NEW YORK, NY – Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) first sale of the year on March 20 closed at $2,880,000. Rare Posters Auction LXXXVI proved that the poster market shows no signs of slowing down.
Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “Once again I am touched by the passion shown by our shippers and bidders. In such a tumultuous time in the world, we could not have foreseen the great success of this sale. It is clear to me that collectors are not only looking for beautiful objects to display at home, but also for investment pieces.
As at previous sales, collectors competed for works by Alphonse Mucha, especially his lesser-seen creations. The best-selling master of the Belle Époque was his 1902 decorative papers, an exquisite portfolio of decorative elements and poster designs which sold for $55,200 (est. $25,000-$30,000). His 1903 Exhibition of Saint-Louis, estimated between $12,000 and $15,000, was highly coveted – it was eventually won for $50,400. His 1917 Bohemian Heart Society debuted at auction, wowing collectors with a take of $48,000 (est. $5,000-$6,000). His Evocative 1896 Launches Perfume “Rodo” beat its estimate by $8,000 to $10,000 for a gain of $45,600. A unique design, Woman sitting, was a must for collectors, fetching a winning bid of $40,800 (est. $7,000-$9,000).
All prices quoted include buyer’s premium.
Passionate bidding was similar for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, whose rarer lithographs captured the attention of collectors. The best sale of this auction was his iconic 1891 Moulin Rouge / La Goulue, which sold for $240,000. Collectors were delighted by his 1899 The Jockey, which was won for $96,000 (est. $50,000-$60,000). His 1898 The Motorist was available for the first time at auction and collectors competed for the chance to win – it was sold for $72,000 (est. $40,000-$50,000). The rarest state of its 1896 Hall of the Hundred– before the letters, hand-signed and one of 50 prints – won $66,000 (est. $35,000-$45,000).
For the “father of the poster”, Jules Chéret, it was in fact his paintings that amazed collectors the most. The pastel “La Danse,” featuring rustling women against an impressionistic blue background, won for $36,000 (est. $15,000-$20,000). The small-scale but sassy oil painting “Pretty in Rose” was won with a winning bid of $21,600 (est. $8,000-$10,000). And his darker pastel “Les Belles Musiciennes” won for $14,400 (est. $8,000-$10,000). Of course, his 1893 poster, Folies-Bergère / La Loïe Fuller impossible to resist; it sold for $6,600 (est. $4,000-$5,000).
For Privat Livemont, the offers were competitive and enthusiastic. His 1896 Absinthe Robette continues to be highly sought after, leading to a win of $33,600 (est. $12,000-$15,000). His 1897 oriental bitter also inspired by healthy auctions; it sold for $10,200 (est. $5,000-$6,000). And its rare decorative panel from 1897, The wave, won $14,400 (est. $4,000-$5,000).
Other Art Nouveau highlights include the exquisite 1900 by Adolfo Hohenstein Monaco / Exhibition of Motorboats, who was won for $10,800. The Incredibly Rare and Vibrant Works of Ludwig Hohlwein Zoologischer Garten München, from 1912 accumulated a gain of $18,000 (est. $8,000-$10,000). Another powerful design from this German designer, the 1910 Munchener Renn Verein, got a winning bid of $8,400 (est. $3,500-$4,000).
Sales were also passionate about works from the Art Deco era. The Seminal of Paul Colin 1927 Black Ball received a winning bid of $90,000. Charles Loupot’s unique billboard for Saint-Raphael / Quinquina, from 1938, was won for $55,200 (est. $35,000-$45,000). And his first design for this company, the 1937 Saint-Raphael, won $24,000. For AM Cassandre, two posters are particularly remarkable: his 1928 The Continent via Harwich sold for $26,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000), and its 1929 The Blue Route was won for $28,800 (est. $20,000-$25,000).
Robert Falcucci’s two creations for the Monaco Grand Prix were well received; his 1930 drawing sold for $36,000 (est. $25,000-$30,000) and his 1932 picture sold for $31,200 (est. $20,000-$25,000). A rare case. 1928 design, Buster Keaton / The Operator, by Jean A. Mercier, received a high bid of $14,400 (est. $7,000-$9,000). The Unknown by Marcello Dudovich Cicli Dei, from 1934, zoomed for $9,000 (est. $6,000-$7,000). By Hugo Laubi, a 1925 drawing for PKZ / Comfortable Clothing charmed the bidders for a gain of $5,760 (est. $4,000 to $5,000). The chic of Francis Bernard Nicholas was sold for $6,000 (est. $3,000-$4,000). Josef Fenneker amazed collectors with his 1921 Marmorhaus / Der Teufel und die Circe, leading to a gain of $10,200 (est. $3,500 to $4,000).
Of course, Leonetto Cappiello continues to seduce collectors with his innovative and unforgettable creations. The 1903 Absinthe Gempp Pernod, estimated between $6,000 and $7,000, received a hard-fought win of $18,000. Its delicious 1906 Zest sold for $12,000 (est. $8,000-$10,000). The diabolical Pineral, from 1912, was obtained for $15,600 (est. $8,000-$10,000). The haunting Sincerely Campari, from 1921, had a winning bid of $20,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000). Its beautiful 1927 Nice inspired many offers, winning a payout of $13,200 (est. $7,000-$9,000). And its 1922 model, “VOV” captured a maximum sale of $19,200 (est. $14,000-$17,000).
Poster Auctions International’s next rare poster auction will take place in New York on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Submissions are being accepted through April 22. Poster Auctions International is located at 26 W. 17th Street, New York, NY 10011. PAI can be reached by phone at 212-787-4000, or by email at [email protected] To learn more about PAI, visit www.posterauctions.com.
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