Published: August 27, 2002
Orville Wright Poster Flies To $19,500 At Swann
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ August 7 sale of vintage posters featured Hans Rudi Erdt’s Wright/Flugvorführungen, Berlin, 1909, advertising Orville Wright’s Model A bi-plane flying exhibition over Tempelhof field in Berlin, which sold for a record $19,550. The Model A was the Wright Brothers’ third attempt at producing airplanes for mass production.
Two Art Nouveau aviation images by Charles Rambert and Georges Villa for the Grande Semaine d’Aviation in Rouen, 1910, also brought record prices – $6,440 and $7,475, respectively.
There was a nice selection of posters by Achille Mauzan, master of visual puns, including Parmigiano-Reggiano Bertozzi, Milan, 1930, picturing three wide-eyed, large-nosed judges inhaling the pungent aroma of a prize-worthy wedge of cheese, $5,750; and Godin, Paris, depicting a tiger skin rug happily warming up in the advertised heater’s glow, $2,875.
Equally compelling in a very different style, an example by the master of the Sachs Plakat (“object poster”), Lucian Bernhard, arraying splendid Roka chocolate bars against a brown background, realized $3,220.
Other diverse auction highlights included two plates by Lautrec, Jane Avril/Jardin de Paris and Reine de Joie, from Ernst Maindron’s Les Affiches Illustres, Paris, 1896, the definitive Nineteenth Century poster reference,$2,990; Louis Guerry’s early travel poster for Palestine, Paris, 1898, $2,530; and H. L. Roowy’s Pneu Velo Michelin, Paris, 1912, $2,300. Leonetto Cappiello’s Contratto, Turin, 1922, for the effervescent champagne, sold for $2,300, and his clever design for Nitrolian paint, Paris, 1929, $2,185.
Jean Gabriel Domergue’s L’Hiver A Monte Carlo, 1937, and one of A. M. Cassandre’s last posters, for the Danish Encyclopedia Mentor, Copenhagen, 1949, each brought $2,760.
Among the war propaganda pieces were Canadian Patriotic Fund, Hamilton, 1916, a World War I poster relating to the indigenous peoples of Canada, $2,300; H.R. Hopps’s Destroy This Mad Brute, circa 1917, a political cartoon-style image depicting the horrors if the Germans invaded America, $4,830; and U.S. War Bonds, 1943, a depiction of the Statue of Liberty, with lettering in English and Yiddish, $2,185.
Notable American travel posters included John Held Jr’s Northward/The New Haven R.R., New York, circa 1930, $2,760, and The Enchanted Isle/Martha’s Vineyard, New York, 1934, with a nighttime picnic on the beach, $5,290; as well as D. S.’s Sun Valley “Round House,” $2,990.
Finally, a placard for Fresh Long Island Oysters brought more than seven times its high estimate at $2,300.
Prices quoted include buyer’s premium.
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