America the Beautiful takes the spotlight in Travel Posters sale at Swann
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America the Beautiful takes the spotlight in Travel Posters sale at Swann
Paul George Lawler, San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight / Via Pan Am, 1939. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- 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).

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.

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