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Help Identifying Vintage Automotive Art/Advertising--Flares??


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OK, somebody must recognize this one. Picked it up about a year ago, was advertised as a "WWI Pilot" when it clearly looks like an early motorist in a duster, cap and goggles. It is an original lithograph on very thin paper with nothing on the reverse. I have never seen another one like it and, obviously, it has no lettering to help identify it. Early ad for road flares? You got me, I just love the image.post-89602-143142271263_thumb.jpg

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Wow, that's cool. I'm positive it's an aviation piece and would place in in the teens. There was a time when flying created such big fascination with the public and it's probably just around the time it became more common to see or read about those daring young men and their flying machines. WWI time-frame was really the point where aviation burst onto the scene and planes became popular. There are a lot of great images out there including on post cards, used in poster format advertising air shows, and even on sheet music. Here, the handsome pilot is literally sweeping the lady up into the air, much the same as an early motorist would have done a few years prior to that. Or was it a flying ace killed in battle who is taking his love with him? I've never seen the image before either but it's the kind of thing that would stop me in my tracks at an antique market. My guess is that under the matting, near the edges of the print, there will be some identifying markings as to the printer, maybe even a copyright date. I don't think it was a flare advertising item since the flare isn't the prominent feature item and I couldn't any reference to a brand name anywhere. There is also the possibility it may have been cut-down from a larger poster advertising an air show, but that may have been printed on heavier paper. Looking under the mat whould also show if there was a border actually printed around the edges of the image. It would have been the kind of thing a young adventurous mechanically inclined gentleman would hang in the office or the home. It's a beauty.

Terry

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Terry--Thank you for the input. I actually framed and matter the print and as originally found, it was in a small, period frame and glass, without a mat, mounted on very thin backing. There was no border whatsoever and nothing regarding the printer or any other lettering. If it had a border, it was trimmed off before it was framed long ago. I carefully attempted to lift the edge of the print, which is on very thin paper, and it was clear there was nothing on the back. It is a true lithograph. Like you, I really like the image, I just wish I could identify where it came from. Perhaps it is lost to the ages. While I note the wings on the figure, the outfit still looks to me like an early motorist--I am very familiar with flying garb of the time and this looks to be way too loose and the hat/head covering is nothing like anything I have seen on pilots of the period. Thanks again. SMB

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There is often a lot of artistic license involved. Many of my early auto images are very alegorical and bear only similarities to what the actual image really looked like. So, cars are often depicted in very generic ways, as are the occupants and their attire. I often get asked about automotive artwork and people wonder what kind of vehicle is depicted, or even who the person looks like in the image. Impossible to say usually, so just enjoy. I've got a couple of pics I'll post later to help illustrate some of my favorites.

Terry

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Sorry for the delay in posting some pics but something is wrong with the site-won't let me post pics. There is a thread going now under General discussion about this. Some are having difficulty, others not. Nothing changed here, it just didnt' work anymore so I'm feeling kinda left out at the moment. Will have to mess with it later when I have more time and am feeling a little less frustrated. U-all enjoy and I'll see ya later.

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  • 1 year later...

I actually had a very similar piece a few years ago. Almost exact, except the angel was in a slightly different position. Mine was a mass, memorial service for fallen pilots in WW1. I believe it dated 1916. If I had to place a educated guess, I would say yours was probably cut down to accommodate a frame. There are people who could authenticate this further but they are a bit pricey. It does look authentic to me, just from the pictures shown.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I actually had a very similar piece a few years ago. Almost exact, except the angel was in a slightly different position. Mine was a mass, memorial service for fallen pilots in WW1. I believe it dated 1916. If I had to place a educated guess, I would say yours was probably cut down to accommodate a frame. There are people who could authenticate this further but they are a bit pricey. It does look authentic to me, just from the pictures shown.

Interesting. It is not a repro, clearly an original lithograph on very thin paper, mounted forever ago. I put it in the current frame and mats but did not cut it down from the way I found it, in a very narrow, obviously period frame and glass. No lettering on it anywhere. Again, I just love the image and the colors are like new, must have been away from the light forever. Thanks for the info!

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