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Vintage Ocean Liner Posters Never Get Old!


The Shipping News: Posters and ads designed by Giuseppe Riccobaldi (left) and Adolph Treidler (right) are among the ocean liner and transportation memorabilia that will go on the block today at Swann in New York.

Covet a Christofle silver marmalade holder (complete with attached spoon) that once sailed aboard Île de France? Want a graphic reminder of a mode of transportation in which “The Gentle Art of Civilized Living Reache[d] the Highest Degree of Perfection”? Of course you do! Today Swann Galleries holds a sale of ocean liner and transportation memorabilia. The New York auction house has assembled books, scrapbooks, brochures, photo albums, as well as silver, china, and crystal from famed ocean liners, but the sale is particularly strong in posters and other exuberant, charmingly nationalistic marketing materials. Our first-class choice? A circa-1938 lithograph of A.M. Cassandre‘s famed image of Normandie. The poster, a version of which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, is estimated to sell for between $15,000 and $20,000. As for the steerage-priced lots, we’ll take Giuseppe Riccobaldi‘s whimsical advertising card for Neptunia ($350-$500) or a silver toast rack that once held the gently browned bread of White Star Line passengers ($250-$350).

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