Christy World War I poster to fetch more than $400 at auction

That’s a safe bet — the bid at the moment at Heritage Auctions is at $450.  How much is it worth?

Howard Chandler Christy World War I poster, 1918 - Third Liberty Loan - Heritage Auctions image

Howard Chandler Christy poster from 1918, for the Third Liberty Loan to finance World War I - Heritage Auctions image

Heritage Auctions describes the poster:

World War I Propaganda Poster by Howard Chandler Christy (Forbes, 1918). Third Liberty Loan Poster (20″ X 30″) “Fight or Buy Bonds.” War.
Howard Chandler Christy was so good at illustrating iconic beautiful women in uniquely styled poster art, that they soon became known as “Christy Girls.” He used some of these images to sell war bonds during WW I. His lovely art was instrumental in raising countless millions for the war effort. An unrestored poster with good color and an overall very presentable appearance. It may have tears, pinholes, edge wear, wrinkling, slight paper loss, and minor stains. Please see full-color, enlargeable image below for more details. Rolled, Fine+.

Posters from the wars are great teaching tools.  I tell my students to watch to see if their parents or grandparents have any of these old posters lying around.  $450 would buy books for a semester at college.

Heritage Auctions plans to sell this poster, and many others, this coming Sunday, January 8.


2 Responses to Christy World War I poster to fetch more than $400 at auction

  1. george.w says:

    Lovely as this poster is, it uses beauty in the service of butchery. I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the fear-mongering propaganda Jim mentioned.

    Interesting to speculate what fashions are exemplified by various popular art. Sometimes you wonder what planet their people evolved on. The Columbia Pictures lady would be something like ten feet tall, if her head is normal size. This lady Liberty has two or three extra vertebrae between her shoulders and hips.

    I don’t even want to think about what speculations will be made of how women are depicted in popular art today…


  2. Jim says:

    I’d be a buyer at $400 if it were mint and if I intended to keep it in my collection for a few years.

    For a quick flip, I would need to get into it around $275 or $300.

    But that’s the business end of what I do. The real fun is in the story many of the posters tell. A favorite World War Two poster shows commuters and asks, “Is this trip really necessary?” If you want to teach a class about the homefront, this is a good start.

    The Spanish American War and World War One both set new low standards for propaganda. (Though patriotic envelopes of the Civil War came close. I’d be happy to share some images with you if you think they could be useful.)

    Bizarre urban legends about Spaniards and “the Hun” were fanned into flame on paper. I’m still not sure I have ever found any evidence that the Kaiser’s soldiers cut the breasts off of Belgian nuns or threw Belgian babies into the air only to catch them with bayonets. Though I did hear the latter story circulated in the 1980’s, with Soviets as the aggressors and little Afghan children as victims.

    Kinda sad, really. Aren’t the actual atrocities (even the violation of soveriegn borders is an atrocity of a kind) sufficient? Weren’t Pearl Harbor and the Death March enough without having to depict the Japanese as mindless, soulless apes?

    I do long for the reign of the Prince of Peace. Just sayin’…



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