April, 1912. The White Star liner “Titanic” leaving Queenstown harbour before making her maiden voyage en route for the USA.

New York’s Swann Gallaries will auction RARE & IMPORTANT TRAVEL POSTERS on November 11, 2011 at 1:30 PM.  This sale features many seldom-seen travel images from around the world, and a larger than usual selection of images that have not appeared in any reference books.  Swann Galleries was founded in 1941 as an auction house specializing in Rare Books. Today Swann has separate departments devoted to Photographs, Posters and Prints & Drawings, in addition to Books, Maps & Atlases and Autographs.

OTTOMAR ANTON (1895-1976 TO EUROPE BY ZEPPELIN. 1936]  The Graf Zeppelin, sister ship of the ill-fated Hindenburg, is depicted here from a perspective that has her practically stretching across the Atlantic Ocean. After several widely publicized voyages (including around the world in 1929, which made her the first airship to ever cross the Pacific Ocean non-stop), the Graf Zeppelin settled into a regular transatlantic route by 1930. When she was taken out of service in 1937, barely a month after the Hindenburg disaster, she had made a total of 143 Atlantic crossings. A separate variation shows the route map with stops in Spain, while this copy illustrates connections to Hamburg and Berlin. Estimate $3,000-4,000


DESIGNER UNKNOWN CUNARD LINE / MONARCHS OF THE SEA / “LUSITANIA” / “MAURETANIA.” Circa 1907.- Estimate #12,000 – $18,000. The construction of the Lusitania and her sister ship the Mauretania was a project largely financed by the British government. The fast, beautiful liners were conceived as a method by which Britain could regain physical and psychological control of the world’s oceans. This control had been lost to the Germans in 1897 when the German ship, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, broke the Atlantic speed-crossing record. So closely was British identity tied towards maritime supremacy, that the construction of faster ships became a national obsession. When the Lusitania was launched in 1906, she was the largest ship in the world. She reclaimed the Blue Riband for Britain on her second Atlantic crossing in October 1907. The tag-line, “Monarchs of the Sea,” likely plays to the British psyche of dominating the oceans. Turner & Dunnett printed many posters for the Cunard Line, a few for the Elder Dempster Line and some WWI propaganda as well. Almost all of their posters were designed by Odin Rosenvinge, suggesting that he might be the artist of this image. Other versions of this poster with slightly different statistics for the ships exist.

DESIGNER UNKNOWN WHITE STAR LINE / TITANIC. 1912 – Estimate $15,000 – $20,000. The Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage was a seminal event in 20th century history. A prevailing presumption of invincibility (unsinkability) amongst the liner’s owners, builders and operators meant that the ship held a shortage of lifeboats, maintained high speeds in an attempt to make an Atlantic crossing record and disregarded iceberg warnings, all of which played a part in the disaster which claimed the lives of 1,503 of the 2,206 passengers and crew on board. Among the fatalities were members of many of Europe’s and America’s prominent families, all eager to sail on the most opulent ship ever constructed. But the ship was about more than the trappings of luxury for which it is remembered; it was also intended as a means of transportation for those whose names didn’t appear in any social registers. This extremely rare broadside advertises third-class tariffs on the ship’s return voyage from New York to Europe. It pictures a photograph of the ship, (actually pictured is the Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship, which looked practically identical and was often used for promotional material), an interior view of a third-class cabin and the third-class dining facility. Its scarcity can be explained in that after the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, the White Star Line would have pulled down and destroyed as many of these posters as they could.


The Bremen and the Europa were sister ships constructed in 1929 and 1930. They each set record times traveling across the Atlantic between Germany (Bremen) and New York. Their speed accounts for the word “Express.” One of several different text variations. Estimate $2,000-3,000


Tom Purvis, who worked extensively for Britain’s London & North Eastern Railway, went on to design several posters for Canadian Pacific. His designs are all notable for their simple, powerful graphics, and this image differs from some of Purvis’s earlier English work in that it contains more interactive typography.  Estimate $4,000-6,00

MAURICE LOGAN (1886-1977) SEE CALIFORNIA ON THE DAYLIGHT LIMITED / SOUTHERN PACIFIC. 1928. Weekend-only rail service between San Francisco and Los Angeles was initiated in 1922, and by 1923, became a daily service. To make the most of the scenery, two-thirds of the train’s observation car was open-air. Estimate $2,500-3,500.

JEROME GEORGE ROZEN (1895-1987) VACATION BEGINS WHEN YOU STEP ABOARD THE TRAIN! / PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD. Circa 1948.  Rozen was a pulp magazine cover illustrator (including for The Shadow), and a World War II poster artist. In the late 1940s, he did a series of print ads for the Pennsylvania Railroad featuring optimistic renditions of the “American Family.” All of his work reflects his love of illustration art, most of which was realized as magazine ads. Very few of his railroad posters come to market. Estimate $1,000-1,500

Other highlights for the sale are:

1. Gert Sellheim’s Australia / Surf Club, circa 1936. Sellheim is considered to be one of the finest artists who designed travel posters in Australia in the 1930s.

Cruden Bay, circa 1925, a rare poster designed by Tom Purvis for a Scottish golf destination.

2. A rare New York World’s Fair poster by Sascha Maurer, Direct Route to New York World’s Fair / Pennsylvania Railroad. 1939.

3. Montauk Beach, circa 1929, an extremely rare poster, marks the development of Montauk in the late 1920s as a destination for the wealthy.

4. Dorothy Waugh’s National Parks / Skiing, circa 1934, one of eleven posters Waugh designed for the National Park Service.

For information contact Nicholas D. Lowry –

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