PAI's 83rd Rare Posters Auction Sets Numerous New Highs

March 14 Sale Totaled $1.95 Million

April 2, 2021

Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) first sale of the year, on March 14, finished at just under $2 million in sales. Rare Posters Auction LXXXIII surpassed expectations, thanks to passionate collectors and first-rate consignments.
Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “This sale featured one of the best collections we’ve had in recent memory, but none of us could have predicted the feverish action on auction day. Collectors exhibited an intoxicating zest for posters and bid competitively. Thanks to their enthusiasm, we achieved a number of never-before-reached winning bids.”
Political posters also enraptured bidders. The 1915 “Enlist” by Fred Spear, in the rare original half-sheet format, captured $15,600 against an estimate of $5,000-$6,000. And L. N. Britton’s powerful 1917 “Warning!” was won for $13,200 on an estimate of $5,000-$6,000. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium
The Winter Sports collection proved desirable to many. Emil Cardinaux’s evocative 1920 “Palace Hotel / St. Moritz” was won for $10,800. Carl Moos’ 1919 “Klosters / 14” sold for $9,000. Hugo Laubi’s playful 1934 “Parsenn Klosters” was won for $7,200 (est. $1,200-$1,500). Roger Broders’ ca. 1929 “Winter Sports in the French Alps,” which was featured on the catalog’s cover, sold for $7,800.
Posters for transit experienced strong results. The top sale in the category was the ca. 1895 anonymous “Cycles Gladiator,” which sped off into the cosmos for $43,200 (est. $25,000-$30,000). Geo Ham’s powerful “Monaco Grand Prix,” from 1935, had a winning bid of $31,200 (est. $17,000-$20,000), and Noel Fontanet’s 1946 “Grand Prix des Nations” cruised to $6,000 (est. $2,000-$2,500). The anonymous 1891 “Voyage Autour du Monde / Round the World” sold for $21,600; Jupp Wiertz’s 1936 “Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei” was won for $15,600 (est. $10,000-$12,000); and Leslie Ragan’s iconic “The New 20th Century Limited,” from 1938, totaled $14,400 (est. $10,000-$12,000).
Art Nouveau posters always perform well at auction, but this sale saw many notable winning bids. Fernand Toussaint’s luxurious 1896 “Café Jacqmotte” topped out at $31,200 (est. $17,000-$20,000). Privat Livemont’s alluring 1896 “Absinthe Robette” achieved its highest sale in 12 years: $20,400 (est. $7,000-$9,000). Collectors also vied for the rare and enthralling 1902 “Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte” by Leonardo Bistolfi; it received a winning bid of $19,200 (est. $8,000-$10,000). Adolfo Hohenstein’s equally rare and powerful “Iris,” from 1898, was won for $9,600 (est. $3,500-$4,000). Ludwig Hohlwein’s work was similarly desired: the 1910 “Yellowstone-Park” achieved a win of $10,200 (est. $6,000-$7,000), and his charming 1912 “Zoologischer Garten München” sold for the same amount.
As always, works by Alphonse Mucha performed exceptionally well. The highest sale at auction was his 1902 decorative panel set, “The Stars,” which was won for $72,000. Further highlights include the 1912 “Sixth Sokol Festival,” which sold for $36,000; the 1898 “Waverley Cycles,” which sold for $22,800; and an original 1897 drawing, “Polly Pry,” which sold for $21,600 (est. $12,000-$15,000).
Works by Toulouse-Lautrec also sold reliably well. His 1899 “Le Jockey” was won for $57,600; the rare 1896 “Elles / Femme au Lit” sold for $50,400; and his powerful 1893 poster, “Aristide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret,” went for $36,000.
Further top sales include Roland Coudon’s 1933 “King Kong,” created for the film’s original French release, which sold for $31,200. Another collector favorite, Guillermo Laborde’s 1930 World Cup design, “1er Campeonato Mundial Football / Uruguay,” was won for $9,000 (est. $4,000-$5,000).
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