New York—Swann Galleries’ summer offering of Vintage Posters on Thursday, August 27 is set to bring an assortment of material, from war propaganda to advertisements for summer destinations and sporting events, as well as a select choice of Art Nouveau and Art Deco designed by notable artists.
A strong selection of World War I and II propaganda posters is led by the iconic 1939 British World War II poster Keep Calm and Carry On, with an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. Also among choice pieces from WWII are each of three sizes of Norman Rockwell’s 1943 Four Freedoms war bond posters, with the middle and largest sets each hand signed and inscribed by Rockwell in pen. World War I highlights include James Montgomery Flagg’s 1917 emblematic image of Uncle Sam in the recruitment poster I Want You for U.S. Army is set to cross the block at $5,000 to $7,500; Laura Brey’s Enlist / On Which Side of the Window are You?, 1917, at $1,500 to $2,000; and H.T. Cubberley’s rare Victory Naval Aviation Show / Commercial Museum, 1919, at $2,000 to $3,000.
From the collection of Marilyn Blaisdell comes a run of Sutro Baths memorabilia that includes bathing suits rented out to visitors, as well as broadsides and trolley cards used to advertise the baths from the 1890s through the 1950s. The centerpiece of the Sutro Baths collection is a large poster of the impressive venue: the rare version with the red borders and the caption, “On the Shore of the Pacific Ocean” along the bottom ($10,000-15,000). Further summer advertisements and destinations include the 1941 sunscreen ad Bi-Oro / Anti-Solaire by Niklaus Stoecklin ($4,000-6,000); a 1929 image drawing people to Australia by Percival Albert Trompf ($7,000-10,000); La Ciotat – Plage, circa 1930, by Dabo ($1,500-2,000); and a circa 1950s ad for Bermuda ($1,200-1,800)
Sporting events feature Maxfield Parrish’s Harper’s Weekly / National Authority on Amateur Sport, 1896, showing a group of men playing a round of golf ($5,000-7,500). The Olympics are represented by two designs for the games held in Germany: Ludwig Hohlwein’s design for the 1936 winter games ($1,000-1,500) and Jacob Lawrence’s 1972 image for the summer games ($400-600). Also of note is Fritz Genkinger’s World Cup / Player Between Ball and Ground, 1974 ($500-750).
A small assortment of Art Deco posters is underscored by Charles Loupot’s striking 1949 image Lion Nior, Cirage – Crème, set to be offered at $20,000 to $30,000. Cathleen Mann’s vibrant 1938 ad Film Stars Use Shell / You Can Be Sure of Shell stands out among the grouping, and is available at $1,500 to $2,000. Also of note are designs by Jean Dupas and A. M. Cassandre.
Over 45 beautiful and important Art Nouveau posters feature in the sale, including works by masters of the genre, most notably Jules Chéret, Alphonse Mucha, and Leonetto Cappiello. Highlights from the offering include Chéret’s Grands Magasins du Louvre / Jouets Etrennes, 1891 ($2,000-3,000); Mucha’s Laurel & Ivy, two 1901 decorative panels ($6,000-9,000); and Cappiello’s Les Parfums de J. Daver Paris, 1903 ($3,000-4,000). Several rare and seldom-seen Italian Liberty Style posters also feature, including Leonard Bistolfi’s Première Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes, 1902 ($4,000-6,000).
Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available from August 24 through August 26, to be scheduled directly with the specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with the specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.