Poster Auctions International’s Rare Posters Auction #87 held July 12 Featured Rare Art Deco and Art Nouveau Lithographs
Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) second sale of the year, on July 12, finished at $2,487,120. Rare Posters Auction LXXXVII saw continued enthusiasm for rare and never-before-seen lithographs from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras.
Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “I am consistently delighted by the enthusiasm demonstrated by our consignors and bidders, especially at this time of instability in the world. It is always hard to predict how our sales will perform, but time and again, our fellow poster lovers help us break previous sales records and prove that the poster is as powerful a medium as ever.”
A number of designs sparked a flurry of bidding, leading to sales that well exceeded the estimated prices. These include Marcello Dudovich’s extremely rare ca. 1925 Michelin, which sold for $26,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000); Geo Ham’s Monaco Grand Prix 1966, which earned $38,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000); and the anonymous ca. 1895 Cycles Gladiator, which broke pervious sales records for a total of $50,400 (est. $30,000-$40,000). James Ensor’s 1898 Salon des Cent / Exposition James Ensor also wildly surpassed previous sales with a final win of $16,800 (est. $7,000-$9,000). Collectors also clamored to win the anonymous 1906 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West / I Am Coming—not seen at auction since 1987—leading to a sale of $26,400 (est. $8,000-$10,000); similarly, the anonymous Wild West image from ca. 1894, An American, sold for $9,600 (est. $6,000-$7,000).
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
An iconic image of the Belle Époque, Pierre Bonnard’s 1891 France-Champagne inspired passionate bidding for a win of $48,000—a new sale record (est. $25,000-$30,000). Other hot Art Nouveau works included E. Charles Lucas’ ca. 1894 Folies-Bergère / La Loïe Fuller, which inspired fervent bidding for a sale of $7,200 (est. $3,500-$4,000), and Lucien Métivet’s 1894 Eugénie Buffet / A la Cigale : Maquette, which sold for $13,200 (est. $6,000-$8,000). And Drian’s original painting, Female Golfer, fetched $9,000 (est. $3,000-$4,000).
Collectors continued to show passion for the works of Alphonse Mucha, achieving several new high record sales. His incredibly rare 1897 Fox-Land Jamaica Rum—one of only two copies—sold for $96,000 (est. $80,000-$100,000). Poster lovers vied for a spectacular copy of his 1896 La Dame aux Camelias, leading to a record-breaking $84,000 sale (est. $30,000-$35,000). Another new high sale went to his 1898 decorative panels The Arts, which went for $90,000 (est. $45,000-$55,000). This auction’s top sale was Mucha’s 1902 set, Precious Stones, which were claimed for $168,000; another quartet of decorative panels from 1902, The Stars, went for $102,0000. Other notable sales include his 1896 Champagne Ruinart, which sold for $24,000 (est. $14,000-$17,000); the 1897 Fruit and Flower, earning $50,000 (est. $30,000-$35,000); and his 1898 Waverley Cycles, which was claimed for $26,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000). Even a biscuit tin was not immune to the Mucha fever: his Ages of Man / Biscuits Russes earned $9,600 (est. $2,500-$3,000).
Further top Art Nouveau sales include Leopoldo Metlicovitz’s 1907 Mostra del Ciclo e dell’Automobile / Milano, which sold for $33,600 (est. $25,000-$30,000); Adolpho Hohenstein’s ca. 1905 Fiammiferi Senza Fosforo, in the smaller format, earning $4,320 (est. $2,500-$3,000); Ludwig Hohlwein’s 1908 Confection Kehl / PKZ sold for $24,000 (est. $20,000-$25,000); Walter Schnackenberg’s 1911 Odeon Casino went for $19,200 (est. $12,000-$15,000); and Jean d’Ylen’s never-before-seen 1920 Femme Éclairant sold for $7,200 (est. $5,000-$6,000). A perennial favorite, Privat Livemont’s 1896 Absinthe Robette inspired active bidding for a win of $26,400 (est. $20,000-$25,000).
Sales were similarly enthused for Jules Chéret—all 25 works on offer were sold. Notable sales include the rare 1880 Folies-Bergère / Miss Lala, which reached an impressive sum of $7,200 (est. $1,200-$1,500). Three paintings also performed well at auction, with two selling for $18,000 each and one selling for $14,400.
The Montmartre master Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec saw several high sales as well. The rarest state of his 1896 Salon des Cent—one of 50 impressions, before letters, and hand-signed—sold for $66,000 (est. $60,000-$70,000). His powerful 1894 Eldorado / Aristide Bruant was won for $84,000 (est. $80,000-$100,000), and an 1896 crayon study, Elles : Study for Femme au Lit / Au Petit Lever sold for $52,800 (est. $50,000-$60,000).
Another master of the poster, Leonetto Cappiello, saw continued passion from buyers. His top sales at auction include the 1901 La Caisse Simon / Huîtres Exquises, which was secured for $10,200 (est. $7,000-$9,000); his 1902 Mele sold for $5,520 (est. $4,000-$5,000); the charming 1927 Nice went for $7,800 (est. $6,000-$7,000); his 1925 Contratto was sold for $4,560 (est. $3,000-$4,000); and his original maquette, Vin, sold for $31,200 (est. $30,000-$40,000).
Art Deco posters also got their moment in the limelight. Notable sales from this era include Ludwig Hohlwein’s ca. 1914 Mercedes, which captured a win of $31,200 (est. $30,000-$40,000); Maurice Lauro’s 1927 Trouville sold for $10,800 (est. $10,000-$12,000); Carla Albini’s dynamic 1934 Esposizione Aeronautica Italiania topped out at $4,080 (est. $1,700-$2,000); Jean Droit’s Paris-1924 / Jeux Olympiques was won for $7,200 (est. $6,000-$8,000); Hermann Keimel’s 1931 Muenchner Plakat Kunst delighted poster lovers with a win of $6,600 (est. $2,500-$3,000). And this auction’s cover piece, An East Coast Tonic, by Jean Droit, sold for $10,200 (est. $5,000-$6,000).
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