Dec 19, 2007 - Sale 2133

Sale 2133 - Lot 139

Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
27 3/4x21 inches.
Condition B+: losses in lower and upper right corners. Paper.
Steinlen's work has been so well documented that it is very unusual to find a poster of his that has not been previously recorded. And yet this incredible rarity appears in none of the lists of his work. The image is well known, it is Mothu et Doria, originally printed in 1893. But here it is in a smaller format, printed in Dresden to advertise a brand of cigarettes. The work is signed by Steinlen and not "d'apres Steinlen," which is important because the artist was very serious about the use of his name. This means that Steinlen himself redrew his lithographic stones, or supervised the process and agreed to the smaller version of his earlier poster. The quality of the lithograph is superb and bears no resemblance to a copy, or reproduction done by a generic lithographer. In determining how such a project could have been realized, we can look at 1894, when Steinlen was invited to Munich by Albert Laugen who was starting the magazine Simplicissimus. As he had completed Mothu et Doria the year before, perhaps Steinlen brought that poster with him and that the owner of Patras tobacco fell in love with the image and made a quick deal with Steinlen for another version. Christophe Zagrodski has personally confirmed the authenticity of this poster.