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POSTER OF THE MONTH - January 2019

original vintage Boccasile graphic Crociere Estate 1935
Gino Boccasile
11" x 8 1/4"
B+,P
An object lesson on the truth that not all great graphic art comes in standard poster format, our heart-of-winter summer dream, by the amazing, Gino Boccasile, stops you in your tracks, if you have a heart for graphic design!
Like a great cinematographer, with an eye to Surrealism, our visual guide positions the traveler somewhere strange. Her disposition, therefore, of worshiping the sun, becomes as much a question of which sun, than catching some rays. I love how this lowly and towering travel brochure deploys the fold-up structure to show two species of seagulls--one we well know, and another kind you won't see on planet Earth.
This being a thirties transaction in the Mediterranean, the seduction of African and Middle-Eastern places, like Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Algeria, includes trolling for what might soon be Italy's. Therefore, the siren call vignette carries an extra pop.
We can't leave this haunt of exotic seduction, without marvelling at, over and above the supernal composition and modelling, the color display. You can't surpass something like this.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - February 2019

vintage French sports poster Favor 1936
L.Matthey
61 1/2" x 46"
A-,L
The world of sports is far deeper than we often think. When, for instance, the vintage poster for Favor cycles--our Poster of the Month--flashes the tag-line, "going to the end," it includes a sense of "end" more nuanced than any rocket scientist.
The three versions of bikes have been distributed in a schematic way, to draw attention to the remarkable nature of the action. The schema of the road is an arrow which actually comprises a lightning bolt, a dynamic highlight touching nature itself. The pragmatic bull's eye covers the common aspect of driving; the golden field of the motion and the surround speaks to something far beyond the pragmatic. A color schema also deals with an open road to mystery. The slowest vehicle, bearing down upon an everyday target, still finds itself obliged to accommodate the golden treasure which this apparently machine-saturated convoy thrives on. The light power-bike signals its affinities to extremity by the blue darkness of its surface. The red-hot, full-scale force, taking precedence over the others, implies wild joy; and also wild danger! Rounding out this play of primordial symbolism, the firm's name, "Favor," implies being much in favor, This would be more a hope than a sure thing.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - March 2019

vintage French travel poster Air France New York-Mexico Direct 1952
S. Prout
39 ¼” x 24 ½”
A-, P
Usually, a travel destination, featured in a vintage poster, confines itself to one territory. The instance, comprising our Poster of the the Month, however, chooses to reveal direct flights, by Air France, concerning two venues vastly disparate. Our image here is all about the ancient monuments of Mexico. As we proceed to appreciate the very attractive optics here, we'll try to make some sense of the New York aspect.
Our modernist disclosure of sun-baked mysteries begins to intrigue us, for its eschewing the usual once-over-lightly transaction of rather spoiled and bored sight-seers. Here the artist has included a factor of near art deco detail to cater to a clientele actually intent on learning something. The guide, entering from left to right, doubles as a security agent ensuring that the wild possibilities are under control. Then, it's off to the pyramidal tomb and the cliff-face sculptures. These marvels of the past are juxtaposed by the lovely plane making it all happen.
As to New York, perhaps the point was a modern kingdom contrasting to what remains in the Mexican desert.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - April 2019

vintage french food and beverage poster Vins de France 1937
A. Galland
63" x 46 1/4"
A-, L
What could be more simple than this dazzling lithographic promotion for the wines of France? A classic, Gallic farm-girl comes to light with one arm holding samples of the grape harvest of the year, and the other lifting a carafe of the newest vintage.
But the complication comes in, with that mantra, "Health, Joy, Hope." The date is 1937 and, with the world-wide economic Depression and the Nazis stalking, joy is a tall order. And yet, there is the gift of fine, French wine looming so tall in the design---in fact, the fruit looking like a fortress, behind which to cherish something magical.
Vintage poster art hitting a bull's-eye, to calm a troubled land.




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POSTER OF THE MONTH - May 2019

vintage Canadian travel poster Cross Scenic Canada via
Canadian National Railways c.1930
Outlaw
40" x 25"
B+, L
For the most part, vintage travel posters tend to hit us with as much pizzazz as possible--either in coloration or elegance of composition. (Where a transportation item were to be in play, you'd expect impressive vehicles!) But our Poster of the Month dares to be different; and we're all the better for it!
Whereas the Canadian Rockies excel in crystalline vivacity, this rendition of its beauties draws us to a rather mystical dimension, almost akin to the Nabis persuasion of French Art nouveau. Primeval mountains become cloud-like, and the ground fades, as if not wanting to be pushy. As with Paul Gauguin (a close associate of Art Nouveau vintage posterist icon, Alphonse Mucha), primitive culture and a range of exotica has captivated the artist linking him as a rare maverick in this field.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - June 2019

vintage Spanish poster Uralita c1929
J. Mir Virgili
39" x 27"
A, L
There's a big and beautiful world out there, to appreciate and to, perhaps, acquire imagery pertaining to that thrill, in order to bring it forward at will. Whereas the peoples' choice would be overtly upbeat phenomena, there are those who prefer not so much easy beauty but beauty of austere forms, colors and textures tending to abstract interest, which is to say, depths of excitement for those who would touch infrastructures of the world.
Our Poster of the Month, first of all, promotes that pipe and tile which seldom become a focus; and yet stand as indispensable. But the action of the graphic art here is the surprise in store of its magnetism of elements. This work is redolent of great twentieth century Spanish painters, like Picasso, Miro and Gris, very adept with earthy surprises.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - July 2019

