Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2015 Issue

Swann Galleries' Three Sales for February

With three auctions in February featuring works on paper, Swann Galleries is providing collectors and dealers three good reasons to be active at auction this month. Featuring books, vintage posters, and photographs in three distinct sales, Swann is covering a lot of bases. Beginning on February 3rd, 2015, a Shelf Sale of 151 modestly estimated lots of boxes and shelves of books kicks off the trio of auctions. February 12th sees a 441 lot sale of Vintage Posters, and a week later on February 19th, Fine Photographs concludes the month for Swann with 173 Fine Photographs. Let’s take a brief look at all three offerings. 

Shelf Sale is a wholesale shelf-clearing sale offering large lots of various subjects. The lots themselves don’t have descriptions other than the subject and a general approximation of volume, so here are the topics included for sale:

  • Art
  • Architecture & Illustrated Books
  • Americana
  • Books on Books
  • Children’s Books
  • Color Plate Books
  • Decorative Graphics
  • Literature
  • Maps
  • Photobooks
  • Poster Reference & Travel

The next sale, Vintage Posters, includes selections of Art Nouveau, and a large group of ski posters, as well as Hebraica and Judaica. Leopoldo Metlicovitz, considered one of the fathers of modern Italian poster art, created two of the most expensive items of the sale—lots 257 and 258. Lot 257 is a rare poster from 1910 for the Mele department store in Naples, Italy, with only a single record of it appearing at auction and is estimated $20,000-30,000. The sale’s most highly estimated lot is number 258, a stunning Metlicovitz poster for Milan’s 1907 automobile and cycle show. It has appeared at auction four times since 1987 and is estimated $25,000-35,000. Another major attraction for Vintage Posters are a selection of posters by Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Of the numerous Mucha offerings, lot 282, an 1898 set of four Flowers panels stands out, and with an estimate to boot ($20,000-30,000).

Swann Galleries’ last sale of November, Fine Photographs, offers a wide range of 20th century photographs with highlights including works by Ansel Adams, Lewis W. Hine, Edward J. Kelty, and Helmut Newton. Words do not do these lots justice; they must be seen to be appreciated. A small selection is included in this article’s slideshow, but the catalogue on Swann’s website is absolutely worth a look.

Please use these links to find catalogues of interest where one can also register for bidding:

Shelf Sale

Vintage Posters

Fine Photographs

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.

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