More than 400 lots of posters promoting a wide range of subjects from entertainment to food and drink, transport to winter sports, featured in the latest dedicated auction to be held by Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in New York on February 24.
Prolific poster artist
Top billing at $17,000 (£12,685) went to an early 20th century era design by the prolific Italian poster artist Marcello Dudovich (1878-1962) advertising Liquore Strega (pictured top).
Dudovich worked for all the major Italian companies throughout his long career and is probably best known for his posters promoting the Italian department stores Mele and À La Rinascente. This poster dates from 1906 when he returned to the Milanese printing company G Ricordi, where he spent most of his time until the First World War, following a six-year stint at Chappuis in Boulogne from 1899-1906.
The large poster, which measures 6ft 8in x 4ft x 9in (2.03 x 1.45m) and was guided as condition B+, depicts a woman leaning over a table to savour the scent of a glass of liqueur with its diffused light illuminating her, face, figure and the table itself. It had been estimated at $6000-9000.
Another of the best-sellers, making three times the estimate at $15,000 (£11,195), was a 2ft 10in x 15in (86 x 38cm) poster from 1930 by Zig (Louis Gaudin ?-1936) created for Central Publicité, Paris, advertising Josephine Baker at the Casino de Paris. It showed the American-born singer and dancer with a leopard holding a bouquet of flowers.
The auction featured a large selection of posters promoting travel and skiing. The top ski poster price went to a design by the Swiss artist Martin Peikert (1901-75). His snowy rendition of Champéry, a 3ft 2in x 2ft 1in (98 x 63cm) poster from 1955 for Klausfelder of Vevey realised $14,000 (£10,450) against a $7000-10,000 guide.
As so often in poster auctions, several examples by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), the supremo of Art Nouveau poster design, were among the top lots, led by a pair of panels from 1899 printed for F Champenois, Paris.
The 2ft 6in x 12¾in (77 x 32cm) panels for La Plume and Primevere (quill pen and primose), were guided condition B and made a within-estimate $15,000 (£11,195).
£1 = $1.34