With three auctions in February featuring works on paper, Swann Galleries is providing collectors and dealers three good reasons to be active at auction this month. Featuring books, vintage posters, and photographs in three distinct sales, Swann is covering a lot of bases. Beginning on February 3rd, 2015, a Shelf Sale of 151 modestly estimated lots of boxes and shelves of books kicks off the trio of auctions. February 12th sees a 441 lot sale of Vintage Posters, and a week later on February 19th, Fine Photographs concludes the month for Swann with 173 Fine Photographs. Let’s take a brief look at all three offerings.
Shelf Sale is a wholesale shelf-clearing sale offering large lots of various subjects. The lots themselves don’t have descriptions other than the subject and a general approximation of volume, so here are the topics included for sale:
- Architecture & Illustrated Books
- Books on Books
- Children’s Books
- Color Plate Books
- Decorative Graphics
- Poster Reference & Travel
The next sale, Vintage Posters, includes selections of Art Nouveau, and a large group of ski posters, as well as Hebraica and Judaica. Leopoldo Metlicovitz, considered one of the fathers of modern Italian poster art, created two of the most expensive items of the sale—lots 257 and 258. Lot 257 is a rare poster from 1910 for the Mele department store in Naples, Italy, with only a single record of it appearing at auction and is estimated $20,000-30,000. The sale’s most highly estimated lot is number 258, a stunning Metlicovitz poster for Milan’s 1907 automobile and cycle show. It has appeared at auction four times since 1987 and is estimated $25,000-35,000. Another major attraction for Vintage Posters are a selection of posters by Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Of the numerous Mucha offerings, lot 282, an 1898 set of four Flowers panels stands out, and with an estimate to boot ($20,000-30,000).
Swann Galleries’ last sale of November, Fine Photographs, offers a wide range of 20th century photographs with highlights including works by Ansel Adams, Lewis W. Hine, Edward J. Kelty, and Helmut Newton. Words do not do these lots justice; they must be seen to be appreciated. A small selection is included in this article’s slideshow, but the catalogue on Swann’s website is absolutely worth a look.
Please use these links to find catalogues of interest where one can also register for bidding: