Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) third sale of the year, on November 13, finished at just over $2.2 million. Rare Posters Auction LXXXVIII saw sustained passion for rare and never-before-seen lithographs from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras, continuing PAI’s streak of $2 million auctions this year.
Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “We are always humbled by the enthusiasm of our consignors and bidders at auction. Collectors demonstrated continued passion for rare and important lithographs, leading to several new sales records.”
Alphonse Mucha continued to hold sway over admiring buyers. The top sale from this Belle Époque master was his 1911 Princezna Hyacinta, which was won for a record-breaking $78,000 against an estimated $35,000-$45,000. Another new high sale went to the ca. 1899 Bleuze-Hadancourt / Parfumeur, which was sold for $45,600 (est. $17,000-$20,000).
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Overall, works by Art Nouveau masters were highly sought after. Adolfo Hohenstein’s dramatic 1899 Tosca was secured for a winning bid of $40,800 (est. $15,000-$20,000). Privat Livemont’s iconic 1896 Absinthe Robette performed consistently well, topping out at $21,600. From Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, a Russian text variant of his infamous 1896 Chat Noir was claimed for $19,200. Joseph Maria Olbrich’s 1901 Darmstadt sold for $16,800; Ludwig Hohlwein’s 1913 Kaffee Hag went for $19,200; H. Gray’s 1899 Cycles Sirius surpassed its estimate of $4,000-$5,000 for a winning bid of $7,800; and Rosa Bonheur’s 1905 Buffalo Bill was secured for $20,400 (est. $14,000-$17,000).
Jules Chéret saw passionate bids at auction this November. His beloved 1893 Folies-Bergère / La Loïe Fuller was won for $12,000 (est. $5,000-$6,000); his lovely 1891 Saxoléine sold for $5,280 (est. $1,200-$1,500); and his 1877 Skating-Concerts, featuring circus performer Miss Korah, inspired fervent bidding, leading to a winning bid of $9,000 (est. $2,000-$2,500). But above all, collectors vied for his original paintings. One was sold for $33,600, a second was won for $28,800 (both est. $17,000-$20,000), and the third was claimed for $12,000 (est. $7,000-$9,000).
For Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, his rarest works received the most attention from collectors. This auction’s top sale was for his incredibly scarce 1895 Yvette Guilbert : Ceramic Tile, which is one of only four known copies outside of museums; it sold for $204,000. The only known copy of his 1895 May Belfort : Trial Proof was won for $28,800; the extremely rare variant of that design—hand-signed and numbered with the cat remarque—went for $66,000. His beloved 1894 Confetti sold for $40,800, and the iconic 1893 Jane Avril was captured for $60,000.
Another virtuoso of the poster, Leonetto Cappiello, also saw enthused sales. His 1907 Triple-Sec Fournier sold for well above its estimate of $5,000-$6,000 for a win of $11,400; his ca. 1915 Chambéry Reynaud was secured for $7,800 (est. $5,000-$6,000).
Bidders at this auction also showed high demand for Art Deco works. The selection of travel images by Roger Broders sparked a frenzy of bidding; his top sale was the 1928 La Plage de Calvi. Corse, which was claimed for $15,600 (est. $12,000-$15,000). The ca. 1930 Monte-Carlo was won for $12,000; his 1927 Grasse went for $5,280; and his Lac d’Annecy surpassed its estimate of $1,400-$1,700 for a winning bid of $5,280.
Paul Colin’s impressive 1929 portfolio, Le Tumulte Noir, inspired some competitive bidding, leading to a win of $45,600. And his 1929 Les Mathurins / Le Collier beat out its estimate of $2,500-$3,000 for a total of $9,000.
This year’s catalogue cover was also a big hit with collectors: Geo Ham’s 1924 Amilcar was claimed for $28,800 (est. $7,000-$9,000). Other highlights include Walter Schnackenberg’s 1920 Die Pyramide, sold for $20,400; René Vincent’s 1920 Salmson / 10HP, which went for $19,200; Jean d’Ylen’s ca. 1926 Shell nearly doubled its estimated price for a win of $10,200; Jupp Wiertz’s 1936 Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei / 2 Days to Europe was claimed for $13,200 (est. $5,000-$6,000); the anonymous The Sin of Nora Moran was won for $6,600; Franz Lenhart’s 1933 Modiano was won for $8,400; and Luciano Achille Mauzan’s 1930 El Perfume de Nasiba captured a winning bid of $6,600 (est. $2,500-$3,000).
A perhaps unexpected star of this month’s sale was the collection of beer posters available—especially those done for Guinness by John Gilroy. Every Gilroy poster was sold, led by his 1936 My Goodness My Guinness, which went for $4,800 (est. $2,000-$2,500).
To learn more about PAI, visit www.posterauctions.com.
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