Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2013 Issue

Swann Galleries – Modernist Posters on the 13th

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A.M. Cassandre's 1931 design for Triplex, a safety glass for vehicles

In the print category it was once mostly the books and their bindings and they are still essential but no longer even the unqualified leading element in the works on paper category.  These days displayable printed material routinely makes headlines no doubt reflecting both Internet access to images and the increasing preference for material that can be displayed.

Another aspect of strengthening interest and the emergence of categories is the increasing interest in 20th century collectibles – often material resonant with memories and awareness.

These two elements come together in the upcoming sale of Art Deco Posters, advertisements and examples of typography at Swann Galleries on May 13th.  This is their annual sale in the category and it’s an important event.

The following is taken from the company’s explanation of the sale.

The most valuable works in the sale are those by Art Deco designer A.M. Cassandre, which includes one of his earliest designs, Turmac / La Cigarette Turque, 1925 [estimate:  $15,000 to $20,000]; a poster for safety glass brand Triplex, Paris, 1931 [also estimated $15,000 to $20,000], the iconic Nord Express, 1927 [estimated $12,000 to $18,000]; The Continent / via Harwich, London, 1928 [estimated $8,000 to $12,000]; a Grand Sport hat advertisement, 1931 [estimated $15,000 to $20,000], and an unpublished maquette on wood for L’Art Decoratif & la Lpeinture Moderne Francaise / Lord and Taylor, 1927 [estimated $25,000 to $35,000].

Among other Art Deco highlights are three different posters for the 1925 Paris show that gave the movement its name, Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, two different sizes of Robert Bonfils’s design [estimated $3,000 to $4,000 each], and the scarce small format version of Andre Girard’s image [estimated $2,000 to $3,000]; Franco Barberis’s Candee featuring a stylish woman walking her dog in the rain, 1929 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000]; Franz Lenhart’s image of a woman smoking a cigarette for Modiano, 1935 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000]; and a rare Spanish variant of JUpp Wiertz’s Hindenburg poster, Viagjes Agradables a Alemania, circa 1935 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000].

Another celebrated travel poster is Imperial Airways / Map of Empire Air Routes, attributed to Hungarian avant-garde Laszlo Moholy-Nagy [estimated $12,000 to $18,000].

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