Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Christie's returns to the car auction biz

This is going to run at work on Friday (the link will not be active until then), but that's a long time to wait for a blog post, especially one it took me all freaking day to assemble. As no one reads this, I can post it here and at least have the satisfaction of seeing it myself.

HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL 1900-1972)   M.C.F.   lithograph in colours, printed by Max Courteau, Paris, condition A-; not backed  16 x 12in. (40 x 30cm.)HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL 1900-1972) M.C.F. (Motor Club de France--ed) lithograph in colours, printed by Max Courteau, Paris, condition A-; not backed 16 x 12in. (40 x 30cm.)


At their May 20 South Kensington sale next week, Christie's is featuring period posters, with dozens of iconic racing and advertising images. These are not from the age of Jimmy's Photoshopped Corvette Posters--these are serious works of art, some closing in on a century old and priced as such.


BELIGOND, MICHEL (1927-1973)   24H DU MANS, 1959   lithograph in colours, 1959, printed by Thivillier, condition A-; backed on linen  22 x 16in. (56 x 40cm.) BELIGOND, MICHEL (1927-1973) 24H DU MANS, 1959 lithograph in colours, 1959, printed by Thivillier, condition A-; backed on linen 22 x 16in. (56 x 40cm.)


Christie's sale is not as comprehensive as l'art et l'automobile's, but it is highly selective, and the images on these posters are more than timeless--they're part of the fabric of car culture. And also, they look incredibly cool. Too bad they'll never hang in any garage of mine. Click through for a gallery of some of the standouts.


FIX-MASSEAU, PIERRE (1905-1994)   2 HUILES RENAULT   lithograph in colours, 1934, printed by Speciale S.H.R., condition B; backed on linen; framed  47½ x 31in. (120 x 79cm.) FIX-MASSEAU, PIERRE (1905-1994) 2 HUILES RENAULT lithograph in colours, 1934, printed by Speciale S.H.R., condition B; backed on linen; framed 47½ x 31in. (120 x 79cm.)


There are only a handful of car ads, and they're all spectacular. But I really have no idea what this one means. Doesn't "huile" mean "oil?"


FALCUCCI, ROBERT (1900-1989)   MONACO 1930   lithograph in colours, 1930, printed by Monégasque, Monte Carlo, condition A; backed on linen  47 x 31in. (120 x 80cm.) FALCUCCI, ROBERT (1900-1989) MONACO 1930 lithograph in colours, 1930, printed by Monégasque, Monte Carlo, condition A; backed on linen 47 x 31in. (120 x 80cm.)


I don't know how rare this is, the second year of the Monaco Grand Prix (which René Dreyfus won in his Bugatti), but given the £6,000-£8,000 ($9,108-$12,144) estimate, I'd say "wicked rare."


LEYGNAC, G.   24 HEURES DU MANS, 1963   offset lithograph in colours, 1963, printed by Thivillier, condition A; backed on linen  23 x 15½in. (58 x 39cm.) LEYGNAC, G. 24 HEURES DU MANS, 1963 offset lithograph in colours, 1963, printed by Thivillier, condition A; backed on linen 23 x 15½in. (58 x 39cm.)


If it's a Ferrari 330TR/LM, then that's probably supposed to be Phil Hill or Olivier Gendebien. If you didn't have the €6,875,000 for the car when it sold in 1997, maybe the estimated £600-£800 ($911-$1,214) seems a little better.


ANONYMOUS   1000KM DI MONZA, 1970   offset lithograph in colours, 1970, condition A-; not backed   18 x 13½in. (46 x 34cm.) ANONYMOUS 1000KM DI MONZA, 1970 offset lithograph in colours, 1970, condition A-; not backed 18 x 13½in. (46 x 34cm.)


J.R.R.   CLERMONT FERRAND 26   lithograph in colours, 1959, printed by Mont-Louis, condition B+; backed on linen  46½ x 31in. (118 x 79cm.) J.R.R. CLERMONT FERRAND 26 lithograph in colours, 1959, printed by Mont-Louis, condition B+; backed on linen 46½ x 31in. (118 x 79cm.)


