NEW YORK — On March 4, Swann Galleries will auction two significant private collections devoted to the golden age of ocean liner travel: The Christopher Bou Collection of Ocean Liner & Aviation Memorabilia and The Chase Collection of Ocean Liner Posters.
The sale opens with the Bou Collection, which features impressive ocean liner models; desirable china, crystal and silver service ware; posters, paintings, photographs and brochures for more than 30 shipping lines; as well as aviation material such as luggage labels and Hindenburg memorabilia.
There are three waterline models of ships, each measuring over 50 inches long, that were designed for travel agency use: the Holland-America Line’s “Nieuw Amsterdam” has working electrical lights that glitter through cabin windows (estimate $1,500-$2,500), and the “Rotterdam,” is wired for illumination, 1959 ($3,000-$4,000). The 1930s model of the Italian Line’s “Rex,” was completely refurbished in the 1980s ($3,000-$4,000). Among the aviation highlights is a large metal model of a Pan-American Airways B-314 Flying Boat, with a 35 1/2-inch wingspan ($1,500-$2,500).
A wonderful selection of china, glass and silver items produced for luxury travel includes a White Star Line divided dish for use on the “Titanic,” 1912 ($800-$1,200); two pairs of Lalique crystal stemware from the private suites of the “Normandie,” 1930s ($1,000-$1,500 per pair); a group of 11 pieces of crystal glassware used in the first-class dining areas on the French Line’s “France III,” and retired after a brief stint due to their delicacy, 1962 ($1,000-$1,500); as well as a group of three graceful etched tumblers from the “Graf Zeppelin,” 1930s ($1,500-$2,500), and two silver cigarette cases inlaid with gem stones showing stops along the zeppelin route.
Other elegant items include a metal and crystal chandelier from the White Star Line’s “Olympic” that was most likely installed above the grand staircase leading to first class, circa 1911 ($4,000-$6,000); and a two-part maple bookcase from the Dollar Lines’ “President Hoover,” circa 1931 ($5,000-$7,500).
Among many fine posters in the Bou Collection are White Star Line, Royal & United States Twin Screw Mail Steamers, “Majestic” & “Teutonic,” circa 1900 ($1,200-$1,800); Cunard Line / Liverpool – New York / Steamers, Lusitania and Mauretania, circa 1910 ($2,000-$3,000); Etbauer’s Zeppelin-Fahrten über See und Land, Hamburg, 1930s ($3,000-$4,000); and Di Lazzaro’s Italian Aerial Lines, Rome, circa 1930 ($5,000-$7,500).
Other attractive representations of ships include a color lithograph on tin depicting the French Line façade at Pier 57 in New York, circa 1906 ($1,500-$2,500); Paolo Klodic’s Oceana, color pastel on board, 1930s ($2,500-$3,500); and Stephen J. Card’s oil on canvas of the Empress of Britain in New York Harbor, 2001 ($2,500-$3,500). There is also a linen-backed provisional deck plan of Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique’s “L’Antique,” circa 1931 ($1,000-$1,500).
The afternoon session of the auction offers nearly 180 beautifully framed ocean liner posters from the collection of Stephen Barrett Chase, a well-known interior designer who collected in several fields. He left his American, Canadian and European ocean liner posters to the Steamship Historical Society of America upon his death in 1994.
There are works designed by celebrated poster artists, such as Jules Cheret’s Panorama de la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, Paris, 1889 ($1,500-$2,000); A.M. Cassandre’s New Statendam / Holland-America Line, Rotterdam, 1928 ($12,000-$18,000), and Normandie / Voyage Inaugural, Paris, 1935 ($4,000-$6,000); Sandy Hook’s Antilles Centre-Amérique / Cie. Gle. Transatlantique, Paris, circa 1920 ($3,000-$4,000); Montague Black’s French Line C.G.T. / France – England – U.S.A., circa 1936 ($5,000-$7,500); and Willem Frederick Ten Broek’s Holland-Amerika Linie, Haarlem, 1936 ($4,000-$6,000).
There are also dazzling anonymous images, including a view of the nose of the “Resolute,” sailing for United American Lines Inc. / Hamburg-Amerika Linie, 1921 ($1,500-$2,000); a scarce image of the “Normandie” steaming up the Hudson River, French Line / Southampton to New York, circa 1936 ($6,000-$9,000); a British horizontal-format poster for New Zealand Line / In Gaillard Cut / Panama Canal ($1,500-$2,000); and a sunny piece for Bermuda / Pacific Line ($1,500-$2,000).
Canadian highlights include Canadian Pacific / St. Lawrence Route, by an unknown artist ($1,200-$1,800); Percy Angelo Staynes’s Canadian Pacific / Duchess Steamships, depicting Poseiden guiding a ship through calm waters, circa 1929 ($2,000-$3,000); and Kenneth Denton Shoesmith’s Canadian Pacific / To Canada & U.S.A., London, 1933 ($1,200-$1,800).
Rounding out the posters are C. Satzmann’s Red Star Linie, 1893 ($2,000-$3,000); Eugène D’Argence’s “Espagne” / French Line, Paris, 1910 ($1,500-$2,000); A. Roquin’s Cunard / White Star showing the “Queen Mary I” and the “Queen Elizabeth,” Paris, circa 1938 ($3,000-$4,000); Kay Stewart’s France Afloat / French Line, circa 1938 ($2,500-$3,500); Albert Fuss’s Holiday and Educational Tours to North America / Hamburg-American Line ($1,500-$2,000); and posters for the Allan, Blue Star, Grace, Italian, Lloyd Triestino, Orient, P & O, Royal Mail and Union-Castle Lines.
The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on March 4 with The Christopher Bou Collection of Ocean Liner & Aviation Memorabilia, and will continue at 3 p.m. with The Chase Collection of Ocean Liner Posters.
The items will be on public exhibition Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and March 1-3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A two-volume illustrated catalog is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.
For further information about the Bou Collection, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the morning session, please contact Gary Garland at 212-254-4710, extension 17, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Chase Collection, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the afternoon session, please contact Gwendolyn Rayner at 212-254-4710, extension 53, or email@example.com.
Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.
Photos courtesy Swann Galleries.
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