Friday 11 June 2021

Bicycle Posters - part 1

Hurtu Cycles by Lovatelli
99 x 137.5 cm (France)

A bicycle is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A bicycle rider is called a cyclist, or bicyclist.

Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe, and by the early 21st century, more than 1 billion were in existence at a given time. These numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, bicycle racing, and bicycle stunts.

The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright “Safety bicycle” has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. However, many details have been improved, especially with the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialised designs for many types of cycling.

The bicycle's invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods. Several components that eventually played a key role in the development of the automobile were initially invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tyres, chain-driven sprockets and tension-spoked wheels.

In the early days of the bicycle craze, cycling was largely considered to be a male activity — it was only acceptable for a woman to ride a tandem or tricycle with the husband guiding the way. Still, there was another impediment to female cycling: their long skirts, which were “de rigueur” in the late 19th century, could easily become tangled in the spokes—and should a lady’s legs be exposed while hiking up her dress, she was considered indecent. 

The safety bicycle was developed in 1894, and this allowed women the momentous occasion to finally cycle on their own. Advertisers were quick to realise that if women began riding bicycles, then their marketing tactics would have to adapt to increase sales. This proved to be a key moment of transformation: female consumers needed to see themselves in advertising, and the poster art obliged them. For the first time ever, women were given a key element to attaining independence—the bicycle, and all the roving possibilities that entailed—and posters emboldened this new assertion of power. Female cyclists were depicted as goddesses, warriors, angels, enchantresses, and arbiters of their own desires. In posters, the women were in charge.

Posters continued their work of appealing to both female and male consumers. Their depictions of powerful goddesses could inspire female audiences, but they could also be made attractive to men. In this way, advertisers could sell the idea of machines to women and also sell the idea of women using machines to male audiences—a double marketing whammy.

This is part 1 of an 11-part series on bicycle posters:

c1880 Cycles Papillon by J. Artus
90 x 139.4 cm (Belgium)

1880s Howe  Bicycles Tricycles, Glasgow (UK)

1880s Quadrant Cycles
The Quadrant Cycle Co., Birmingham (UK)

1886 Columbia Bicycle
The Pope Mfg. Co. Boston, MA (USA)

c1887 The Quadrant Tricycle Co., Sheepcote St., Birmingham, UK
73.5 x 97 cm

Hurtu Cycles, Paris, France:

In 1867 Jean Diligeon, Victor Hautin and Jacques Hurtu pooled their resources to form the company Hurtu, Hautin et Diligeon to manufacture sewing machines. They had started making bicycles by 1899, making their debut at the 1889 World's Fair as cycle constructers as well as sewing machine manufacturers. Diligeon bought out his partners in 1895 and renamed the company Diligeon et Cie. The Hurtu name was still used for the company's bicycles, though their advertising posters after 1895 showed the name Dilgeon et Cie beneth the Hurtu name.

1889 Cycles Français Hurtu, Paris
127.5 x 98 cm

1900 Hurtu, Diligeon & Cie.
 140 x 99 cm

Cie. des Autos et Cycles Hurtu, Paris

Cycles Français Hurtu, Paris

Hurtu Cycles, Paris

Hurtu Cycles, Paris
artist: Lovatelli
99 x 137.5 cm

Posters by artist Lucien Baylac, French (1851-1911)

Lucien Baylac was a French illustrator. Baylac's work has been offered at auction multiple times, with prices realised ranging from $421 USD to $1,500 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. The record price to date for this artist at auction is $1,500 USD for Acatène Velleda (1898) sold in 2019.

1889 Clément Paris by Lucien Baylac
129 x 90 cm

1893 Cycles de la "Metropole" by Lucien Baylac
50.6 x 94 cm

c1893 Acatène Métropole by Lucien Baylac
129.8 x 89.3 cm

1894 Bicyclettes Terrot, Dijon by Lucien Baylac
29 x 91.4 cm

1894 Cycles Ouragan, St. Etieenne (Loire) by Lucien Baylac 
130 x 94 cm

1894 Grand Manège Central by Lucien Baylac
44.5 x 27.3 cm

1896 Bayliss Thomas & Co. de Coventry by Lucien Baylac
127 x 90.8 cm

1896 Clément, Paris by Lucien Baylac
124.2 x 87 cm

1898 Velleda Acatène by Lucien Baylac
159 x 119 cm

Rambler Cycles G. & J. by Lucien Baylac

1889 New Rapid and Quadrant Cycles
The Clark Cycle Co., Baltimore + Maryland (USA)

c1889 La Marque Georges Richard by Léonce Burret:

Léonce Burret (1866 Bordeaux -1915) was a French illustrator of magazines and books during the Belle Époque. He was born in Bordeaux, where he also studied Fine Art. He worked in the Parisian district of Montmartre for magazines like Le Rire and La Semaine de Suzette. He also made many illustrations for sheet music.

