Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Antique posters

The fascination with speed and technologyextended to poster design as to other media in the period. The most common subjects were ships, cars and trains: indeed , a thematic approach to collecting is a valid alternative to concentrating on the work of particular artists.

Alfred Leete poster for London Transport
The curvilinear extravagances evident in Art Nouveau poster design had vanished entirely by 1920. In their place came the use of cubistic and geometric symbols. The French artist Adolphe-Jean-Marie Mouron (better known as Cassandre) was the leading exponent. Another Frenchman, Charles Gesmar (1900-28), made posters for the Folies-Bergere and the music hall singer Mistinguett - the subject of many posters of the period.

Charles Gesmar poster for Moulen Rouge
The poster was often used to promote travel and tourism. A series for LondonTransport was produced by Edward McKnight-Kauffer, Rex Whistler and A.E. Marty, as well as the famous French painter and muralist Jean Dupas, whose distinctive females had accentuated high foreheads and soft, slightly elongated faces.

Rex Whistler poster for London Museum
Ernst Dryden was the leading Austrian posterist. Originally signing his work "Deutsch", he bagan to call himself Dryden shortly after the First World War.he designed posters for such diverse products as Blaupunkt cigarettes, Bugatti racing cars, Cinzano and I.G. Farben, a paint manufacturer. He later became art director for the magazine Die Dame and was responsible for most of their front covers.

Ernst Dryden poster
Posters of the period were not intended to last, and were therefore printed on very thin paper. While a certain degree of damage is almost unavoidable, the central image should be as unspoilt as possible, with the colours clear and strong. Small tears are acceptable around the edges, and some fading and folds (again, depending on position) may not be too detrimental to value. A poster more severely damaged, or very yellow with age, is probably not worth buying, unless it is a rarity.

Adolphe-Jean-Marie Mouron (Cassandre) poster

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