Vintage Chinese Propaganda Posters

[Chairman Mao], 1949. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.

Among the diverse offerings in tomorrow’s auction of Vintage Posters is a selection of more than 30 Chinese propaganda posters, marking the first time such a large group of political images from the People’s Republic of China has appeared in a Swann auction. The posters range from instantly recognizable official portraits such as [Chairman Mao], 1949, above, to industrial images with messages like [Dedicate Oneself to the Cause of Modernization, Scale New Heights], 1979. 

Fang Cheng & Zhong Ling, [Resolutely Smash the American Invaders’
Vicious Plans of Germ Warfare]
, 1952. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Political posters, including Fang Cheng & Zhong Ling’s [Resolutely Smash the American Invaders’ Vicious Plans of Germ Warfare], give us an idea of China’s perspective in 1952. 


Elsewhere in the sale are colorful posters from China of non-political subjects, including [Butterflies Love their Country], 1937, featuring Butterfly Wu, the first international Chinese film star, as well as a few groups of Chinese product labels, which include advertisements for products such as soap, pesticides, firecrackers and cigarettes.

Roy Lichtenstein’s Chairman Mao for Tuten’s Adventures of Mao on the Long March,
deluxe edition, New York, 1971. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000. At auction October 11.

Swann’s upcoming October 11 sale of Art, Press & Illustrated Books also includes a Mao-related item: the deluxe edition of Frederic Tuten’s The Adventures of Mao on the Long March, which includes a lithograph of Mao by Roy Lichtenstein. The full set of this publication, with both novel & lithograph hasn’t been seen at auction since 2001.