I'd guess any F2 poster, even a big, bright Mod one like this, is not a hot ticket.


HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL 1900-1972)   COUPES DE PARIS 1953   lithograph in colours, 1953, printed by Morax, Paris, condition A-; not backed  23½ x 16in. (60 x 40cm.) HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL 1900-1972) COUPES DE PARIS 1953 lithograph in colours, 1953, printed by Morax, Paris, condition A-; not backed 23½ x 16in. (60 x 40cm.)


Georges Hamel was a big name in automobile art for about 50 years. His style evolved with the times, but was always distinctively his own. He was also involved in a very complicated way with Figoni et Falaschi, resulting in the their famous "Geo Ham" bodies, and he raced cars himself.


HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL, D'apres, 1900-1972)   COUPES DE PARIS 1962   lithograph in colours, 1962, condition A; backed on linen   31½ x 22in. (80 x 56m.) HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL, D'apres, 1900-1972) COUPES DE PARIS 1962 lithograph in colours, 1962, condition A; backed on linen 31½ x 22in. (80 x 56m.)


You can see how his forms are both simpler and stronger, but the line and gesture are essentially unchanged. He was a fully mature artist by 1962.


PÉROT, ROGER (1908-1976)   DELAHAYE   lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by A.B.C., Paris, condition B; backed on linen  63 x 47in. (160 x 119cm.) PÉROT, ROGER (1908-1976) DELAHAYE lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by A.B.C., Paris, condition B; backed on linen 63 x 47in. (160 x 119cm.)


Completely striking, a perfect Art Deco compliment for a completely Art Deco car.


ANONYMOUS   DUNLOP, 24 HEURES DU MANS   lithograph in colours, 1956, condition A; not backed 16 x 31½in. (40 x 80cm.) ANONYMOUS DUNLOP, 24 HEURES DU MANS lithograph in colours, 1956, condition A; not backed 16 x 31½in. (40 x 80cm.)


Of course it would be the all-conquering D-type for LeMans. A nice little desktop for widescreen monitors.


GACHONS, JEAN DE   GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, 1949   lithograph in colours, 1949, printed by Matot-Braine, Reims, condition B+; backed on linen  31 x 47in. (79 x 120cm.) HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL 1900-1972) GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, PARIS-PRESSE 1949 offset lithograph in colours, 1949, condition A-; not backed 19 x 12½in. (49 x 32cm.)


A lovely little drawing in what looks like Conté crayon. Postwar paint rationing, perhaps? Or maybe just an austere illustration for an austere time.


GACHONS, JEAN DE   GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, 1949   lithograph in colours, 1949, printed by Matot-Braine, Reims, condition B+; backed on linen  31 x 47in. (79 x 120cm.) GACHONS, JEAN DE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, 1949 lithograph in colours, 1949, printed by Matot-Braine, Reims, condition B+; backed on linen 31 x 47in. (79 x 120cm.)


Gachon's illustration for the poster is a little gaudier than Hamel's, which was probably for the program.


NOËL, ALPHONSE (1888-1933)   GRANDS PRIX A.C.F., 1927   lithograph in colours, 1927, printed by H.Bouquet, Paris, condition A; backed on linen  24 x 14½in. (62 x 37cm.) NOËL, ALPHONSE (1888-1933) GRANDS PRIX A.C.F., 1927 lithograph in colours, 1927, printed by H.Bouquet, Paris, condition A; backed on linen 24 x 14½in. (62 x 37cm.)


O'GALOP (MARIUS ROSSILLON, 1867-1946)   MICHELIN   lithograph in colours, c.1910, printed by Chaix, Paris, condition B+; backed on linen  31 x 23in. (78 x 59cm.) O'GALOP (MARIUS ROSSILLON, 1867-1946) MICHELIN lithograph in colours, c.1910, printed by Chaix, Paris, condition B+; backed on linen 31 x 23in. (78 x 59cm.)


I love that Bibendum always had a cigar in his mouth in early advertising. I'm surprised he didn't have a glass of pastis as well.


