Mihaly Biro: Hungarian Poster Artist

Poster enthusiast and collector Julius Paul was Hungarian, and the posters from his native country are among the most exciting examples in Swann’s December 18 auction. The most well represented of Hungarian poster artists in the sale is Mihaly Biro, increasingly recognized as a giant of early 20th-century poster design.

The Paul Collection offers excellent examples of Biro’s work in several areas, from product advertisements to political propaganda. Here are some highlights:

Lot 17 is one of Biro’s designs for Abadie rolling papers–this one featuring a craft kangaroo.


Lot 51 is an advertisement for a daily political newspaper, circa 1934.
Lot 53 is a compelling allegorical image for the Worker’s Newspaper from 1920.
Lot 189 shows tempting selections from a restaurant buffet.
Lot 205 is a dynamic advertisement for Vienna coffee company Meinl.
Lot 213 is a Cappiello-esque liqueur ad for Hungary’s beloved Zwack.
Lot 215 is one of Biro’s posters for Arko Liqueurs from the early 1920s.
Lot 240 is a richly colored poster for Budapest soccer club MTK. 
Lot 245 is Biro’s poster for the 1920 German silent film Sumurun , or One Arabian  Night, featuring Pola Negri.  
Lot 331 is a stunning fashion design for a woman’s clothing store from 1911.
Lot 358 is one of Biro’s Vienna Redoute posters
Lot 368 employs a war scene to promote journalism–and the use of photography–in 1915.