'I Want You' poster auctions for $14,500 with Swann Galleries

James Montgomery Flagg's famed "I Want You" poster has sold as top lot in Swann Auction Galleries' Vintage Posters sale, held on August 7 in New York.

JM Flagg I want You Uncle Sam Poster
Montgomery's design is based on a British poster depicting Lord Kitchener



The piece, depicting the US personification Uncle Sam, sold for $14,400 to lead the sale, which boasted a superb range of propaganda posters.

The piece was created in 1917, designed to encourage recruitment into the US army during the first world war. It is inspired by a similar British poster depicting Lord Kitchener in an almost identical pose.

Four million copies of the poster were distributed during the war, with the design later revived for the second world war. The poster rocketed Flagg to fame, who reportedly became the highest paid illustrator in the US at the time.

The piece was joined by several further examples of Flagg's propaganda posters, with another 1918 work reading "Travel? Adventure? Answer - Join the Marines!" selling for $5,280.

WWI enlist poster Destroy this Mad Brute
The creature in the poster, designed to reflect Germany in the first world war, is said to have been the inspiration for King Kong



Also featuring was HR Hopps' "Destroy this Mad Brute/Enlist" poster, which sold for $12,000. Created in 1917, the club-wielding gorilla depicted is thought to have been the inspiration behind the King Kong movie of 1933.

Earlier this month, Heritage Auctions sold a unique poster for 1931's Frankenstein film for $262,900.

See our rare posters for sale, including a stunning example from the California League of Sexual Freedom's annual dance, starring The Doors, Captain Beefheart and 13th Floor Elevators among others.

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