World Record Poster Sale From PAI Totals Over $2.6 Million

Works By The Belle Époque Master Alphonse Mucha Are In Bull Market

December 17, 2021

Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) third sale of the year, on Nov. 14, finished at $2,638,320. Rare Posters Auction LXXXV was a world record auction with many lots surpassing their previously realized prices.
“If there was any doubt about the poster’s vitality, this auction surely proved its lasting and increasing cultural and artistic value. Despite the economic impacts of the last two years, our sales continue to increase at an amazing pace. Collectors bid passionately, allowing us to break a number of world records for important artists including Alphonse Mucha, Leonetto Cappiello, and Walter Schnackenberg. Of course, much of this sale’s success can be attributed to the strength and rarity of the consignments we received,” said Jack Rennert, president of PAI.
As with previous auctions this year, Alphonse Mucha continued to be the star of the show. Works by the Belle Époque master of beauty soared to new heights in this sale, and record-shattering prices include the following: the 1911 “Moravian Teachers' Choir (Pevecké Sdruzení Ucitelu Moravskych),” which was won for $43,200 against an estimate of $7,000-$9,000; the 1898 “Reverie,” printed on silk, selling for $48,000 (est. $20,000-$25,000); his 1901 decorative panels, “Ivy & Laurel,” for $43,200 (est. $17,000-$20,000); and the 1897 “Nestle’s Food for Infants,” which sold for $43,200 (est. $10,000-$12,000). Also, a rare, hand-signed proof of his 1896 “Salon des Cent / XXme Exposition” garnered $43,200 (est. $30,000-$40,000). All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
The great Montmartre mythologizer, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, saw continued interest in his work. The top sale from this auction was his 1899 “Jane Avril,” which was won for $108,000. “Confetti” from 1899 sold for $43,200; his 1893 “Aristide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret” went for $50,400; and the 1894 “La Loge au Mascaron Doré” for $45,600.
Further Art Nouveau works also spurred tremendous interest. A never-before-seen design by Pal, “The Lions / Nouveau Cirque,” from ca. 1894, inspired a sale of $7,800 (est. $2,500-$3,000). F. Hugo d’Alesi’s 1894 maquette for “Centenaire de la Lithographie / Galerie Rapp” was won for $43,200 (est. $30,000-$40,000). Manuel Orazi’s elegant “Maison Moderne,” from 1900, sold for $72,000. Two iconic works from Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen inspired passionate bids, his “Clinique Chéron” from 1905 was won for $31,200 (est. $17,000-$20,000), and his “Lait pur Stérilisé” from 1894 sold for $22,800 (est. $14,000-$17,000). And this auction’s catalog cover, Walter Schnackenberg’s 1912 “Odeon Casino,” the best printing seen yet, sold for the highest amount to date, $50,400 (est. $25,000-$30,000).
Designs for transit scored exceptionally high bids. Roger Perot’s 1933 “Grand Prix de Nice” sold for $8,400 (est. $5,000-$6,000); Plinio Codognato’s forceful 1923 “Gran Premio d’Europa / Fiat” earned a winning bid of $90,000 (est. $70,000-$90,000). Collectors also vied for Leslie Ragan’s 1941 “New York Central / Empire State Express,” which surpassed its estimate of $4,000-$5,000 for a final sale of $11,400.
For Leonetto Cappiello, known as the father of modern advertising, sales were also fruitful. A 1911 maquette, “Carnaval / Vinho do Porto,” sold for $33,600. His 1926 “Automoto / Byrrh” made its auction debut, and collectors clamored for the rare design; it was won for $10,200 (est. $7,000-$9,000). His striking 1931 “Kub” sold for $60,000, and the 1933 “Le Petit Dauphinois” inspired a winning bid of $38,400.
As for Art Deco works, several notable designs were auctioned. Burkhard Mangold’s 1914 “Winter in Davos,” which has not been at auction in 14 years, exceeded its estimate of $12,000-$15,000 to realize $20,400. Gert Sellheim’s 1936 “Australia / Surf Club” sold for $9,600 (est. $7,000-$9,000). Martin Peikert’s 1945 ski poster, “Wengen-Männlichen,” quickly surpassed its estimate of $1,400-$1,700 for a win of $7,200. A 1932 maquette by Paul Colin, “Ces Messieurs Dames,” secured a winning bid of $14,400 (est. $10,000-$12,000). Works by Luciano Achille Mauzan also performed well: his 1930 “Bertozzi” sold for $6,000 (est. $3,000-$4,000); his 1921 “Gallia / Oeufs Séchés” went for $3,360; and his 1929 “Crosley,” $7,800.
Poster Auctions International (PAI) is located at 26 W. 17th St., New York, N.Y.
PAI may be reached by phone at 212-787-4000, or via email at


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