Wednesday’s Top Lots: Vintage Posters

Wednesday’s Vintage Posters sale brought nearly half a million dollars, and was Swann’s highest grossing August poster auction ever. The sale set numerous auction records, including Fred Spear’s Enlist, 1915. Spear’s poignant and memorable design brought $22,800, a record not only for the poster, but for the artist as well. It was the day’s top lot.

Fred Spear, Enlist, New York, 1915. 

Always a classic, James Montgomery Flagg’s I Want You, 1917, sold for $13,200 with buyer’s premium, breaking the previous auction record for this poster, also set by Swann.

James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You for U.S. Army, New York, 1917. 

There were also surprises among the top lots. An anti-Bolshevik poster, Wolnosc Bolszewicka, which depicts Trotsky as a devil seated on a pile of skulls, earned $13,200, more than 10 times the estimate. The designer, who made the poster in Poland during the Polish-Soviet War, is unknown.

Wolnosc Bolszewicka, designer unknown, Warsaw, 1920.