Fun And Frolics: Ski Season at Christie’s

One of the most popular sales on the Christie's South Kensington auction calendar, the eighth annual Ski Sale on 3 March 2005 features over 450 lots and promises a wide array of original posters for the travel enthusiast, sports lover and those who appreciate graphic design. With affordable prices starting at £200, there is something for everyone and a perfect reminder of a favourite resort and winter fun. Posters in the sale date mainly from the 1920s and 1930s, harking back to the beginning of mass ski tourism. As winter sports became a viable holiday option during the inter-war years, so the railway and ski resort companies commissioned some of the finest artists of the day to create posters urging holiday makers to visit dazzling resorts all over the world.

Willy Trapp
Lithograph in colours, c. 1930

Fun And Frolics: Ski Season at Christie’s The Swiss railways led the way in embracing new poster art to promote resorts and Switzerland’s slopes are strongly represented in the sale, with over half of the lots evocatively whisking the imagination away to the snowy climbs of Adelboden, Klosters, Wengen, St. Moritz and Davos. Highlight, Willy Trapp’s Adelboden, circa 1930 (estimate: £700-900) encapsulates the sport’s exhilarating allure, depicting a skier’s energetic vigour, mid-jump, whilst both Herbert Matter’s Engleberg, 1925 (estimate: £600 -800) and Kara Borter’s Wengen, circa 1930 (estimate: £1,000 -1,500) capture moments of reflective stillness amidst the panoramic bliss.
Hugo Laubi
St Moritz
Lithograph in colours, 1924
£2,000 - 2,200

Another highlight, Hugo Laubi’s image St. Moritz, 1924 (estimate: £1,800-2,200) of riders thundering through the snow, depicts the glamorous world of winter sports with which the resort has been synonymous since 1859 when skiers first ventured onto the surrounding slopes. Davos boasts one of the world’s largest natural ice-rinks and Burkhard Mangold, a pioneering Swiss graphic designer, provides a traditional glimpse of the skaters’ fun in the highlight Winter in Davos, 1914 (estimate: £3,000-5,000). France is also well represented, led by Gaston Gorde’s Kandahar, Chamonix France, 1948 (estimate: £700-900). Gorde’s cool clarity of line is a stellar example of the stylistic quality which characterises this sale. E. Kerley’s Chamonix-Mont Blanc, 1910 (estimate: £600-800) is an early treat depicting the invigorating excitement of tobogganing. With other destinations ranging from Italy, Norway, Austria and Germany to America, Canada and even India, it is P. Grant’s Romania, circa 1930 (estimate: £600-800) which adds an unusual twist to the sale.

Emil Cardinaux
Palace Hotel
Lithograph in colours, 1921
50 x 35.½in. (127 x 90cm.)

Martin Peikert
Lithograph in colours, c.1958
40 x 25in. (102 x 64cm.)

Artist Unknown
lithograph in colours, c.1930
50 x 35.1/2in. (127 x 91cm.)

A celebration of recent adventures or a nostalgic memento of trips gone by, the dynamic palette, style and subject of these delightful depictions of a winter wonderland will bring spirited fun to every interior. Christie’s South Kensington remains the only auction house in the world to offer a specialist Ski Sale and the auction is expected to realize in excess of £400,000.

Editor's Note: Christie's next sale of Exceptional Motor Cars will be at the Paris Rétromobile Exhibition on February 12th. Click HERE to see all car lots on the Classic Driver car database.

Story/Photos: Christie's

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