£1 million ski poster sale features Europe’s top ski resorts
Published on 16/01/2016 by Finest Holidays - Luxury Travel
A lot of money will be spent on the beautiful luxury chalets of the Alps this winter. It’s a stylish, sophisticated and ultra-luxurious world. And it’s got a long and storied history, as a £1 million sale of vintage ski posters at Christie’s in London this Thursday will show.
The collections show how the winter sports world has been at the cutting edge of style and design throughout the 20thcentury – some of these posters are genuine works of typographical and graphic art.
Christie’s – one of the world’s most exclusive auction houses – has been holding an annual sale of ski posters since 1998, watching the market grow and the prices rise dramatically to this week’s £1 million bonanza of winter sports art.
The world record auction price for one of these posters is the £36,500 paid for a Russian poster in 2008. That isn’t expected to be broken this year, but a wonderful poster by Carl Moos, a Swiss designer who himself won an Olympic medal when the games included artistic competitions, celebrating St. Moritz is predicted to sell for as much as £25,000. It’s a tremendously striking image, celebrating the thrill of winter sports and boasting of the resort’s 1856m altitude, and it needed to be.
These posters were the only way for ski areas to promote their attractions to the world, most were displayed in tourist offices, railway stations and trains. Artists were usually given a great deal of design freedom, working from a short, standard text to sum up a luxurious lifestyle and an exciting sport. This accounts for the wonderful variety of styles and subjects in these colorful images.
And their audience was very demanding; used to Chanel couture, Rolex watches and Rolls Royce motors. The posters reflect that. Many feature the heights of fashion and the latest technologies as well as striking mountain landscapes and exciting action scenes.
The rich of Europe were inventing the modern winter holiday industry, having a wonderful time, and in the process turning small Alpine villages like Verbier, Gstaad, Klosters and Zermatt in Switzerland, Val d’Isère, Courchevel, Méribel and Megève in the French Alps or Kitzbuehel, St. Anton, Fügen and Lech in Austria into some of the most famous names in the world of luxury travel.
And when the Winter Olympics came along – the first games were held in Chamonix in 1924 and a wonderful poster for the 1956 games in Cortina is up for sale – they too could be used to showcase the delights of high-altitude high living. Later, James Bond’s Alpine adventures – 1968’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” featured extensive sequences in the Swiss Alps – were a glamourous selling point.
If you believe that the idea that sex sells is a particularly 21stcentury idea, then some of these posters might prove an erotic eye opener. Beautiful women in the most stylish clothes are a common theme of these posters. But some are having trouble keeping those clothes on and are dressed for something more intimate than a day’s skiing. And this was in the supposedly staid 1950s.
Buyers for these wonderful works are queueing as keenly as for the last lift to the Matterhorn. The graphical style is an important selling point for these collectors. Certain artists are collectible too – the sale includes an Aspen poster by Pop Art pioneer Roy Lichtenstein. But the resort is the best determinant of value, with posters for St. Moritz attracting the most demand, and providing a Swiss-resort record price of £30,000 in 2015. Many of them will end up on the walls of luxury ski chalets and Europe’s hottest après ski spots. We’ve made a selection of our favorite images from the sale catalogue, showcasing the wonderful history of ski art.
The 18th Annual Christie’s Ski Sale will take place at 1pm on Jan 21st, 2016, at their auction house in South Kensington.
The art of luxury holidays is at the heart of everything that Finest Holidays do. We have collected a gallery of the best luxury ski chalets and Alpine hotels in the world. If you would like to find out more then please take a look around our website Call us Now on +34 971 13 15 41 to speak to a resort expert or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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