Records & Results: Rare & Important Travel Posters
Our annual auctions of Rare & Important Travel Posters are destinations in and of themselves. On October 26, we offered more spectacular examples that embodied a century’s worth of technological development.
The top lot of the sale was Adolphe Mouron Cassandre’s promotional image for the maiden voyage of the Normandie, 1935, one of the most iconic posters of all time. It was purchased by a bidder in the room for $20,000. A fine selection of early ocean liner images opened the sale, as the earliest form of mass leisure transportation. A rare circa-1911 depiction of the White Star Line’s sister ships Olympic and Titanic, likely published before they were launched, reached $9,750.
Several long-standing auction records were broken, both for artists and individual works. Willem Frederick ten Broek’s poster advertising an ocean liner cruise to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, featuring the iconic Trylon and Perisphere against a Deco skyline of lower Manhattan, sold for $9,750, a record for the artist. Making its auction debut was By the North Shore Line, a 1923 advertisement for the Chicago Rapid Transit Company by Ervine Metzl, described by Nicholas D. Lowry, Director of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries, as “arguably the most progressive American poster artist of his time.” The work reached $9,750, a record for the artist. Additional records went to Earl Horter, whose sepia view of Grand Central Terminal, showing cars zipping across the promenade, 1927, reached a record $6,000. A dramatic circa 1952 image by Frank Soltesz, Fly TWA To and Across America, set a new record for the artist at $6,500. An unusual work by Roger Broders, Alger / La Ville Blanche, 1920, broke its previous record when it sold to a collector for $4,680.
The biggest surprise of the sale was the Official Yogi Bear Map of Jellystone Park, 1961, showing the locations of such amusing landmarks as “Old Faceful” and “Yogi Has Done Wrong.” Above a modest estimate of $400 to $600, the brightly colored work reached $1,375.