Mid-20th Century Monte Carlo Posters
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:07)
Prints & Posters
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: My father bought the posters in 1953-1954, when he was studying in Europe, and obviously, he bought them for the beautiful ladies. And he brought them back and put them up in his bedroom. And I'd say for probably about the last 40 to 45 years, they've been in the attic in a trash bag in storage.
APPRAISER: Have you done any research into who the artists are on these pieces?
GUEST: I have no idea.
APPRAISER: Well, the piece that we have in the middle is by Louis Icart.
APPRAISER: And Louis Icart is one of the great Art Deco French boudoir artists. He was very famous for his Art Deco images of scantily-clad women in coquettish and flirtatious poses. And almost nobody is aware of the fact that this great artist did work in posters, so to see a Louis Icart poster is very exciting. You have another poster, also from Monte Carlo, and also by Louis Icart, so, in fact, it's two posters by Icart-- really fantastically bright, seductive images. The other two posters that we have are by an artist named Jean Gabriel Domergue, who was not quite as famous an artist as Icart, but whose work was very similar in that he always had these very lanky, elongated maidens with flowing hair. Any idea how much these things are worth?
GUEST: Yeah, the only thing I noticed was I looked on the Internet and I saw that the two in the center, there were a lot of reproductions for sale, so I assume they must have some value if they're selling reproductions.
APPRAISER: It's an interesting concept that because there are reproductions they must be good enough to reproduce. It's not always the case, actually. In this case, I think it's probably true. We recently had an auction of beach and summer resort posters.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: And so some of these posters, in fact we had the privilege of selling. The Icart in the middle sells for between $2,000 and $3,000.
GUEST: Wonderful. That's amazing.
APPRAISER: The Icart on the floor that we actually had in our last auction sold for $2,800.
APPRAISER: The Domergue next to you we've had before. Again, estimate of between $2,000 and $3,000.
GUEST: That's amazing.
APPRAISER: And this Domergue is a really interesting piece. It's actually fairly common. It's also extremely desirable. We've had it for auction in America--
APPRAISER: --and also it comes up for auction in London. And always in America this poster sells for about $1,200.
APPRAISER: Yet always in London when it comes up, it sells for between $3,000 and $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my God.
APPRAISER: And I think the difference is that in London there's more clients who live in Monte Carlo, and so they're willing to spend $3,000 or $4,000 on this image. All is not perfect. Some of these posters have some condition problems. There are some tears in them. In some cases, near you, and in this one, there's some paper that's missing.
APPRAISER: But for really a few hundred dollars, they can restore these posters to look almost like new and bring them to their full value on the auction block. If I had these for auction now, I would estimate the entire lot at $4,000 to $6,000, and if I sold them like this, I'd actually expect a dealer to buy them, knowing full well they could fix them up for not that much money and almost double the price on the backside.
GUEST: I'm shocked. Last week, they were in the attic in a trash bag.
APPRAISER: I would treat them with a little bit more respect now.
GUEST: Yeah, I think so.
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