original vintage French fashion poster Fourrures 1922
Georges Leonnec
31 1/4" x 23 1/2"
A-,L
Having just come through a jag of honoring remarkable restraint while accomplishing much, we're in a mood to engage our new Poster of the Month, with deep feeling. Many's the time when we've cited art deco chic and skill; but here, with a work of that of that rather underground, emotive genius, Georges Leonnec (perhaps a distant relative of Kawhi Leonard), we can give high-fives which we might never have mustered.
Not for our protagonist, here, is an entrance of waking the dead with shock and awe. Her silent and solitary presence, within the Palais de la Nouveaute--a gigantic precinct of amazements which is ripe to host legendary endeavor--would proceed so incisively that those attending to refreshments might miss it altogether.
Take a look at that isolating, defence-minded coat and a mysterious vehicle, perhaps driverless, playing with lighting up the night with three-point incandescence! The super-cool blacks, browns, pinks, grays, whites and midnight blue colors become the bane of tank-towns all around the continent. That's not a coat, that's a franchise!


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - August 2019

original vintage French entertainment poster Bataille de Fleurs c. 1905
De Losques
14 3/4" x 20 1/2"
A-,P
Long before anyone imagined driverless cars, there was a strong appetite for dizzy cars. This latter phenomenon, most famously seen in Nice, stemmed from the last chance for feasting before the ascetic days of Lent. The carnival about that pleasure, as evoked here along the city's Promenade des Anglais, became a display of the profusion and beauties of the region's plants, basking in a remarkably mild climate (the event, after all, taking place in February). Historically the Nice Carnival is one of the world's major carnival events (beginning 1294) and since 1873 was reinvented as a parade.
As with the upstart Rose Bowl Parade, in Pasadena (another Mediterranean redoubt), there were floral floats of remarkable invention. But the idea of staging flower battles was a specialty of feisty Provence. Our vintage poster today depicts the event as a breath of fresh air (the stodgy coachman not being amused), a dash of modernity, with famous entertainers of the era right on tap for the opportunity.
Adding to the quirkiness of this vehicle, the caption speaks of another hanger-on, namely, Monte Carlo, reckless and bemusing!

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - September 2019

vintage British poster Yarmouth 1928
Austin Cooper
39 5/8" x 25"
B+, L
Our Vintage Poster of the Month for September presents a wealth of nuances.
But just as September ushers in some complication after a summer of ease, we are drawn to the format of, "The Booklovers' Britain," which--very rare for vintage poster art--involves much of the delivery carrying a topspin of a rather sobering novel, namely, Charles Dickens', "David Copperfield." Therefore, the visual idyll and the literary hard knocks (the girl ditching the boy) level a challenge of what is in store for the customer. The platform embracing the vignette suggests a reader's educated vision imagining that stage of a complex narrative. That would constitute a double blossom of artistry. Far more than a field of coppers, a place for connoisseurs!




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POSTER OF THE MONTH - October 2019

vintage Italian poster Inchiostri G. Diletti c.1910
Anonymous
26"x16"
A-,P
This glowing vintage poster, in the Italian Liberty-style (akin to the more famous French Art Nouveau-style), from the era of the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, is a thing of beauty, to be sure. But it is also a hidden treasure-trove of ironies and whimsies to dedicate some reflection.
At its most accessible dimension, we have a young patrician woman about to write a letter. The glamor of the design draws us to the subject of a lover, living in another locale; though perhaps (less romantically) corresponding from the same town. She is captured here while collecting her thoughts to do justice to the connection. The ink being promoted does not get into action, but a mint-full of medals at the work's base attests to the indispensability of such communication.
Moreover, there is, I think, something timeless about the ceremony of writing which translates across many forms of production. The framing arabesques bring us right home to the urgency of organic viability. Truth of the heart by means of vintage poster genius. The verdant backdrop, sustaining the grey modesty becomes emphatic by the mauve dress and black tresses

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - November 2019

vintage British travel poster Golden Arrow c. 1950
Alan Durman
40” x 25”
A-,P
We know of lots of people who travel to places, like New York and Paris, primarily to shop for clothes. We have traveled extensively to shop for vintage posters and graphics.
There was in the post-War era a British train service (remarkably luxurious) called the Golden Arrow, which linked London with Dover and, after the hop across the Channel, carried the lucky shoppers to Paris in a French facsimile, called, Fleche d'Or. Our smashing graphic statement here is masterfully redolent of that premium upon the very best. The color scheme is as neat and rich as those pink bow ties. The pretty shopper, on the way home with beautifully packaged treasures, is a bit becalmed after a hectic day or two but suffused with the magic of riding the wave of modern invention.The power and grace implied by the imagery also seems to promise leaving behind a muddy past for the sake of a future in the pink. Notice, the figure's rather Victorian travel garb. (She left from Victoria Station.) How does it all add up? That we're drawn to that question, demonstrates an especially haunting piece of graphic art!

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - December 2019

vintage travel poster Winter Bewitches c.1950
Rod Ruth
38 1/4" x 28"
A,L
What better way to promote the speed and grace of Greyhound Bus service, than to bring to the fore a lovely figure skater gliding amidst an inclement but picturesque winter snowfall. The deftness of the trail she etches on the ice serves as a reminder of the skill and sound human qualities that go into a trip on a Greyhound.
Over and above its promotional subtleties and strengths, this litho somehow captures its 1950s era of down-to-earth, modest pleasures. (There is nothing here of the x-rated figure skating motifs of our time.) And it conjures a time when winter was a bewitching wonderland to be appreciated in intimate, solitary ways.

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