Selection of Early Aviation Posters at Swann Auction Galleries,Feb. 25


Swann Auction Galleries explores the days of early aviation at its Vintage Posters auction on February 25.

Featuring seven unusual examples of flight from 1897 through 1912, these posters capture the spirit and excitement of this new technology in France, Germany and the United States.

The earliest image in this selection is an 1897 advertisement for the New York Herald newspaper. Entitled The May Century, this poster depicts a gentleman – Lieutenant Hugh Wise – being lifted into the air on a kite. Wise was the first American and third person in the world to be lifted airborne by kites when he launched from New York’s Governors Island on January 22, 1897 (estimate: $2,000 – $3,000).

The majority of early aviation posters offered by Swann portray some of the very first flying competitions. For example, Long Island’s Belmont Park racetrack was host to one of the earliest competitions in the United States, as depicted in a rare poster advertising the 10-day long International Aviation Tournament, 1910 (estimate: $4,000 – $6,000). Additionally, the Aero Club of France held the 1er Grand Prix D’Aviation in Angers in 1912, showcasing planes that could be used for military purposes (estimate: $5,000 – $7,500).

For more information about this auction, images, or to speak to Swann’s President and Posters specialist, Nicholas Lowry, please contact me at (212) 931-6194.