Summer images abound at Swann Galleries’ Aug. 6 Vintage Poster Auction

NEW YORK—Swann Galleries’ annual summer auction of Vintage Posters on Wednesday, Aug. 6 offers many enticing posters depicting beaches and summer resorts.  The sale also features Mather Work Incentive posters, World War I and II propaganda, food and beverage advertisements, works by Art Nouveau and Art Deco masters, a wide array of travel, political, and performing arts images, and more. 

Summer highlights transporting one straight to the pool include three posters by W. L. Stensgaard, all titled Come On You Sunners!, depicting men and women suspended mid-dive in their Jantzen bathing suits, 1944 (estimates $1,200 to $1,800 each). An Art Deco mermaid emerges from stylized waves Rene Albert’s A La Sirene, for a French corsetière, 1926 ($4,000 to $6,000). Those who prefer to play tennis at a world-class hotel in the French alps will enjoy Candido Aragonese de Faria’s Cachat’s Majestic / Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, circa 1910 ($3,000 to $4,000). 

The 30 clever Mather Work Incentive posters in the sale encourage a diligent work ethic and wholesome lifestyle to gain success. Many use sports illustrations, such as Hal Depuy’s Touchdown!, a desirable football image,and Frank Beatty’s The Perfect Finish, a sailboat race, both 1929 ($2,000 to $3,000 each).   

The two World Wars provided plenty of inspiration to artists. Auction highlights include iconic examples from World War I such as Howard Chandler Christy’s If You Want to Fight!, 1915 and James Montgomery Flagg’s I Want You for the U.S. Army, 1917 ($2,000 to $3,000 each); as well as Fred Spears’s Enlist, New York, 1915, which is considered to be the rarest war poster produced in the United States ($10,000 to $15,000); and a still-timely reminder for the United States Fuel Administration, Clarence Coles Phillips’s Light Consumes Coal, Chicago, circa 1918 ($4,000 to $6,000). From World War II come Norman Rockwell’s Let’s Give Him Enough and On Time, 1942 ($1,000 to $1,500), and a trio of Ben Shahn posters, We French Workers Warn You, 1942 ($500 to $750), This is Nazi Brutality, 1942 ($800 to $1,200), and We Want Peace / Register Vote, 1946 ($2,000 to $3,000).

There are striking and sometimes amusing food and beverage advertisements such as Michel de Goeye’s vivid Forum, 1923, in which a muscular dionysian fills glasses from an immense bottle of the aperitif, and Henry Le Monnier’s [Source Verdier] for an effervescent mineral water, 1931 ($2,000 to $3,000 each).  Additionally, two quintessential 1950s advertisements for ice cold Coca-Cola  ($1,000 to $1,500 each) create nostalgia for old-fashion soda bottles.

The auction includes posters by Art Nouveau masters Alphonse Mucha and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, including the latter’s La Revue Blanche, Paris, 1895 ($25,000 to $35,000); and Art Deco designs such as Robert Bonfils’ Paris—1925, for the international exposition of modern decorative and industrial art that gave the style its name ($3,000 to $4,000); Paul Colin’s André Renaud, the pianist who played two grand pianos simultaneously, Paris, 1929 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Of special note is a selection of 17 posters by Leonetto Cappiello, ranging from Le Thermogène, 1907 ($1,500 to $2,000); to Nitrolian, 1929 ($2,000 to $3,000), Paraplui-Revel, 1929 and Omega ($3,000 to $4,000 each); and featuring a previously unknown variant of Cioccolato Venchi, 1923, a rare image that has never before appeared at auction ($30,000 to $40,000), and is poised to break the Cappiello auction record achieved at Swann in May.

The morning session of the auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6th. The afternoon session will start at 2:00 p.m. In-person registration begins at 10:00 a.m. and continues throughout the sale.

The posters will be on public exhibition Thursday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, August 4 and Tuesday, August 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no viewing during the auction.

A fully illustrated color catalog with information on bidding by mail or fax is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may also be viewed online at

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