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Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) SLAVIA. Folded, four-page certificate. Cover size, 16x10 inches. Unie, Prague. Condition A. Paper. Mucha designed a poster for the Czech bank Slavia in 1907. Although he was living in America at the time (note the "NY" he included in front of his name), the image is laden with nationalist symbolic imagery. Slavia holds a ring in her hand which symbolizes unity (i.e. panslavism) and on either side of her chair sits a stylized falcon (in Czech, sokol), the name given to the Czech nationalist movement. This poster is believed to be based on Mucha's portrait of Josephine Crane Bradley (the daughter of his friend and patron Charles R. Crane). However, as the poster is dated 1907, and the painting 1908, it is clear that Mucha incorporated the girl's portrait into a pre-existing image, rather than the other way around. Although the poster itself was full color, the bank reused the image (in monochromatic form) on various certificates and bonds such as this one. It was also used in the 1920s on a Czech 100 krown note. This particular bond is a previously unrecorded variant. Rennert/Weill 93 (var).