America the Beautiful Takes the Spotlight in Travel Posters at Swann October 15

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Paul George Lawler, San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight / Via Pan Am, 1939. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
Paul George Lawler, San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight / Via Pan Am, 1939. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

New York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, October 15 sale of Rare & Important Travel Posters can be described as celebrating “America the Beautiful” as a vast segment of the sale features posters showcasing premier destinations around the country. Also on offer is a top selection of international images, from London to Latvia, Bangkok and beyond.

New York City is on display with Chesley Bonestell’s New York Central Building / At the Gateway to a Continent, circa 1929 ($6,000-9,000); a rare first printing of David Klein’s 1956 TWA poster featuring a vibrant abstract view of Times Square ($5,000-7,500); and Joseph Feher’s ad for United Air Lines, in which a Douglas DC-6 can be seen flying over Central Park with the Plaza Hotel in the background ($1,500-2,000).
East coast summer destinations are among notable American travel posters. Highlights include a circa-1929 image for travel to Montauk Beach ($10,000-15,000); John Held, Jr.’s bird’s-eye view of Nantucket, a 1925 image that has not been at auction since 2006, ($6,000-9,000); travel to Atlantic City by way of the Pennsylvania Railroad, represented by Edward M. Eggleston’s circa-1935 advertisement showcasing the beach and boardwalk ($5,000-7,500); Walter L. Greene’s lush image of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Placid ($4,000-6,000); and Anthony Hansen’s New England / America’s Historic Summerland, circa 1930s ($1,000-1,500).

Notable west coast lots include Jon O. Brubaker’s 1925 California / America’s Vacation Land—the second ad ever issued for the New York Central Line ($8,000-12,000) and Jo Mora’s 1927 pictorial map California / The El Dorado, offered here in the rare first state ($1,200-1,800). Early air travel to and from San Francisco can be seen with Paul George Lawler’s 1939 Pan Am ad for travel to Hawaii via the Honolulu Clipper ($10,000-15,000), and a circa-1950s TWA poster with a view of Presidio Ave and a Market Street cable car running down California street through Chinatown towards the Ferry Terminal, with a tower of the Oakland Bay Bridge appearing in the distance ($1,200-1,800). Also of note is a previously unrecorded poster for the Northern Pacific Railway from 1920, featuring Lewis and Clark by Seaverns W. Hilton ($5,000-7,500); and two 1928 Southern Pacific Railway designs by Maurice Logan, one featuring Lake Tahoe ($1,200-1,800), and the other showcasing Redwoods ($2,500-3,500).

Other American highlights include Hernando Villa’s poster for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, which has not been seen on the auction block stateside in nearly ten years ($4,000-6,000), as well as Villa’s 1931 The Chief is Still Chief poster for the Santa Fe Railroad ($5,000-7,500).

Jean Dupas, Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.
 Jean Dupas, Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Celebrated images from Continental Europe, the United Kingdom and more include a poster promoting early aviation in the south of France, with Charles Leone Brosse’s Meeting d’Aviation / Nice, 1910 ($10,000-15,000); a graphic representation of one of the most famous mountains in the Alps in Emil Cardinaux’s Zermatt, 1908 ($6,000-9,000), as well as Cardinaux’s Winter in der Schweiz, 1921 ($12,000-18,000); and a truly exceptional Art Deco gem for travel to the Seaside of Riga in Latvia-the Baltic Coast, circa 1930 ($1,200-1,800). An Art Deco design for the London Underground is seen in Jean Dupas’s Where is the Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930 ($15,000-20,000). Scotland can be seen in a circa-1910 Caledonian Railway advertisement promoting the golf courses served by the line ($5,000-7,500). A scarce, atmospheric view of the temples of Bangkok is displayed in Michael Rudolf Wening’s Siam, circa 1920s ($2,000-3,000), and a Gatsby-esque evocation of holiday makers in Jasper, in the Canadian Rockies by Fred Powis complete the offering ($2,000-3,000). Further advertisements for rail lines, ocean liners and aviation round out the sale.

Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available from October 12 through October 14, to be scheduled directly with the specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with the specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Lot 153: Paul George Lawler, San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight / Via Pan Am, 1939. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
Lot 88: Jean Dupas, Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?, 1930. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Auction date: Thursday, October 15, at 1:00 pm
Specialist: Nicholas D. Lowry • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 53

Communications Director: Alexandra Nelson • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 19
Public Relations Associate: Kelsie Jankowski • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 23

Social media: @swanngalleries 

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Swann Auction Galleries is a third-generation family business as well as the world’s largest auction house for works on paper. In the last 75 years, Swann has repeatedly revolutionized the trade with such innovations as the first U.S. auction dedicated to photographs and the world’s only department of African-American Fine Art. More than 30 auctions and previews are held annually in Swann Galleries’ two-floor exhibition space in Midtown Manhattan, and online worldwide. Visit for more information.

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