Swann Galleries’ Nov. 10 auction of Rare & Important Travel Posters spans the globe

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A very early Russian aviation poster featuring three Morane-Saulnier monoplanes in the sky and a hydroplane that appears to be a variation of a machine constructed by Levasque. The full text of the poster reads "Equipped with all recent technologies. Building of aircrafts of original construction and existing systems." Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

Swann Galleries’ annual auction devoted to Rare & Important Travel Posters will be held on Monday, Nov. 10. As always, the sale offers an excellent selection of images promoting travel to destinations all over the world as well as posters for travel via airplanes, automobiles, ocean liners and trains.

The auction opens with several extraordinary posters advertising travel to Australia, including Percy Trompf’s iconic view of Bondi Beach from the front porch of the former Astra Hotel, 1929 ($4,000-$6,000); James Northfield’s circa 1935 colorful Australian Parrots / Australia, used as the cover illustration for a book about his work ($3,000-$4,000); and Eileen Mayo’s Australia, depicting a kangaroo, Melbourne, 1957 ($1,500-$2,000).

Highlights from the Golden Age of air travel include Paul George Lawler’s posters for Pan American Airlines, Fly To South Sea Isles, circa 1938—one of the best known American travel posters of all time ($8,000-$12,000), and Wings of Democracy, a view of the Statue of Liberty, circa 1942, issued during World War II to demonstrate Pan Am’s commitment to the U.S. war effort ($4,000-$6,000). From the same era is Leslie Ragan’s We Shall Not Fail for the New York Central Lines, 1943 ($5,000-$7,500).

Other desirable American travel images include a previously unknown poster for the 1915 Boston Exposition—a major event that never took place—designed and printed in 1909 and featuring a plane flying over Boston ($8,000-$12,000); Jon O. Brubaker’s California / America’s Vacation Land for the New York Central Railroad, Long Island City, 1925 ($7,000-$10,000); and a series of stylish early 1950s posters designed by Bern Hill to advertise General Motors Diesel Locomotives, among them Capital Cities Route, circa 1952 ($1,000-$1,500).

Notable European train advertisements include the extremely rare, large-format version of A.M. Cassandre’s iconic Chemin de Fer du Nord, Lille, 1929 ($35,000-$45,000); and Pierre Fix-Masseau’s Côte D’Azur, Lille, 1929 ($7,000-$10,000).

A strong selection of British posters includes Norman Wilkinson’s celebration of industry at Grangemouth Docks, circa 1935 ($2,000-$3,000); Fred Taylor’s sophisticated view of Harrogate, London, circa 1935 ($6,000-$9,000); Roy Meldrum’s playful Something Different at Every Turn, and It’s Surprising What You See if You Travel, 1933 ($4,000-$6,000 each); Frank Newbould’s New “Rheingold” Express, London ($8,000-$12,000); and Harold Sandys Williamson’s jaunty view of a chorus girl in There and Back by Underground, 1928 ($5,000-$7,500).

Among sporting highlights are Roger Broders’s Golf de la Soukra Tunis, Paris, 1932 ($3,000-$4,000), and St. Honoré les Bains, Paris, circa 1928 ($6,000-$9,000); as well as Adolph Treidler’s lovely view of a golfing party in Bermuda ($2,500-$3,500); and Legg’s Ski in Yosemite ($2,000-$3,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10.

The posters will be on public exhibition on Friday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be a Gallery walk with the specialist on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m.

A full-color illustrated auction catalog is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Gwendolyn Rayner at 212-254-4710 ext. 53, or via e-mail at posters@swanngalleries.com.

More Images:

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JAMES NORTHFIELD (1888-1973) AUSTRALIAN PARROTS / AUSTRALIA. Circa 1935. 39 3/4 by 25 inches, 100 1/2 by 63 1/2 cm. Northfield Studios, Melbourne. Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.
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A stylish and fashionable street scene which, with a different title, could easily be an advertisement for a night out in London or Paris. The Metro Cinema, with its Art Deco facade, was the first real movie house in Calcutta. Opened on June 8th, 1938, the theater, which was owned by Metro Goldwyn Mayer and initially ran only MGM movies, signalled the beginning of the tremendous interest and influence that Indian culture was to have in modern cinema evidenced today in the second biggest movie industry outside of the US: India's Bollywood. Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

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