Why Vintage Advertising Posters?

One of the most perennially popular genres of art sold at auction are vintage advertising posters. The reason for this is, actually, part of the entire concept of an advertisement: ads should be attractive, grab your attention, and persuade you to purchase what the advertiser is selling. In short, these are works of art designed to appeal to a wide swath of viewers. In addition, vintage advertisements in particular were products of their time and place, and built upon established ideas and motifs to make new ones. Thus, when we look at an older poster, we are looking at a reflection of the time that produced it.

Famous Designers

Advertising goes hand-in-hand with illustration. Famous illustrators would often supplement their income by making advertisements, and advertising illustrators could make the jump to fine artists and book illustrators: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss himself) (1904 – 1991) made this transition. Other famous artists and illustrators who produced advertising posters include N.C. Wyeth (1882 – 1945), Maxfield Parrish (1870 – 1966), Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978), and Victor Vasarely (1906 – 1907)

Advertising Poster by Charles Loupot
Charles Loupot, "Advertisement for Philipossian & Co. Egyptian Cigarettes". 1920. Lithograph on Paper.

Classic Examples

Posters from a certain time period were often produced in the popular aesthetic and style of the day. Advertisements produced in the 1920’s and 30’s, for instance, show the hallmarks of Art Deco: tall lettering in an Art Deco font, exaggerated bodies, and rich coloration mark posters of this period. Nest Egg Auctions sold a wonderful example of an Art Deco advertisement, a poster for Philippossian & Co. Egyptian Cigarettes. This poster, created by renowned French artist and poster designer Charles Loupot (1892 – 1962), depicts an Egyptian man smoking a cigarette with  a horse behind him. The design is a classic Art Deco design with excellent subject matter; this translated into a great selling price of $8,000.

Another poster, this one advertising Porsche’s racing victories at Le Mans and Reims, was executed in a painterly, semi-abstract style. The subject matter (car racing) is also sought after, and this poster accordingly brought a healthy final bid.

Advertising Poster for Porsche
"Advertising Poster for Porsche: 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Reims". ca. mid 20th century. Lithograph on Paper.

Selling Vintage Advertising Posters at Nest Egg Auctions

Vintage posters are a beloved class of artworks, and are always loved by auction patrons. Their designs can take the viewer to another time and place, and shed light on how things used to be. We at Nest Egg are always glad to see vintage posters, and we would love to see yours! Please send us a photo, and we would be happy to discuss it further with you.