Swann Galleries’ auction of Vintage Posters on Thursday, Feb. 5 offers an excellent selection of rare and important ski posters, a wonderful collection of 23 Mather Work Incentive posters, and scarce Hebraic and Judaic posters. The sale also includes a large assortment of Art Nouveau and Art Deco items, travel posters, and circus and magic images.
The section of ski posters features several advertisements for Sun Valley, Idaho, among them Dwight Clark Shepler’s winning image of a downhill skier bathed in warm sunlight for Sun Valley / Union Pacific, which is making its auction debut (estimate: $3,000-$4,000); two variants of Shepler’s well known poster for the “Round House” on Baldy Mountain ($3,000-$4,000 each); and a scarce warm-weather image by an unknown artist depicting vacationers on horseback, Sun Valley / Summer Holiday, Kansas City ($2,000-$3,000).
Other American ski highlights include two advertisements for the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York ($4,000-$6,000 and $3,000-$4,000); Sascha Maurer’s joyous image of a smiling skier, Ski / The New Haven R.R., New York, circa 1940 ($1,000-$1,500); and several examples of Dartmouth Winter Carnival posters, such as Ruth Storck’s 1937 design ($2,000-$3,000); T.H. Joanethis’s poster for 1938 ($3,000-$4,000); and D.B. Leigh’s image from 1947 ($1,200-$1,800).
Featured international ski images include the Dutch version of Herbert Matter’s poster for winter sports in Zwitserland, 1934 ($2,000-$3,000); Herbert Bayer’s photo montage for Canada’s Mont Tremblant, 1939 ($4,000-$6,000); and Hans Thöni’s Wengen ($2,500-$3,500).
Within the run of Mather Work Incentive posters—with inspirational messages designed to hang in factories and offices—are several appealing images. A stork delivers a baby in its beak in Another New Year / May this Be Your Best, 1924 ($700-$1,000); a team of horses pulling a carriage uphill in Shirkers / Pull Us All Down, 1924 ($1,000-$1,500); and an elephant encountering a mouse in Jumpy?, 1929 ($800-$1,200).
The section of Judaica posters offers Israeli tourisms pieces, World War II propaganda, and three unusual Russian Zionist posters dating from 1917-18, a brief hopeful period when the provisional government that followed the February Revolution restored the rights and freedoms of Russian Jews. The posters urge Russian Jews to vote for the Zionist slate in the upcoming elections ($5,000-$7,500 each).
Rounding out the sale are classic Art Deco works, such as Paul Colin’s masterpiece, Le Tumulte Noir, portfolio with 22 plates, chemise and printed wrappers, 1927 ($20,000-$30,000); many Air France posters among the travel posters, including Victor Vasarely’s moonlit image, Amérique de Sud, Paris, 1946 ($2,000-$3,000); and a selection of circus and magic posters.
The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5.
For more information and to view the online catalog, visit www.swanngalleries.com.
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