When I was a child I received a large poster tube as a gift, and inside was an A3-sized colouring poster complete with colouring pens. The image was of a vintage Absinthe advertisement – I can’t remember who gifted me this colouring set (and certainly the choice of topic seems a strange choice to give a child!) but in my youthful innocence I thought it was one of the prettiest colouring pages I had ever seen. From that day, it ignited a great interest in art, design and vintage posters.
Whether combing the displays at flea markets, or trawling online for a bargain purchase I am enthralled by the simplicity and appeal of vintage posters, especially travel posters. Of course, many are reproduced as postcards in this modern day, but original vintage posters are sought-after and very collectable.
Some of my favourite vintage travel posters are by French illustrator, Roger Broders. Many of his posters were commissioned by the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranée rail company (PLM) to promote tourism, and highlight the attractions of popular ski and seaside resorts of the 1920’s and 1930’s including Chamonix and the Côte d’Azur towns.
Here are some examples of travel posters for the Côte d’Azur:
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Grasse, c. 1930
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Le Soleil Toute L’annee
A.M Cassandre (1901-1968), La Route Bleue, 1929 (image copyright moma.org)
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Juan les Pins, c. 1929 – a version of his Antibes poster that was commissioned for a casino in Juan les Pins. Note: The change in text and colour and the initials PLM from the top right corner that are not on this poster.
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Vence, c. 1930
Adolphe Cossard (1880-1952), Nice Coni, c. 1929
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Villefranche-sur-Mer, c. 1930
One of my favourite posters is this beautiful design by David Dellepiane (1866-1932), Antibes Côte d’Azur, c. 1910. I think the point of view is from the Garoupe Sanctuary on the Cap d’Antibes.
Christie’s Auctions has recently announced a new annual summer sale of vintage travel posters celebrating the golden age of tourism, The Art of Travel.
With the arrival of the railway in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, artists, writers, and aristocrats flocked to the Côte d’Azur to experience the unique landscape, light, and luxury of the region. The beautiful Art Deco style posters that were commissioned by the railway companies remind us of the timeless appeal of this glamorous and enticing region.
A selection of the works on offer will be on view at a special public exhibition in the lobby of the JW Marriott hotel in Cannes throughout the Cannes Film Festival from 14 May – 25 May 2014 and the auction will take place at Christie’s South Kensington on 18 June 2014.
Whilst my own piggy-bank won’t extend to bidding on one of these travel posters, I will be attending this small public exhibition as it presents a rare opportunity to see original vintage posters that promoted travelling in style during the golden age of tourism. Highlights will include spectacular posters by A.M. Cassandre and of course, Roger Broders.
Public Exhibition: JW Marriott hotel lobby, 50 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes from Wednesday, 14 May 2014 – Sunday 25 May 2014. Open to the public 10am – 6pm
Auction: Christie’s South Kensington, The Art of Travel, Wednesday 18 June 2014 at 1pm. Catalogue http://www.christies.com
The Art of Travel public exhibition and auction will showcase original posters such as:
Roger Broders (1883-1953), The French Riviera for Perpetual Sunshine, c. 1930 (estimate: £4000-£6000)
Roger Broders (1883-1953), Antibes, c. 1928 (estimate: £6000-£8000)
Robert Falcucci (1900-1989), Monaco, c. 1932 (estimate: £15000-20000)
Full catalogue available via www.christies.com