1890 Cycles Humber by Alfred Choubrac (France)

c1895 Cycles Decauville by Alfred Choubrac
96.6 x 74 cm (France)

Alfred Choubrac (1853 Paris - 1902 Paris) was a French painter, illustrator, draughtsman, poster artist and costume designer. Together with Jules Chéret he is considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern coloured and illustrated poster of the Belle Époque in France, in particular in Paris. He trained at the École des Beaux Arts, and with his elder brother Léon reduced the cost of colour lithography introducing technical advances.

1890 Columbia Bicycle, The Pope MFG. Co. Boston, MA (USA)

1890 Cycles Orio e Marchand 58 x 41 cm (Italy)

1890 Manufacture Française Bicyclettes de Haute Précision, E. Lévy (France)

1890 - c1907 Edward Penfield:
Edward Penfield (1866 New York - 1925 New York) received his training at the Art Students League in New York City. He went on to become the art director at Harper’s magazine and also designed a series of monthly posters for Harper’s that won enormous critical acclaim. By the turn of the century, Penfield’s reputation as an important graphic designer was assured.

1894 Harper's October magazine poster by Edward Penfield
44.9 x 33.7 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

c1895 Orient Cycles, Waltham Manufacturing Co.
 by Edward Penfield

1896 Ride a Stearns and be content
by Edward Penfield
141.6 x 107.5 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

c1900 The Northampton Cycle Co., MA
by Edward Penfield
103.6 x 69 cm

c1890-1905 Cycles Terrot, France:

c1890 Cycles Terrot, Dijon, France
by Francisco Tamango (1862 Turin - 1933 Paris)

1900 Terrot, Dijon Cycles Automobiles
78.5 x 59.5 cm

c1900 Cycles Terrot, Dijon

c1902 Cycles, Motorcycles Terrot, Dijon

1905 Terrot & Cie., Dijon by Francisco Tamango

c1905 Terrot & Co., Dijon by Francisco Tamango

Terrot & Cie, Dijon Cycles Motocycles

c1890 Cycles Cerf / Dunlop Tyres
114.6 x 75.6 cm (France)

c1890 Cycles-Rochet, Paris
124.5 x 89.8 cm

c1890 Humber Cycle, UK
150 x 100 cm

c1890cHumber Cycles Lead
Beeston (Nottinhamshire) & Coventry, UK

c1890 - 1935 Jean De Paléologue (signed PAL):
Jean de Paleologu (or Paleologue) (1855 – 1942) was a Romanian poster artist, painter, and illustrator, who often used PAL as his signature or logo and was active in France and the United States. Born Jean de Paleologu in Bucharest, he trained in England, then returned to Romania and attended a military academy, before visiting London again several times and moving to Paris more permanently. He left Paris for the United States in 1900. He illustrated Petits poèmes russes (Small Russian Poems) by Catulle Mendès, which was published by Charpentier in 1893. His work also appeared in many periodicals, including Vanity Fair, Strand Magazine, New York Herald Tribune, and others. He also painted some portraits of comedians and music-hall performers and created some of the most influential poster advertisements for bicycle manufacturers.

1890 Cleveland Cycles by PAL
150 x 111 cm

1890c Clément-Cycles-Motocycles by PAL
141.2 x 107.5 cm

1895 Fernand Clément & Cie. by PAL
148.6 x 107.3 cm

1895 New-Howe Machine Co. Ltd., Glasgow by PAL

1897 Humber Cycles by PAL
146 x 110 cm

1898 Cycles Clément, Paris by PAL
153.2 x 108.7 cm

1898 La Marque Georges Richard by PAL
156.3 x 111.7 cm

c1898 Déesse by PAL
145.8 x 107.3 cm

c1899 Cycles Liberator by PAL
144.2 x 106 cm

c1899 Patin-Bicyclette. Richard-Choubersky by PAL
128.6 x 91.7 cm

1935 La Péoria by PAL

Cycles Sirius by PAL

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