Vintage posters auctioned at Christie’s

Auction house Christie’s is selling off a treasure trove of more than 100 vintage posters, from 1894 to 1988, from the private stash of Dutch collector Martijn Le Coultre.

Le Coultre has spent more than 40 years putting together the collection, which charts the development of Bauhaus, De Stijl and Constructivism.

One of the rarest and most valuable posters on sale, according to Christie’s, is Joost Schmidt’s work for the Staatliches Bauhaus exhibition in 1923, which is expected to fetch up to £20 000.

Staatliches Bauhaus by Joost Schmidt
Staatliches Bauhaus, by Joost Schmidt

Le Coultre says he spent 25 years tracking the work. With inflation at an all-time high in Germany in the 1920s, good-quality paper was hard to source, which means few posters from this period have survived.

Jean Carlu’s Theátre Pigalle poster from 1929 (£30 000-£40 000) is billed as one of the more abstract posters in the collection. Carlu conceptualises the venue’s engineering by emphasising the lighting and mechanics.

Theátre Pigalle, by Jean Carlu
Theátre Pigalle, by Jean Carlu

A 1920s poster for Buster Keaton film The General, created by the Stenberg Brothers, is available for £30 000-£50 000.

The General, by the Stenberg Brothers
The General, by the Stenberg Brothers

Also in the collection are works by René Magritte and Lucian Bernard, and a Dutch poster from the 1890s advertising salad oil – one of the oldest in the collection.

Prices for individual posters are estimated at between £1000 and £200 000 and highlights from the sale will be in show until 30 August at Christie’s gallery at King Street, London SW1.

The Graphic Masterworks: A Century of Design sale is at Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7, on 2 October.

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