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Vintage travel posters take off at auction

Potter and Potter Auctions' Dec. 1 Vintage Travel Poster Sale was first class all the way, attracting attention and bids from around the globe.

CHICAGO - Potter and Potter Auctions' Dec. 1 Vintage Travel Poster Sale was first class all the way, attracting attention and bids from around the globe. After the hammer fell for the last time, 94 lots realized between $500-$999; 39 lots made between $1,000-$2,999; and six lots broke the $3,000 mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. [All images courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions.]

Vintage Disney posters

vintage travel poster

United Air Lines Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. Disneyland. $4320

Travel posters for Disney destinations held the keys to the kingdom at this sale. Lot #634, a Stanley Walter Galli United Air Lines Disneyland example was the top lot in the sale, selling for $6,000 on its $500-$700 estimate. This 1950s era piece, which generated 31 bids, was charmingly illustrated with a ferry full of families riding through a swamp safari.

Lot #640, a 1983 Fly Eastern Walt Disney World poster soared to $1,320. It featured a welcoming Mickey Mouse pointing out all the resort highlights at Walt Disney World.

A lucky bidder will soon feather their nest with lot #638, a United Air Lines Presents Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room poster from 1968. This color offset litho depicted Jose the Macaw - one of the four masters of ceremonies and the main Tiki Bird at the attraction - and made $4,320.

And lot #636, a 1960s-era Los Angeles Disneyland Go Greyhound poster took the wheel at $2,880.

Vintage India travel posters

vintage travel poster

Taj Mahal. Visit India. $2880

Posters representing India as a destination were also hot ticket items in this sale. Lot #391, a 1950s era See India Mysore Madras example produced by Associated Printers made $3,120 on its $400-$600 estimate. It featured the Nandi Statue, which is situated outside Mysore in the Chamundi Hills, and the devotees that travel to make offerings and pray. Lot #388, an India Car Festival At Puri poster produced by the M/S Bombay Fine Art Offset & Litho Works in 1957 raced its way to $3,120. Millions of devotees gather to drag the chariot and be blessed at this annual event.

Also making a big impression was lot #400, a Taj Mahal Visit India Bangalore/Madras poster from the 1950s. This offset litho was issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India and traded hands at $2,880. And lot #393, a poster illustrated with an Indian woman with intricate face jewelry hiking in the mountains with two chickens under her arm, and lot #389, a poster featuring a colorful illustration emblematic of the culture in Udaipur, added a touch of foreign intrigue to the sale. Each was produced in the 1950s and realized $2,640.

Travel posters by David Klein

vintage travel poster

New York World's Fair. Fly TWA Jets. $2640

Travel posters illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005) also took off at this auction event. Klein was talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s. Lot #23, a circa 1958 Fly TWA San Francisco example featuring a vibrant mid-century view of the Golden Gate Bridge, spanned its $800-$1,200 estimate to make $3,120.

Lot #17, a New York World's Fair Fly TWA Jets from 1961 sold for $2,640. This example, which simply explodes with its fireworks themed illustration, is considered one of the rarest of all New York World's Fair posters. And lot #8, a Fly TWA Hollywood poster featuring a Lockheed Constellation plane flying over the Hollywood bowl, with searchlights streaking the night sky, was also a breakout star in this sale. This circa 1955 piece more than doubled its high estimate, selling for $3,120.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We saw strong interest in mid-century designs in this sale, which is no surprise considering current collecting trends in all fields. Chicago-related posters also did quite well, and we're happy to offer more in this genre early next year, so collectors should take note." 

For more information, including complete auction results, visit

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