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Original 1927 Vogue cover artwork sets $52,500 record at Swann Auction Galleries
By the French artist Georges Lepape, ‘Le Miroir’, as it is titled, was just one of the many cover and other designs that he created not just for Vogue, but also for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and other leading magazines of the day. Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.


NEW YORK, NY.- This original 1927 Vogue cover artwork set a new artist record as it led Swann Auction Galleries’ September 29 Illustration Art auction at $52,500. The estimate was £6,000 to $9,000.

The price was one of five new auction records established during the sale.

By the French artist Georges Lepape, ‘Le Miroir’, as it is titled, was just one of the many cover and other designs that he created not just for Vogue, but also for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and other leading magazines of the day.

Lepape started to make his name in the world of haute couture after becoming friends with Paul Poiret, one of the most important French fashion designers of the early 20th century, and illustrating the seminal design book Les Choses de Paul Poiret Vues par Georges Lepape in 1911.

In 1920 Lepape took part in the landmark exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris on how painters of the day viewed 20th century fashion, by which time he had been a contributor to the eminent French fashion magazine, Gazette du Bon Ton, for some time.

Bon Ton was part of the Condé Montrose Nast stable of publications and, following its closure in 1925, Lepape was invited to visit New York by the US Editor of Vogue, another of its titles. There, during a six-month stay, he produced a memorable body of work for the magazine.

The cover artwork offered here comes from the months following his return to France and was published in the issue dated November 15, 1927.

The image, which was reproduced in Bronwen Meredith’s Vogue Body and Beauty Book from 1977, is in watercolour and ink on paper, as many of the early Vogue covers were. A number appeared in the National Portrait Gallery’s centenary exhibition VOGUE 100, A Century of Style, earlier this year in London.

Signed and dated Geo Lepape, 1927 to the lower left, and titled on verso, the 15¼ x 11 inch (387 x 279mm) image retains darkened pinholes to the corners.

Lepape, who died in 1971, went on to have a long career designing a wide range of items, from posters and theatre programmes to fabrics.





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