Seven Artists Records for Travel Posters at Swann
Auction Discoveries: Frank Lemen and Anthony Hansen
RARE & IMPORTANT TRAVEL POSTERS
Sale 2547; October 15, 2020
Sale total: $634,341
Estimates for sale as a whole: $477,320–$718,130
We offered 368 lots; 295 sold (82% sell-through rate by lot)
All prices include Buyer’s Premium.
New York—”With over an over 80% sell through rate, and with 16 of the top 17 lots selling to collectors, Swann Galleries’s Thursday, October 15, Rare & Important Travel Poster auction definitively showed that the market, and specifically private collectors, has remained robust and competitive,” noted Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann president and specialist for the annual sale.
The auction delivered seven artists records, including the top lots of the sale. John Held, Jr.’s 1925 bird’s-eye view of Nantucket, which earned $21,250 over a $6,000 to $9,000 estimate; and Paul George Lawler’sad for travel to Hawaii via San Francisco created for Pan Am airlines, which also brought $21,250. The midcentury modern design New York / Fly TWA, 1956, earnedDavid Klein a new artist record at $12,500. Rare posters by Michael Rudolf Wening and Seaverns W. Hilton brought attention from collectors. Wening’s Siam / Beautiful Bangkok / The Jewel City of Asia, circa 1920s, earned a record at $9,375, and Hilton’s Lewis and Clark / Northern Pacific, 1920, at $6,250. Additional records were earned by Charles W. Holmes and Miles W. Sater.
The auction resulted in two discoveries with Frank Lemen’s previously unattributed circa-1952 design for Bermuda, which sold for $1,000, and the unsigned The Palisades of the Hudson / New York Central Lines, circa 1930s, which earned $5,750 and was attributed to Anthony Hansen after research found the image in the New York Central Line’s 1931 calendar with Hansen’s name attached.
Additional highlights included winter scenes by Emil Cardinaux: Zermatt / Matterhorn Schweiz, 1908, which realized $11,875, and Winter in der Schweiz, 1921, which brought $11,875. Powerful train images featured Leslie Ragan’s The New 20th Century Limited, 1939, at $16,250, and Pierre Fix-Masseau’s Exactitude, 1932, at $10,625.
“Some speculate that the inability for people to travel given the pandemic has raised the profile of Travel Posters in particular, but I believe that material of exceptional quality and rarity will always be eagerly competed for. And with over 13 world record prices achieved, it appears that the market bears that theory out,” concluded Lowry.
The house is currently accepting quality consignments for the spring 2021 season. For the house’s most up-to-date auction schedule please visit swanngalleries.com.
Additional Artist Records: Lots 121 and 137
Additional Poster Records: Lots 54, 58, 64 and 151
Key: † = Artist Record; * = Record for Poster; C = Collector; D = Dealer; I = Institution
Additional highlights can be found here.
Lot 153: Paul George Lawler, San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight / Via Pan Am.- To the Orient, 1939. Sold for $21,250, a record for the artist.
Lot 113: David Klein, New York / Fly TWA, 1956. Sold for $12,500, a record for the artist.
Lot 104: Anthony Hansen, The Palisades of the Hudson / New York Central Lines, circa 1930s. Sold for $5,750, a record for the poster.
Specialist: Nicholas D. Lowry • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 53
Chief Marketing Officer: 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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ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE, ADDL. IMAGES & COMPLETE PRICES REALIZED ON REQUEST
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 swanngalleries.com for more information.