Records & Results: Vintage Posters

Alphonse Mucha & Art Nouveau Lead Vintage Posters at Swann


Our February 7 sale of Vintage Posters saw numerous firsts and records.

Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President, noted:

“Lively bidding for ski posters and Art Nouveau images set the pace for an enthusiastic auction where eager bidders drove prices high for rare examples. Collectors dominated the activity.”

Image of Alphonse Mucha's Documents Decoratifs cover and an images from the portfolio.
Lot 281: Alphonse Mucha, Documents Décoratifs, complete portfolio with 72 plates, 1902. Sold for $18,750.


Alphonse Mucha & Art Nouveau

The sale was led by Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Décoratifs, 1902, a complete portfolio with 72 plates displaying examples of jewelry, furniture and silverware, as well as illustrations of how to draw women and flowers. The portfolio, which prominently displayed Mucha’s stylistic expertise, reached $18,750. Other notable works by the artist included Rêverie, 1897, which sold for $8,125; Biscuits Lefèvre – Utile, 1897, The Seasons, 1896, a group of four decorative panels on fabric, and The Times of the Day / Éveil du Matin, 1899, each earning $7,500.


Alphonse Mucha's Art Nouveau image of an advertisement for Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile.
Lot 267: Alphonse Mucha, Biscuits Lefèvre – Utile, 1897. Sold for $7,500.


Additional Art Nouveau posters included records for La Garonne, 1898, a whimsical image by Arthur Foäche, at $5,460, and The Studio, 1899, by Frank Brangwyn, with $5,000. Louis J. Rhead’s colorful image, Le Journal de la Beauté, 1897, originally commissioned by La Plume, sold for $6,750.


Louis J. Rhead's poster for Le Journal de la Beauté. Featuring colorful peacocks.
Lot 227: Louis J. Rhead, Le Journal de la Beauté, 1897. Sold for $6,750.


Firsts at Auction

Firsts at auction included a 1927 advertisement for the Stockholm premier of Josephine Baker’s La Sirène des Tropiques, which featured Baker in her “pearl and feather” costume, and brought $9,750; Gli Avvisi Delle Officine G. Ricordi E C., a complete portfolio with 70 plates, by G. Ricordi celebrating the rise of the poster in Italy, was won for $7,500; and Walter L. Greene’s circa 1924 oil painting for the cover of The GE Monogram garnered $6,500.



Ski Posters

Posters promoting travel to popular ski destinations proved successful, with Emil Cardinaux’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz, 1922, depicting an alpine round of golf and picnic, brought $5,500, and Jungfrau Bahn / Berneroberland, Schweiz, a 1919 German advertisement showing a group of skiers overlooking Aletsch Glacier in the Alps, earned $5,000.


Poster for St. Moritz featuring a round of gold and a picnic with a alps in the background.
Lot 11: Emil Cardinaux, Palace Hotel St. Moritz, 1922. Sold for $5,500.


Aletsch Glacier in the Alps earned $5,000. A Chamonix – Mont Blanc, 1927, by Alo (Charles Hallo), a lively image of a mid-air skier, set a record with $5,000.


A poster of a skier mid-jump by Alo (Charles Hallo).
Lot 20: Alo (Charles Hallo), A Chamonix – Mont Blanc, 1927. Sold for $5,000.


Complete Results.

More about selling at Swann.