Years ago we acquired a splendid portfolio of pre-World-War-I German lithographic vintage posters in small-format. As if that were not enough, the publication, with Germanic thoroughness, included a booklet describing and including examples of postage-stamp supplements in the form of advertisements for publishers specializing in the production of glorious lithographic “Plakate” (posters): Reklamemarken; Karl J. Galandauer; Leipzig ; 13 pp.; 21 stamps
That latter phenomenon, which we are disclosing for the first time here, not only instills in us a surge of joy from the wit and beauty of the works, but also a surge of melancholy to realize the lives about to be shattered there. Although many such enterprises were in effect in many lands during the first few decades of the twentieth century, the deposit we present here is remarkable for the quality of the designs and for its depths of coverage.
The image on the cover which we see first seems to coincide with the bellicose mood ready to explode with the assassination at Sarajevo.
As with this carefree whimsy, many of the images derive from a more bucolic, easy-going era than the flood of strife on hand.
The two adhesive designs shown above–each of them a triumph of panache–describe the polarity of the time.
A poster example of the output of that mastery which was early 20th century German commercial lithography.
Delicate and authoritative composition and instinctive chromatic restraint, as shown in these two cameos, bring forward the realization that that production topspin might have gone on to more amazing and sumptuous results had the War not obtruded.
An instance of embracing early avant-garde abstraction.
A dash of early art deco!
Deploying color tonality to draw us into a kind of primal creature comfort.
How closely this German art deco design emulates the French model!
We conclude with a small-format poster which, like the poster stamps, promotes the glories of a poster publisher!