Sachs poster collection looted by Nazis to auction

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2015-06-26 10:47:01

Sachs poster collection looted by Nazis to auction

A rare collection of posters dating from the turn of the century and including some of the great names of pre-war art will be auctioned at Guernsey’s auction house in New York.

The collection was built by a Jewish dentist in Germany named Hans Sachs, who became fascinated by the graphic design employed on promotional posters while a young student. He amassed one of the most significant and greatest pre-war collections ever seen.

The posters were seized by Nazi soldiers in 1938. Sachs was taken to a concentration camp, along with thousands of other Jews who suffered under the Nazi regime. Luckily, he escaped the camp, and made his way to the United States with his family.

His poster collection was assumed lost, until his now elderly son and retired airline pilot Peter Sachs discovered a large portion of it hidden in the vault of a Berlin museum.

After a long legal battle, the German court ordered the posters returned to Peter Sachs. Originally a vast collection of around 12,500, around a third of the posters survive, still numbering some 4,300. They will now be offered to the public.

The posters include rarities by the likes of Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch and Toulouse Lautrec, as well as hundreds of other artists from around the world.

Subjects comprise travel, sports, propaganda, cabaret, and more, and spans all of Europe. Styles range from figurative to realistic, black and white palates to watercolour tones.

Many are thought to be the last remaining example of a particular print or artist’s work. According to Guernsey’s, the whole collection is worth around $20 million.

The posters will be sold in a three day sale, January 18-20.

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