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Lot 91: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). VIN DES INCAS. 1897. 5x14 inches, 13x35 cm.
January 26, 2017
New York, NY, USALive Auction
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) VIN DES INCAS. 1897.
5 1/4x14 inches, 13 1/4x35 1/2 cm.
Condition A / A-: minor mat staining. Mounted to paper. Matted and framed.
Fortified wines containing small amounts of cocaine were extremely popular (and legal) during the Belle Époque. Jules Chéret designed a poster for Vin Mariani, another one of these tonics. This curious allegory, which is set in a landscape and with costumes that do not have any bearing on Peru (where the product is from), is pleasantly bizarre. A native is begging the sensuous goddess for a sip of fortifying elixir from the bottle she holds, and all she offers him is her hand to be kissed. The image is in an unusual format to advertise a commercial product (the full-size poster was seven feet long and almost three feet high), but it must have been popular, as it was also issued in this more approachable size for collectors. This is the smaller format. Rennert / Weill 43 (var 1), Health 119 (var), Lendl p. 91 (var), Brno 39, Mucha Grand Palais 58, Darmstadt 61, Mucha / Henderson 86, Mucha / Bridges A44 (var), Spirit of Art Nouveau 21.