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Posters Attract Attention at Swann Galleries' Auction of Vintage Posters on August 3
Adolph Treidler's Bermuda, circa 1950s (estimate: $1,200 to $1,800).

NEW YORK, NY.- Timeless images by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, classic WWI and II posters and a large selection of Mather Work Incentive posters were among the top lots at Swann Galleries’ August 3 auction of Vintage Posters.

Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann Auction Galleries President and Poster Specialist, said, “This was a lively auction, with both dealers and collectors competing vigorously for prized items. The crowded saleroom and active online bidding suggest an infusion of new life into this sector of the collecting market. This was the second highest-grossing August Vintage Posters auction Swann has seen, the highest being right before the collapse of the economy, in August 2008.”

The Lautrec images included the sale’s top lot, a poster he designed for May Belfort, an Irish lass who become the toast of Paris, 1895, it sold for $19,200*. Other Lautrec highlights were Deuxième Volume de Bruant, 1893, $7,200; and La Vache Enragee, Paris, 1896, $9,000. Also among the notable Art Nouveau posters were several lovely designs by Alphonse Mucha, including the luminous Gismonda, Paris, 1894, $9,600.

Setting an auction record was a powerful Italian World War I image, Sergio Canevari’s La Pace Tedesca [The German Peace], Bergamo, circa 1918, an extremely rare anti-German poster, $14,400. A similar piece by the same artist, the smaller La Pace Russa [The Russian Peace], brought $4,800.

Also setting a record was the rarest of Howard Chandler Christy’s posters, Aviation / Fly with the U.S. Marines, 1920, which brought $11,400. American highlights from the first World War included James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic I Want You for U.S. Army, New York, 1917, $10,400, and his ominous image of Columbia sleeping on her front porch, Wake Up, America!, New York, 1917, $5,760.

As always, buyers competed for bold work incentive posters produced by Charles Mather of Chicago that were meant to promote efficient and safe practices in the workplace. These included Chance Takers Keep Hospitals Busy!, 1925, $10,200; and I Protect my Pay by not Wasting Material, which made its auction debut in the sale, 1929, $6,150.

Rounding out the sale highlights were Standard Gasoline / Unsurpassed, featuring Mickey Mouse behind the wheel, 1939, $7,800; and Chesley Bonestell’s grand New York Central Building, $5,600.

Complete auction results are available online at, and by request from Swann Auction Galleries,

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