Top Lots: Vintage Posters

Last week, we kicked off the auction season with a sale of Vintage Posters, with very strong results – in fact, it was our highest-grossing February poster sale to date. The top lot among many high-earning Art Nouveau posters and decorative panels was Alphonse Mucha’s The Seasons. The full set of four posters sold for $78,000. Works by Mucha performed extremely well overall, accounting for a quarter of the top twenty lots.
Two of Mucha’s four Seasons panels, 1896.
A classic American poster from 1896, Sutro Baths, a large 80 x 82” image promoting the once thriving San Francisco bath house, tied the current record at auction, bringing $19,200.
Sutro Baths, San Francisco, 1896, by an unknown artist.

Notable in this sale was the fact that while prominent lots like The Seasons did very well, prices for posters outside the mainstream were also higher than expected. A previously undocumented poster for Buffalo Bill’s French tour in 1905 earned $15,600, and Hebraic and Judaic posters, like Miskovitz’s [The Promised Land,] a poster for a movie billed as the first filmed in Palestine, circa 1930s, also brought record prices.

W.F. Cody / Buffalo Bill, Paris, 1905.

 

We typically hold four auctions of Vintage Posters each year. Our February sale encompasses the range of utility of the medium over the last 150 years.