If you’re a die-hard poster fan, one of these should already have found its way to your coffee table/nightstand/reading area of choice:
If not, have no fear, you can either purchase a copy for yourself, or just trust me to show you some of the greatest items in this Sunday’s sale:
Now, since I’ll be doing our bargain-basement post tomorrow (i.e. my top picks under $1000), today’s journey into poster wonderland consists of my no-holds-barred, best of da best poster dreams. Because, as my hairstylist who really, really, really got into The Secret last year always tells me, if you can visualize it and think positive thoughts, you will receive it. If only my bank account worked that way.
“Der Vampyr” by Theo Ortner, 1920. Est: $2,000-2,500
This poster has basically everything I want in a work of art: boobs, monsters, redheads, and a German pedigree. For those who need slightly more justification before purchasing something, let me inform you that this is one of the earliest posters advertising a vampire-themed film, beating the similarly-titled Vampyr movie of 1932 by twelve years. If you haven’t noticed, horror is always a hot commodity, and I think this poster is tremendously under-priced for what it is in cinematic history.
“La Famille Birmanie” by Anonymous, ca. 1890. Est: $3,000-4,000
If I had the wall space, this unbelievably rare slice of awesome would adorn it from now until the end of time (or at least until my lease runs out). Advertised here as performing at the Folies-Bergere, the Hairy Family of Birma attained fame as the official court performers for the royal family of their native country. Appearing in four generations of relatives, their hypertrichosis caused the males to grow hair all over their bodies, not unlike Robert Downey Jr in that weird movie about Diane Arbus.
“Miss Dore” by Anonymous, ca. 1895. Est: $2,000-2,500
We’ve all heard of Loie Fuller, the incredibly popular and famous dancer who appears in dozens upon dozens of posters during the Belle Epoque period. Her fame obviously resulted in many imitators, but perhaps none is more amazing that Miss Dore.
You see, Miss Dore is a dog dressed as Loie Fuller. And the best part of this poster is the disclaimer at the bottom with tells you not to be fooled by other Loie Fuller dogs which merely dress as the star, as Miss Dore also dances. Why can’t we get street performers like this anymore?!
“Emmy Magliani” by Jean-Gabriel Domergue, 1923. Est: $4,000-5,000
Unlike my other choices thus far, this poster doesn’t qualify as straight up bizarre. Instead, it’s just damn beautiful. You can always count on Domergue for adding a few too many vertebrae to his women, not unlike Jean-Auguste Ingres did in his infamous Odalisque painting. But, while Ingres is sensuous through revealing flesh, Domergue brings sensuality to the piece through a barely-perceptable touch – she is whisper-light, almost otherworldly, in her beauty.
“A La Scala” by Albert Guillaume, 1908. Est: $4,000-5,000
You know that scene in My Fair Lady where everyone arrives to Ascot? And how their fashions are way more interesting than the race? That’s this poster.
“Chiozza e Turchi” by Adolfo Hohenstein, 1899. Est: $2,000-2,500
You know, if this is what happened every time I bought soap, my life would be a far happier one. Seriously, this is an ad for soap. Just soap. Like the Irish Spring of 1908. You’d think it was advertising the $100 soap Hannibal Lecter bought Clarice Starling from Santa Maria Novella, but oh no, this is just your supermarket soap.
Leave it to the Italians to make soap look like liquid money.
“Marco Polo Tee” by Ludwig Hohlwein, c.a 1914. Est: $8,000-10,000
1. Do I want cowboy butlers to deliver me tea? Yes.
2. Do I want the world to know every time they come into my kitchen that I want cowboy butlers to delivery my tea? Yes.
3. If I answered yes to the above questions then I need to own this poster.
“Josephine Baker” by Richard Ely, ca. 1975. Est: $1,500-2,000
I may be too poor to own an original Warhol, but I’m not too poor to won this haunting silkscreen of Josephine Baker.
“Grieder” by Charles Loupot, 1919. Est: $10,000-12,000
I have done a lot of posts over the past few years on the perfection that is Loupot’s take on women’s fashion. This poster is no exception. Twirling her little parasol with her bee-stung pout like a Swiss Clara Bow, even the sun in tempted to sneak a peek of this seaside beauty. Although, I guess if I was styling the outfit today, I might get rid of that weird bonnet-baseball cap hybrid. Otherwise, sartorial bliss.