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Beach & summer resort posters and WWI & WWII propaganda at auction at Swann Galleries
Swann Galleries will conduct a two-session auction of vintage posters.

NEW YORK, NY.- On Wednesday, August 1, Swann Galleries will conduct a two-session auction of Vintage Posters that offers dazzling warm-weather vacation posters, eye-grabbing examples of World War I and II propaganda, charming Mather Work Incentive posters and rare American literary posters.

The sale opens with nearly 180 posters from the World Wars, most created to rally Americans around the war effort. Highlights of these include Fred Spear’s haunting Enlist, appropriating an image of a mother and baby lost in the sinking of the Lusitania, New York, 1915 (estimate: $15,000 to $20,000); James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic I Want You for U.S. Army, perhaps the best known American poster of all time, New York, 1917 ($5,000 to $7,500); K.M. Bara’s image of General Pershing on a white horse, You Are Wanted by U.S. Army, San Francisco, circa 1918 ($6,000 to $8,000); and Karl Koehner’s This is the Enemy, a close up of a Nazi officer with the gallows reflected in his monocle, New York, 1942 ($4,000 to $6,000).

A run of Chinese propaganda images includes glowing portraits of Chairman Mao and Chiang Kai-Shek, a multi-portrait poster that positions high ranking members of the Nationalist party among The Great Men of the World, such as Franklin Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle, 1945-46 ($8,000 to $12,000); and a rare pro-U.S. poster illustrating American support in the battles between China and Japan, circa 1945 ($6,000 to $8,000). Elsewhere in the sale are colorful Chinese posters of non-political subjects, including Butterflies Love their Country, featuring film star Butterfly Wu, 1937 ($4,000 to $6,000).

Among the sun-dappled destinations beckoning summer travelers are Bermuda by Air or Sea, circa 1940 ($1,200 to $1,800); Paul George Lawler’s Fly to South Sea Isles via Pan American, circa 1938 ($6,000 to $9,000); The Enchanted Isle / Martha’s Vineyard by John Held, Jr., 1943 ($5,000 to $7,500); and Roger Broders’s designs for Antibes, Juans – Les – Pins and Vichy, circa 1928.

A selection of Mather Work Incentive posters—designed by Mather & Co. of Chicago to motivate and educate workers—includes Starters and Finishers / Be Right at the Finish, 1924; Stop the Leaks, 1924; and What’s Your Score?, an image of a tennis player, 1929 ($2,000 to $3,000 each).

The sale features an unusually large offering of American literary posters—more than 75 in total. Works by illustrator Aubrey Beardsley are Keynotes Series, 1896 ($3,000 to $4,000) and The Yellow Book, 1896 ($800 to $1,200). Desirable images by American Art Nouveau artist William H. Bradley include When Hearts Are Trumps, 1894 ($3,000 to $4,000) and The Chap Book, 1894 ($2,000 to $3,000), as well as non-literary pieces, such as Narcoti – Cure, 1895 ($3,000 to $4,000) and Hood’s Sarsaparilla, 1896 ($4,000 to $6,000). There are more than two dozen of Edward Penfield’s posters of Harper’s magazine covers, with subjects such as horses, cats, bicyclists, holidays and, of course, readers. Rounding out the section are Maxfield Parrish’s Scribner’s Fiction Number August, 1897 ($5,000 to $7,500); Louis J. Rhead’s The Quartier Latin, circa 1898 ($800 to $1,200) and John Sloan’s Moods, 1895 ($1,000 to $1,500).

Other notable American images include Evelyn Rumsey Cary’s Pan American Exposition / Buffalo, 1901 ($4,000 to $6,000); Julio Kilenyi’s Los Angeles Olympic Games, 1932 ($3,000 to $4,000); and three political posters by Ben Shahn, one supporting Franklin Roosevelt’s fourth term, Our Friend, 1944 ($3,000 to $4,000); one for the CIO, From Workers to Farmers . . . Thanks!, 1944 ($2,000 to $3,000); and a caricature of Dewey and Truman in A Good Man Is Hard to Find, 1948 ($5,000 to $7,000).

The sale concludes with a selection of classic international advertisements promoting travel, tobacco, tires, liquor and more.

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 1; and continues after a lunch break at 2:00 p.m.

The posters will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Thursday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, July 30 and Tuesday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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