On December 18, Swann Galleries will offer works from the restituted Julius Paul Collection of Posters, an outstanding collection of scarce images in remarkable condition–the likes of which are rarely seen today.
The collection was formed between 1900 and 1935 by Julius Paul, a Hungarian-born Viennese distributor of cigarette papers, who died two months before the takeover of Austria by the Nazis in March of 1938. The posters were housed for nearly 70 years in the renowned Albertina Museum in Vienna, before being restituted to Paul's heirs five years ago.
Original hand-stenciled poster by Josef Hoffmann, announcing the opening of the first Wiener Werkstätte showroom in Vienna, 1905. Estimate $250,000 to $350,000.
Paul's heirs have now decided to give the poster-collecting world at large an opportunity to acquire works from the collection at auction. The posters selected for Swann's December 18 auction are exceedingly scarce, and most are in–or close to–new condition, owing to the Albertina's utmost standards of museum conservation. Further offerings from the Julius Paul Collection will be offered in Swann's 2014 Rare & Important Travel Posters auction.
Paul's collection is like a time capsule of European life in the 15 years before World War I through the 15 years following it, and provides a dazzling look into the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.