New York City, NY, USA, August 5, 2023 — Poster Auctions Internationalâ€™s (PAI) second sale of the year, on July 18, finished at $1,675,320. Rare Posters Auction XC demonstrated collectorsâ€™ 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. â€œIn my 44 years of poster auctions, I am always intrigued by the ups and downs of poster trends,â€ Jack Rennert, president of PAI, said. â€œRecently, collectorsâ€™ 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.â€
Rarities indeed reigned supreme at this auction, garnering several unexpectedly high sales. An anonymous ca. 1969 design featuring a mod Twiggy-esque museâ€”Pan Am / Englandâ€”enraptured collectors, leading to a $9,600 winning bid over its estimate of $1,700-$2,000. Bidders were similarly passionate about Alexis Kowâ€™s 1929 Grand Prix du Cap dâ€™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 buyerâ€™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 â€œcire perdueâ€ 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 artistâ€™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 Lâ€™Huile dâ€™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 FantÃ´mas, by an anonymous artist, which sold for $31,200 (est. $15,000-$20,000). This auctionâ€™s catalogue cover, Albert Castilleâ€™s 1899 CafÃ©s TorrÃ©fiÃ©s / Lâ€™Abeille dâ€™Or, went for $16,800 (est. $10,000-$12,000); Walter Schnackenbergâ€™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 Internationalâ€™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.