1937 Art Deco Ocean Liner Posters
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
Prints & Posters
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: I actually got them online in a poster lot for sale.
APPRAISER: How many posters were in the lot?
GUEST: I believe it was seven.
APPRAISER: And how much did you pay for the whole lot?
APPRAISER: About $50 apiece?
GUEST: Yep, somewhere around there.
APPRAISER: These are two great American art deco shipping posters, ocean liner posters. One of them depicts New York, and the other one is all about travel to California. So we sort of have America caught in the brackets, which is really nice. The one that's closest to you is actually an image that comes up for sale every once in awhile, and it's great that it has a stylized New York skyline on it. People look toward that when they're thinking about collecting. The United States Lines are a very collectible line. Want to hazard a guess as to what you think it might be worth?
GUEST: Um... $150, $200? I don't know.
APPRAISER: That would be nice, but it's wrong. It's actually worth a little bit more than that. Now listen, it's not in great condition-- there's some paper missing. A good paper restorer could make that look like new for about $150. Now, in the condition that it's in, I think you'd have no trouble, at auction, selling it for between $1,000 and $1,500.
GUEST: Wow, cool.
APPRAISER: I think once you restored it, you could probably get $1,500 to $2,000.
GUEST: Wow, that's impressive.
APPRAISER: Now, this piece here is also a great art deco stylization. Unlike the first poster, this one is actually signed. Do you know anything about the artist?
GUEST: No, I've never heard of him.
APPRAISER: Me neither. I don't know anything about him, but I do know that he had a great art deco sensibility, which I think is really visible here. This is the first time I've ever seen this poster.
APPRAISER: So this is a really unusual piece. It's wonderful that it advertises travel to and from California, because that not only makes it of interest to the ocean liner people, it also makes it of interest to the people who collect California stuff-- Californiana, we call it. There's no paper missing. It could be fixed fairly easily, probably at the cost, again, of $100 to $150. In this shape, again, I'd say probably $1,000 to $1,500.
APPRAISER: Once you've paid $150 to restore it, though, at auction, a piece this rare I think would sell for between $2,000 and $3,000.
GUEST: Golly, that's unbelievable.
APPRAISER: Not bad, right?
GUEST: Yeah, it's pretty good.
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