Posters and the Art of Motor Racing

On 20 July 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

Posters made a spirited showing on the track, with motor racing and hot cocoa as the joint winners.

Georges Géo-Bric (19th-20th century), Dieppe. Grand Prix de l'A.C.F., 6 et 7 juillet 1908, lithograph poster, 121.5 x 160 cm/47.8 x 63 in.
Result: €5,120

The afternoon was devoted to posters, cinema, sports, vacations, gastronomy—you name it. Everything was illustrated, often with lip-smacking appeal and brilliance. This was precisely the impression created by the poster for Van Houten's cocoa powder, vaunted as "The best chocolate for consumption in liquid form" in the panel lithographed in Amsterdam by L. Van Leer, and designed by Privat-Livemont (1861-1936) in 1897. The Art Nouveau style of this graphic artist from the Brussels region decidedly heralds Mucha's of a few years later. The steaming cocoa spirals guide the eye to the essential point—the product's name—, landing a fragrant €5,120.

The same bid went to a poster by Georges Géo-Bric, who designed it for the ACF Grand Prix, Dieppe, July 6 and 7, 1908. In 1908, the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France, which began in Le Mans in 1906, moved to Dieppe. The red car, driven expertly by a driver hanging right out of the passenger compartment and surrounded by strange-looking dust—the road was covered with a kind of tar called "westrumite"—seems to fly over the track. After all, this was the golden age of light cars. The canvas poster by Achille Mauzan (1883-1952) for "Geniol - Corta el dolor", evoking its creator's great Argentine adventure, notched up an easy €1,792.

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