constellation to its upper right. Lot #332, his 1961 New York World’s Fair Fly TWA Jets poster - one of the rarest of all New York World's Fair posters - made $2,640 on its $1,400-2,200 estimate. This stunning example spotlighted the fair’s giant globe on a bright orange background filled with fireworks. And lot #315, Klein's 1955 Disneyland Fly TWA poster made $2,400. This out of this world poster featured a TWA Moonliner rocket in its foreground and Cinderella’s Castle and other Disney landmarks in the distance.
Posters illustrated with enticing domestic and international travel destinations, as well as iconic midcentury images, rounded out this important sale. Lot #201, a Stan Galli (1912-2009) Los Angeles United Air Lines poster depicting a platinum blonde in sunglasses at the beach sold for $2,160 on its $1,500-2,000 estimate. This 1960s example, measuring 40-½ x 25", was an uncommon variant of a poster typically advertising southern California, as opposed to Los Angeles. Lot #122, a Roger Broders (French, 1883-1953) St. Pierre de Chartreuse poster from 1930 illustrated with a mountain and forest range made $2,160. St. Pierre de Chartreuse is a commune located in southeastern France. And also making a mark here was lot #499, a 1950s era Santa Fe Texas railroad travel poster depicting the famous livestock brands of the Lone Star State. Estimated at $400-600, it served up $1,680.
According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We saw broad interest in the travel posters in our sale, and competition for posters related to India continues to be strong. As expected, the works by major designers - Galli and Klein in particular - were also hotly sought after."
Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, The Magic Collection of Jim Rawlins, Part II, will be held on June 29, 2019. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com. Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions).