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Art Nouveau pioneer Alphonse Mucha stars at Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Galleries is set to sell a major private collection of works by Alphonse Mucha, one of pioneering artists of the Art Nouveau movement.
In the largest public sale of its kind, the New York auction house will offer the Harry C. Meyerhoff Collection, featuring more than 100 works by Mucha spanning his entire career.

Born and raised in what is now the Czech Republic, Mucha moved to Vienna to work as a theatrical designer before heading for Paris in 1997 – where he made his name as a highly successful decorative and commercial artist.

Mucha produced a wide range of paintings, posters, advertisements and book illustrations in a style which came to be known as Art Nouveau.

Amongst the top lots of the sale are Mucha’s posters for Job cigarette rolling papers, dated circa 1896 and estimated at $15,000-$20,000; the Bleuze – Hadancourt Parfumeur, circa 1899, regarded as one of Mucha’s rarest posters and priced at $15,000-$20,000; a calendar issued by La Plume in 1896, estimated at $15,000-$20,000; and a set of four decorative panels on silk, each featuring women depicting The Four Seasons, valued at $15,000-$20,000.

The collection also includes a large number of works by Mucha’s friends and contemporaries, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonard and Adolfo Hohenstein.

The most valuable of these is Confetti, a poster designed by Toulouse-Lautrec and described as one of the artist’s "most optimistic and joyful images", estimated at $40,000-$60,000.

Further highlights include the 1984 Toulouse-Lautrec poster Babylone d’Allemagne, valued at $30,000-$40,000; Hohenstein’s poster for the 1900 Monaco Exposition et Concours de Canots Automobiles, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and Bonnard’s 1896 Salon des Cent poster, one of only six posters he created during his lifetime, priced at $7,000-$10,000.

Alphonse Mucha & Masters of Art Nouveau: The Harry C. Meyerhoff Collection takes place in New York on Thursday January 26.

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