Soviet propaganda poster collection makes $18,750

A collection of 35 Soviet propaganda posters has sold for $18,750.

The lot was the surprise headliner of Swann Auction Galleries' August 3 poster sale, beating its estimate of $4,000 by 368.7%.

Soviet avante garde
The Soviet propaganda posters date to 1930-1934

All date to between 1930 and 1934 and vary in their condition, although the majority are graded at around B+.

It's likely the set included a few rarities that got knowledgeable bidders fired up.

Soviet posters are particularly popular due to their idiosyncratic and avant garde designs - many of which were produced by the bloc's vanguard of contemporary artists.

HR Hopps' Destroy this Mad Brute (1917) realised $12,500.

It's one of the most iconic propaganda posters of all time, depicting Germany as a terrifying gorilla armed with a club and manhandling a defenceless woman.

Destroy Mad Brute
HR Hopps' poster is a classic piece of propaganda

As Pearl James explains in Picture This: World War I Posters and Visual Culture: "The phallic and bloody cudgel and the beast's power over the half naked girl, give urgency to the enlistment call.

"As the beast steps onto American shores, recruits are invited both to fight militarism and to vie for the eroticized figure of raped Liberty"

This is a particularly rare example, featuring a "US ARMY 660 - MARKET ST" overprint, indicating the location of the San Francisco recruitment office.  

We have our own selection of rare posters for sale, click here to take a look.

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