Lot 70. STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). TORUN. Circa 1927.
39 1/4×24 1/2 inches, 99 3/4×62 1/4 cm. Bibljoteka Polska, Warsaw.
Condition B / B+: repaired tears, replaced losses, creases and overpainting in margins and image. Paper affixed to board at lower corners.
Norblin was a painter, illustrator, set and costume designer, portraitist and poster designer. In 1939, Norblin left Poland and wound up in Iraq, where he painted portraits of the royal family. The war, which had started while he was gone, prevented Norblin from returning home, and in 1941 he moved to India where he stayed for five years. While there, he was commissioned to design the interiors of the royal palace at Umaid Bhawan which included murals, furniture and portraits. This led to other commissions for which he designed interiors for several other palaces. In 1946, unwilling to return to his homeland now under Communist control, Norblin moved to San Francisco, where he continued painting portraits, including that of General Douglas MacArthur, which hangs in the Pentagon. Norblin took his own life in 1952 when he was diagnosed with glaucoma and couldn’t face the prospect of losing his eyesight. “Torun, once the largest and most important Hanseatic trading center on the Vistula, is best known for its Gothic architecture and as the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). It was the capital of Pomerania and had a pre-war population of 80,000” (Polish Poster p. 59). Polish Poster 99, Gebrauchsgraphik April 1, 1936, p. 44 (var).
Estimate: $800 – $1,200. Swann. 10/27/16 (165850
Lot 72. STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). LWÒW. 1928.
29 1/4×19 1/2 inches, 74 1/2×49 1/2 cm. Bibljoteka Poliska, Bydgoszczy.
Condition B+: minor tears, creases and folds in margins and image. Paper.
Lwòw has had a tumultuous geo-political history. Historically a prominent Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish city, it was one of the intellectual centers of Eastern Europe. Over the centuries, it has been fought over and claimed by the Hapsburgs, Russians, Poles and Germans. Poland took control of the city in late 1920, and it was part of Poland until the beginning of the Second World War when it was retaken by the Soviets and then again by the Germans. Norblin, in a silhouette style reminiscent of posters by Ludwig Hohlwein, depicts some of the city skyline’s most prominent structures: The Bernadine Cathedral and Monastery, the Clock Tower and the domes of the Assumption Dormition Church and the Dominican Church, amidst other spires and steeples. In addition to its size, architecture and cultural prominence, Lwow is now also infamous for the Jewish Ghetto established there during the Second World War, which was liquidated in June 1943. Simon Wiesenthal was one of the most prominent of the ghetto’s few survivors. Polish Poster 92, Biblioteki Glownej 178, Polska Sztuka Plakatu p. 79.
Estimate: $600 – $900. Swann. 10/27/16 (161560)
Lot 73. STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). WILNO. Circa 1930.
39 1/4×24 1/2 inches, 99 3/4×62 1/4 cm. K. Kozianskich, Warsaw.
Condition A: minor creases in margins and image.
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was a hotly contested metropolis among Europe’s largest powers throughout the 20th century. World War I found her captured first by the Germans, followed by the Poles and then the Russians. In 1923, the League of Nations confirmed Vilnius as part of Poland. After the Second World War, she was retaken by the Germans and then the Russians and in 1944, restored to Lithuania. In a style which Norblin clearly found effective (see the previous lot) he depicts the ancient rooftops of the city in soft, complimentary twilight colors. In the background he depicts the recognizable spires of St. John’s Church, St. Anne’s Church and the Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard. Polish Poster 101, Biblioteki Glownej 179.
Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500. Swann. 10/27/16 (162K)
Lot 74. STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). KRAKÓW. Circa 1935.
39×24 3/4 inches, 99×63 cm. Kozianskich, Warsaw.
Condition B+: creases, repaired tears, replaced losses and minor overpainting in margins, into image; minor soiling in upper image.
An evocative depiction of Krakow’s gothic Wawel Hill and its three towers: The Cathedral, the Silver Tower and the Clock Tower. This view from the Vistula River also includes the spires of St. Mary’s Church (the Mariacki) in the distance. Gebrauchsgraphik April 1, 1936, p. 42.
Estimate: $700 – $1,000. Swann. 10/27/16 (161235)
Lot 75. : STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). WARSZAWA. 1925.
38 3/4×24 3/4 inches, 98 1/2×63 cm. K. Kozianskich, Warsaw.
Condition A-: minor repaired tears and creases in margins and text.
A view of Warsaw’s Old Town Market Place, seen from Nowomiejska Street, looking past the gothic House of the Mazovian Dukes. The spire of the Sanktuarium Matki Bozej Laskawej (Shrine of Our Lady of Grace) and the towers of the Basillica of St. John the Baptist tower over the buildings on the East side of the square. Polish Poster 100, Polnische Plakat 207, Polska Sztuka Plakatu p. 174.
Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500. Swann.10/27/16 (161625)
Lot 76. STEFAN NORBLIN (1892-1952). WARSZAWA. Circa 1925.
38 3/4×24 1/2 inches, 98 1/2×62 1/4 cm. K. Kozianskich, Warsaw.
Condition B+: repaired tears, creases and restoration in margins and image and along vertical and horizontal folds.
Norblin “was well-known for his poster designs for the Polish tourist industry. His poster work is distinguished by its unconstrained expression of subject matter, fine hand and intense color. It depicted specific Polish regions, towns and historical buildings for the Ministry of Transportation” (Polish Poster p. 87). Here, we see a view of the old buildings and spires of Warsaw seen from the Vistula river. Gebrauchsgraphik April 1, 1936, p. 43.
Estimate: $800 – $1,200. Swann. 10/27/16 (161560)