Originally published in the December issue of Robb Report Collection as “Snow Coupon”
Long before the era of artificial snow and Bode Miller, skiing was an exclusive sport in the leisure class, and advertisements for luxury ski destinations were themselves works of art. At the turn of the 20th century, limited edition posters were produced touting St. Moritz, Stoos, and Davos, among other historic places. Most were glued to boards and hung at stations to promote train travel to seaside resorts.
Only a small number of posters have been archived, and some of the most valuable will be on offer in January at Christie’s London’s annual ski poster sale. The best lots – which have limited availability and are in good condition, and feature well-known artists, sought-after destinations, and enjoyable designs – include Davos by Emil Cardinaux (around $ 18,500 to $ 27,800) and MOB by Martin Peikert (approximately $ 4,600 to $ 7,700). Davos was a booming ski destination at the turn of the 20th century, and still is today, and Cardinaux was “one of Switzerland’s most important poster artists,” says Nicolette Tomkinson, director of the poster department at Christie’s. The 1946 MOB artwork (pictured) shows a fashionable young woman sitting on top of a Montreux-Bernese Oberland train as it takes her to a popular and well-advertised Swiss destination.
Sale: The Ski Sale, January 21, South Kensington, London; christies.com