Very often when folks walk into the gallery, they ask us which are our favorite posters. Our inventory turns over pretty regularly (thankfully!),and some of our favorites have found new homes (also thankfully!), but of the posters we currently have in stock, I’ve picked my top 10. (I think I’ll ask Kristina to pick her top 10 for
the next blog post…)
1. I LOVE this guy! He’s huge (55 x 78 inches), and in his larger-than-lifeness, he’s fabulous. Can’t you imagine him in a bachelor pad, or a restaurant, or a dining room? He’s Italian, Art Deco, handsome in the way that some Italians are, and I think he’s the cat’s meow. (Prrrrr….)
2. Another huge poster, but this one couldn’t be more different than Tonic. It’s for a student’s ball (a kind of prom, I suppose), which must have been a costume party. I love the Pierrot, the colors (the orange is great!), but my absolute favorite part of this poster is the pigs on leashes. I mean what party is complete without a pig on a leash?
3. Good things (sometimes) come in small packages. And actually, this small maquette was for packaging… of Cinzanino, evidently a smaller version of Italy’s famous Cinzano. Produced in the studio of Achilles Mauzan, this lovely little maquette was a kind of ‘idea board’ – an initial drawing from which posters and packaging would be designed. Delicious and delightful and RARE RARE RARE!!
(I love the way the artist kind of forgot about the last ‘O’ and had to pencil it in…Classic!
4. Last year at the Parma Antiques Fair (which is my excuse for a trip to Italy every March), I bought a handful of these wonderful vintage confectionary labels. They are beautifully matted, not very expensive, and I think they would look great alone or in a group in a kitchen, child’s room, or in any room that could use a bit of vintage flair.
5. The Maitres de L’Affiche series was produced by the renowned Parisian printer Chaix at the tail end of the 1890s. Essentially, every month subscribers would receive smaller versions of some of the most popular posters in the world – including this little darlin’. We liked her so much we used her as the face of our business card!
6. I know I am one of the last smokers left on the planet, and I’m OK with that. Try as I may to quit, and I have (many times!), it seems to be one of my major character flaws. (My son would be able to recount my many other major and minor flaws for you any time. Just ask him.) Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that this poster speaks to me. Done by a well known British artist named Frank Brangwyn during the First World War, it asks the British public to save their tobacco so that it can be sent to soldiers and sailors at the front. The detail in the poster is exquisite, and although it is only in black and white, I don’t think that the addition of color could give this poster more strength or effect.
7. I have always loved typography, and when I found a French Art Deco typography style book at one of my favorite Italian bookstores, I grabbed it. We’ve been selling the sheets one by one for the past few months, and tat this point here are only a few left. Grab ‘em while you can!
8. We have a slew of planches from the Gazette du Bon Ton, the style journal for Art Deco Parisiennes. I think I like this one best – because it has horses in it (and we all know how much I love horses!), as well as for the rakishness of the gentleman in the red coat. It’s not many man who can carry off that kind of look, and he does it with a certain suave insouciance that is unarguable…
9. I imagine it’s not very good business for a poster dealer to admit to playing favorites, but we love this wonderful poster, which was amongst my first purchases when I opened the gallery. This is the second time we are graced by this lovely lady’s presence: the first one sold and we were lucky enough to get our hands on another print. She’s lovely and perky and happy all the time (if only life were that simple for all of us!) Just think – when she wins the lottery she’s going to buy a house, a car, a cow and some chickens! This poster is pure delight – not only the delight on the face of the lottery ticket buyer, but in the choice of colors, the layout, the subject … the message is clear: anything is possible! Vincent was for many years an illustrator for humor and fashion magazines, and didn’t begin creating posters until his forties.
Once he did however, he was most prolific. Along with his many automobile posters, especially notable are his posters for the Bon Marche department store that he designed between 1925 and 1932. All combine humor and elegance and not uncommonly, feature a svelte, fashionable woman in the sleek new styles of the day.
10. During the First and Second World Wars, every country had a version of this poster – for the Americans the tag line as always ‘loose lips sink ships’ – but this is one of the most graphic interpretations I have seen. Love the ear!
Please note that as I write this, these posters are available at the gallery or online. I can never tell how long a particular poster will grace our walls before it moves on to a new home, so if one (or more!) of them appeals to you… let us know!