Records & Results: Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection

Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection offered premier examples of advertising and propaganda from around the world, and broke several auction records. Nicholas D. Lowry, President of Swann and Director of Vintage Posters, announced, “This was our best winter poster auction since 2013, and our third-best winter poster auction of all time.”


Lot 117: Erik Nitsche, General Dynamics / Hydrodynamics, 1955. Sold March 1, 2018 for $5,500, a record for the work.


A quarter of the auction was devoted to highlights from the collection of Gail Chisholm, renowned dealer and lifelong poster aficionado. Included in the collection was the largest selection of Erik Nitsche’s designers for General Dynamics ever to come to auction. All of the 19 works found buyers, with two achieving new auction records: the French version of Hydrodynamics from the influential Atoms for Peace series 1955, sold for a record $5,500, while General Dynamics / Atoms for Peace, from the same series, was purchased by an institution for $5,250. According to Lowry, “The strength of the Gail Chisholm Collection, which achieved a staggering 87% sell-through rate, seemed to set the tone for the rest of the auction.” In accordance with her wishes, proceeds from the sale of Chisholm’s collection will benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.


Lot 247: Alex Diggelmann, Gstaad / Berner Oberland, circa 1937. Sold March 1, 2018 for $8,750.


Our winter auctions of Vintage Posters have become the premier destination for scarce and valuable ski resort advertisements. The March 1 sale was no exception, offering a run of historic images, some of which were previously unknown to scholarship. Leading the selection was Alex Diggelmann’s azure Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937, at $8,750. Additional Alpine highlights included The Golden Pass Route / Switzerland, 1934, by Edouard Elzingre, which sold for more than twice its high estimate for $7,813, and the English version of Erich Hermès’s Winter in Switzerland, 1936 ($6,250). A previously unrecorded advertisement for Sun Valley, Idaho, circa 1936, showing the world’s first chairlift just after the resort’s opening, sold for $3,750. Lowry said, “We sold 84% of the ski posters we offered-a ‘peak’ that reflects the current buoyancy of the market.”


Lot 197: Alphonse Mucha, The Seasons, set of four decorative panels, 1896. Sold March 1, 2018 for $45,000.


Paragons of Art Nouveau performed well, with Alphonse Mucha’s suite of four decorative panels of allegories of The Seasons, 1896, leading the sale at $45,000. Another highlight by the master was The Times of the Day / Réverie du Soir, 1899, which reached $10,000.


Lot 499: Shamir Brothers, You Can Shorten the Road to Victory, Join the A.T.S., 1943. Sold March 1, 2018 for $9,375, a record or the work.


Records were achieved by unusual examples of Judaica from both World Wars. The rare Canadian poster The Jews the World Over Love Liberty / Have Fought For It & Will Fight For It, circa 1917, was purchased by an institution for $9,375. An Israeli advertisement for the Auxiliary Territorial Service by the Shamir Brothers, You Can Shorten the Road to Victory, Join the A.T.S., 1943, was also purchased by an institution for the same price.
The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be Graphic Design on May 3, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.