New York City, NY, USA, August 5, 2023 — Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) second sale of the year, on July 18, finished at $1,675,320. Rare Posters Auction XC demonstrated collectors’ passion for seldom seen works.
On that hot and stormy July afternoon, bidding activity seemed to mirror the weather with a mix of humid languidness and downpours of enthusiasm. “In my 44 years of poster auctions, I am always intrigued by the ups and downs of poster trends,” Jack Rennert, president of PAI, said. “Recently, collectors’ interest in artists including Leonetto Cappiello and Alphonse Mucha has certainly surged, and buyers were once again eager to round out their collections with rare works by these top designers.”
Rarities indeed reigned supreme at this auction, garnering several unexpectedly high sales. An anonymous ca. 1969 design featuring a mod Twiggy-esque muse—Pan Am / England—enraptured collectors, leading to a $9,600 winning bid over its estimate of $1,700-$2,000. Bidders were similarly passionate about Alexis Kow’s 1929 Grand Prix du Cap d’Antibes, which handily surpassed its estimate of $4,000-$5,000 for a final win of $14,400. And the anonymous 1881 design, Buffalo Bill / He-Nu-Kaw (The first born), was a must-have for fans of Buffalo Bill: the exceptional poster earned a win of $12,000 against its $4,000-$5,000 estimate.
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
For the master of Art Nouveau, Alphonse Mucha, the trend continued: his original works and rarest variants were the most sought-after this auction. The top sale of this auction was his 1899 Femme au Rocher, one of four signed and numbered sculptures using the “cire perdue” technique; it was secured for $72,000. Two original drawings also sold well: his ca. 1930 portrait of his daughter, Jaroslava, went for $45,600 (est. $25,000-$30,000), and his 1929 Portrait of a Slavic Girl sold for $19,200 (est. $10,000-$12,000). His 1900 pocket watch depicting the Automne maiden from his Seasons series captured a winning bid of $45,600 (est. $40,000-$50,000). Two of his decorative panels nearly doubled their estimates: his 1899 Dawn sold for $12,000 (est. $6,000-$8,000) and the 1899 Dusk went for $14,400 (est. $6,000-$8,000).
Leonetto Cappiello also inspired favorable bids at auction. Top poster sales include his 1902 Suc du Velay, which sold for $4,800 (est. $3,500-$4,000); his 1903 Les Parfums de J. Daver, which was won for $5,280 (est. $5,000-$6,000); the 1925 Sancta went for $5,280 (est. $4,000-$5,000). Collectors also vied for the artist’s preparatory maquettes: the 1922 drawing for Americano Poccardi sold for $40,800 (est. $30,000-$40,000), the maquette for his 1929 Le Bas Revel was won for $16,800 (est. $17,000-$20,000), and his work for L’Huile d’Olive de Tunisie went for $7,200 (est. $8,000-$10,000).
Further top sales included the incredibly rare three-sheet version of the 1913 Fantômas, by an anonymous artist, which sold for $31,200 (est. $15,000-$20,000). This auction’s catalogue cover, Albert Castille’s 1899 Cafés Torréfiés / L’Abeille d’Or, went for $16,800 (est. $10,000-$12,000); Walter Schnackenberg’s decadent 1912 Odeon Casino went home for $33,600 (est. $30,000-$40,000).
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About Poster Auctions International:
Poster Auctions International’s next Rare Posters Auction will be held in New York on November 12, 2023. Consignments are accepted until September 4, 2023. Poster Auctions International is located at 26 W. 17th Street, New York, NY 10011. PAI may be reached by phone at 212-787-4000, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about PAI, visit www.posterauctions.com.