Lot 2: CLAUDE FAYETTE BRAGDON (1866-1946) THE CHAP BOOK. Circa 1895.
May 10, 2004
New York, NY, USA
21x13 1/2 inches. Stone & Kimball, Chicago.
Condition B+: water stains and minor tears in margins; creases and staining in image.
Bragdon, like many of the early Art Nouveau artists, was trained as an architect but worked in all the fields of decorative arts. As a graphic designer he contributed to the Rochester Post Express and the Chap Book. In all he designed three posters for the Chap Book magazine, this being the last. We can tentatively date it, as it is listed in the catalogue of Henriot's 1896 exhibition of posters in Reims. Whereas Bragdon's first two posters are very turn-of-the century in style, this one clearly heralds a new era in design, presaging Art Deco by almost 30 years! The allegory of the Juggler with the sun is purely stylized, and with the signs of the Zodiac and the planets in almost atom-like orbits around the central figure. The image belongs to the symbolism and Art Deco visual lexicon that can be seen in Lee Lawrie's monumental statues in Rockefeller Center's. A rare, turning-point piece with a dynamic layout. DFP-I 183, Margolin p. 112, not in Kiehl.