Nov 23, 2021 - Sale 2589

Sale 2589 - Lot 44

Price Realized: $ 7,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800



40x25 1/2 inches, 101 1/2x64 3/4 cm. Prasad Process Private Ltd, Madras.
Condition A-: minor tears and creases at edges; minor creases in image. Paper.

A world-renowned and widely-recognized corporate icon, Air India's Maharaja was born in 1946. His likeness was intended to be used on corporate letterhead and on an in-flight memo pad. "Eventually, [he] became Air-India's mascot for its advertising and sales promotion activities . . . The Maharaja began merely as a rich Indian potentate, symbolizing graciousness and high living. And somewhere along the line his creators gave him a distinctive personality, his outsized moustache, the striped turban and his aquiline nose . . . Air-India calls him the Maharaja for want of a better description. But his blood isn't blue. He may look like royalty, but he isn't royal . . . Today, this naughty, diminutive Maharaja of Air-India has become a world figure. He can be a lover boy in Paris, a sumo wrestler in Tokyo, a pavement artist, a Red Indian, a monk. He can effortlessly flirt with the beauties of the world . . . He has become the most recognisable mascot the world over" (The Chandigarh Tribune, July 17, 2005). A deliciously ironic image with tigers smoking over an Air India ashtray, and a stuffed Maharaja's head hanging on the wall of their study above the fireplace. Such was the strength of this icon that this poster works ingeniously without any text at all. IPA 1973, p. 83.