WHAT: Featuring General Pershing on a horse, a circa 1918 World War I U.S. Army recruiting poster brought $4,500 in a recent sale of vintage posters at Swann Galleries. Measuring almost 42 inches by 28 inches, the paper is in good but not pristine condition. Artist is K.M. Bara.
MORE: The poster was a limited edition, printed in San Francisco by Schmidt Litho., and not intended for national distribution.
SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Sometimes, regional artwork such as this poster is more desirable than images plastered nationally. It’s a matter of numbers available.
HOT TIP: Particularly appealing is the visual impact of the poster, starting with resemblance to the Uncle Sam “I Want You” 1917 poster by James Montgomery Flagg. The use of Pershing follows the officer’s popularity at the time.
BOTTOM LINE: Rare wartime posters are coveted by collectors. A West Coast collector, particularly, would appreciate this regional issue.