Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2013 Issue

Swann Galleries – Modernist Posters on the 13th


Jan Toorop's Delftsche Slaolie, 1895, the first important Dutch Art Nouveau poster and an advertisem

Groundbreaking typographical examples include three works by Kurt Schwitters; Plakat Ausstellung, 1928 [estimated $10,000 to $15,000]; Wir Zeigen Werbegraphik circa 1930 [estimated $15,000 to $20,000; and his collaboration with Theo van Doesburg, Kleine Dada Soiree, 1923 [estimated $20,000 to $30,000].  These are followed by a small run of Herbert Matter’s pioneering photomontage posters promoting Swiss tourism.

These are examples of Art Nouveau posters as well as Vienna Secession and Jugendstil images, such as Delftsche Slaolie by Jan Toorop the first significant Dutch Art Nouveau poster, The Hague, 1895 [estimated $8,000 to $12,000]; Richard Muller’s Kunsranstalt / Wilhelm Hoffmann, Dresden, 1896 [estimated $3,000 to $4,000]; Walter Schnackenberg’s Toulouse-Lautrec inspired Deutsches Theatre, Munich, 1910 [estimated $12,000 to $18,000]; Tony Garnier’s impressive architectural rendering of Ville de Lyoj ‘ Exposition Internationale / La Cite Moderne, 1914 [estimated $3,000 to $4,000]; and Ludgig Hohlwein’s posters for Nachtigallschlag, the German Gramophone company, 1910 [estimated $5,000 to $7,500]; and binocular maker Zeiss Feldstrecher, featuring a well-dressed couple on a cruise, 1912 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000].

American highlights that span the 20th century are Clarence Coles Phillips’s World War I conservation poster Light Consumes Coal, circa 1918 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000]; a group of three of Leo Lionni’s Keep ‘em Rolling! Posters from WWII [estimated $2,500 to $3,500 for the set]; Ben Shahn’s campaign poster for Franklin Roosevelt, Our Friend, New York, 1944 [estimated $4,000 to $6,000]; group lots of mid-century cocktail advertisements from a Dining Guide series by Think America Institute; psychedelic music posters; and Paul Rand’s famous poster for IBM, converting their logo into an image of a eye, a bumble bee and a stylized letter M, 1982 [estimated $3,000 to $4,000].

Also from the late  20th century are two posters by Japanese Pop artist Tadanori Yokoo, Having Reached a Climax at the Age 29, I was Dead, 1966 [estimated $6,000 to $9,000], and Yukio Michima, The Aesthetics of End, 1966 [estimated $5,000 to $7,500].

Swann Galleries achieves a high percentage of sold lots – suggesting that their estimates tend to be low enough to let the market determine the outcome.  While the past is not prologue experience is useful and suggests an appealing, competitive event – one well worth a closer look.

Here are links to the catalogues both on AE and Swann Galleries' website.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.

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