FABIANO, FABIEN (1883-1962)   MICHELIN   lithograph in colours, 1916, printed by Chaix, Paris, condition B+/A-; backed on linen  46½ x 30½in. (118 x 77cm.) FABIANO, FABIEN (1883-1962) MICHELIN lithograph in colours, 1916, printed by Chaix, Paris, condition B+/A-; backed on linen 46½ x 30½in. (118 x 77cm.)


Pastis, no. Babe, yes. This one gives me the heebie-jeebies a little bit.


PHILIBERT, GILBERT   MICHELIN   lithograph in colours, printed by Nerson & Schil, Paris, condition A- B+; backed on linen  29½ x 19½in. (75 x 50cm.)PHILIBERT, GILBERT MICHELIN lithograph in colours, printed by Nerson & Schil, Paris, condition A- B+; backed on linen 29½ x 19½in. (75 x 50cm.)


And there he is with a friend (did you know they were an entire race of tire-people?), driving, obviously, into the gates of hell, via Van Gogh. "Come with us! We've got smokes and tires!"


HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL, 1900-1972)   MONACO 1935   lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by Monégasque, Monte-Carlo, condition A; backed on linen, framed  47 x 31in. (119 x 79cm.) HAM, GEO (GEORGES HAMEL, 1900-1972) MONACO 1935 lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by Monégasque, Monte-Carlo, condition A; backed on linen, framed 47 x 31in. (119 x 79cm.)


Perhaps the greatest single racing image ever produced.


ANONYMOUS   PORSCHE 912   offset lithograph in colours, c.1965, condition B+; backed on linen   46½ x 33½in. (118 x 85cm.) ANONYMOUS PORSCHE 912 offset lithograph in colours, c.1965, condition B+; backed on linen 46½ x 33½in. (118 x 85cm.)


Visible from space.


I've concentrated on the vintage car posters, but there's a lot of other cool transportation-related art in the sale:


CASSANDRE (ADOLPHE-MOURON, 1901-1968)   NORMANDIE   lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by Alliance Graphique, Paris, condition B+/A-; backed on linen, framed  39 x 24in. (99 x 61cm.) CASSANDRE (ADOLPHE-MOURON, 1901-1968) NORMANDIE lithograph in colours, 1935, printed by Alliance Graphique, Paris, condition B+/A-; backed on linen, framed 39 x 24in. (99 x 61cm.)


'Hard to believe these things were sinkable. If you like ship images, there are quite a few in the sale.


ANONYMOUS   THE BRITISH BEDFORD TRUCK   lithograph in colours, condition A-; not backed  and five other posters  30½ x 20½in. (78 x 52cm) (6)ANONYMOUS THE BRITISH BEDFORD TRUCK lithograph in colours, condition A-; not backed and five other posters 30½ x 20½in. (78 x 52cm) (6)


DEVRIES   TT 1933, CIRCUIT VAN DRENTE   lithograph in colours, 1933, printed by N.Hindriks & Zn., condition B B+; backed on linen  43 x 29½in. (109 x 75cm.) DEVRIES TT 1933, CIRCUIT VAN DRENTE lithograph in colours, 1933, printed by N.Hindriks & Zn., condition B B+; backed on linen 43 x 29½in. (109 x 75cm.


I could do with one of these.


And this one is just for Dan. Behold! The majesty that is Cleveland!


RAGAN, LESLIE (1897-1972)   THE NEW UNION TERMINAL, CLEVELAND   lithograph in colours, 1930, printed by Latham Litho Co., New York, condition B-; printed on heavy stock paper, not backed  41 x 27in. (104 x 69cm.) RAGAN, LESLIE (1897-1972) THE NEW UNION TERMINAL, CLEVELAND lithograph in colours, 1930, printed by Latham Litho Co., New York, condition B-; printed on heavy stock paper, not backed 41 x 27in. (104 x 69cm.)

4 comments:

chuckgoolsbee said...

Nobody reads this? damn...

--chopped liver

Automobiliart.com said...

I love this stuff!
Thanks for posting it ... Geo Ham's work is astounding, eh?
Cheers!

bulgogibrothers said...

amazing post!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!