NEW YORK, NY.-
On Wednesday, December 17 Swann Galleries
will offer an outstanding private collection of 11 posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and seven by Alphonse Mucha as part of their annual auction of Rare & Important Art Nouveau Posters. The posters are from the collection of Bob and Peggy Marcus, who assembled their collection over the course of 30 years.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire these extraordinarily rare and important works in exceptional condition," said Nicholas Lowry, Swann President and Poster Specialist.
The auction's top lot is Lautrec's Moulin Rouge, La Goulue, 1891, the artist's first poster, in the very rare three-sheet version, and with the original top banner. Likely the single most important poster in the history of graphic arts, the enormous color lithograph advertises a performance by can-can dancer La Goulue at the famous cabaret. When the poster was first released, dealers found the size unmanageable and discarded the top banner, making versions with the original top virtually unavailable. (Estimate: $250,000 to $350,000).
Other works by Lautrec include The Chap Book, which is basically in the same condition as the day it was printed ($50,000 to $75,000); Salon des Cent, inspired by a young woman Lautrec met while traveling by ship ($50,000 to $75,000); and La Loge au Mascaron Dore, printed in a run of only 100, signed and numbered by the artist ($40,000 to $60,000).
Among the Mucha highlights are an exquisite 1896 image for Job rolling papers ($20,000 to $30,000); Zodiac, 1896, with every one of the artist's signature design elements ($15,000 to $20,000); and a previously unknown variant of Times of the Day, a calendar used to advertise a Parisian store ($12,000 to $18,000).
The sale also offers examples of Belgian Art Nouveau, Italian posters, images from the German Secession, American works, and posters promoting champagne, chocolate, and much more.
The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17.