American and Australian images attracted collectors at Swann Galleries’ Nov. 10 travel poster auction

Poster collectors competed for a choice selection of Rare & Important Travel Posters at Swann Galleries’ annual auction on Monday, Nov. 10. Fine examples promoting travel to U.S. destinations as well as far-flung locations including Australia set records for the artists.

Nicholas Lowry, Swann Auction Galleries President and Poster Specialist, said, “The top 20 lots were all bought by collectors, suggesting that in the new economy top-tier items will still be actively fought over in the marketplace. With a sell through rate of 75 percent, the auction was the most successful poster sale in America since Swann’s summer poster auction on August 6.”

Walter L. Greene’s beautiful view of Adirondack Mountains / Lake Placid, New York, 1930 set a record for the artist at auction, bringing $15,600. All prices include 20 percent buyer’s premium.

An artist record was also set for the artist Percy Trompf, whose appealing representation of Bondi Beach in his poster Australia, 1929, sold for $12,000.

Another Australian highlight was James Northfield’s colorful Australian Parrots / Australia, Melbourne, circa 1935, $5,040.

Other important American works were Frank Vining Smith’s “1915” Boston Exposition, Boston, 1909, $15,000; Jon O. Brubaker’s California / America’s Vacation Land / New York Central Lines, Long Island City, 1925, $10,200; a group of three poster by Dan Smith for the Sesquicentennial International Exhibition / Philadelphia, 1926, $4,560; General Motors / New York World’s Fair, 1939, $5,760; and Weimer Purcell’s American Airlines to New York, 1956, $3,840.

European highlights included Willy Sluiter’s poster for Olympische Spelen, a rare ephemeral item for the cancelled Berlin Olympics of 1916, $5,760; and Roger Broders’ La Chaine du Mont Blanc, Paris, 1924, $4,320; and Karl Bickel’s Dolder Grand Hotel, Zurich, 1930, $3,360. 

From the United Kingdom were Tom Pervis’ Scarborough by L.N.E.R., Leeds, 1936, $1,800; and David Shepherd’s Service by Night, London and Dunstable, 1955, $4,560.

More exotic were Paul George Lawler’s recognizable Fly to South Sea Isles / Via Pan American, circa 1938, $8,400; Conrado Walter Massaguer, Visit Cuba, Havana, circa 1950, $4,080; and two posters promoting travel to the Middle East, one Jacques Davial de la Nézière’s piece for Simplon-Orient-Express service to Aleppo, Syria, Paris, 1927, $3,840, the other for the King David Hotel / Jerusalem, Naples, circa 1931, $11,025.

For complete results, an illustrated auction catalog with prices realized is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

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