Hand-colored Mucha proofs soar to $300,000

NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ annual auction of Art Nouveau posters on Dec. 19, 2007, brought in more than $1.1 million, making it Swann’s highest grossing poster auction to date.

The sale’s top lot was a pair of ornately bound albums containing 138 lithograph proofs for Alphonse Mucha’s Ilsee, Princesse de Tripoli, each exquisitely hand-colored by the artist in watercolor. The set sold to a private collector for $312,000, including buyer’s premium. M14771-1A  AT 1-30.jpgThese images, which are far more vivid than the illustrations in the printed book, were last exhibited publicly more than 100 years ago.

The top lot of the sale was a collection of 138 hand-colored proofs by Alphonse Mucha for the book Ilsee, Princess de Tripoli, Paris, 1897. Sold at Swann Galleries for $312,000 (including buyer’s premium). Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

Mucha posters also performed well, especially the sensuous Cycles Perfecta, Paris, 1897, which brought a record $48,000, as well as the theatrical Lorenzaccio, Paris, 1896, $18,000; Waverley Cycles, Paris, 1898, $22,800; and the luminous Ruby, 1900, $14,400.

Lautrec AT 1-30.jpgWorks by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec included the bold Ambassadeurs, Paris, 1892, in exceptionally good condition, which commanded $120,000; another view of Aristide Bruant, this one plate 7 of the Cafe Concert Portfolio, hand signed and inscribed to Bruant by Lautrec, 1893, gaveled at $14,400.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Ambassadeurs, Paris, 1892. Sold at Swann Galleries on December 19, 2007 for $120,000 (including buyer’s premium). Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

For complete results, an illustrated catalogue with prices realized can be purchased for $35 from Swann Auction Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or viewed online.

For more information, call 212-254-4710, or go online to www.swanngalleries.com.