See the 1927 Vogue Cover Artwork that Broke Auction Records This Week

It was originally valued at just $6,000.

Georges Lepape, ‘Le Mirior’, Cover for Vogue, published November 15, 1927. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.
Georges Lepape, ‘Le Mirior’, Cover for Vogue, published November 15, 1927. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.

An original 1927 Vogue cover artwork by French illustrator and artist Georges Lepape has sold for a record breaking $52,500 at auction this week, a far cry for the original estimate of $6,000 – $9,000.

The auction, held at Swann Auction Galleries in New York, included several other famous illustration works, such as an original watercolor by Dr. Seuss first published in Redbook Magazine, which sold for $23,750.

Dr. Seuss [Theodor Geisel] Tadd and Todd, Published in Redbook Magazine 1950. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.

Dr. Seuss [Theodor Geisel] Tadd and Todd, Published in Redbook Magazine, August 1950. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.

Lepape’s Le Miroir is a watercolor and ink on paper illustration, as many early such covers were, and is one of several covers that the artist created in his lifetime. He also worked for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and other leading fashion magazines. Signed and dated Geo Lepape, 1927, the image still retains the dark pinhole marks at its corners.

The Lepape illustration was sold among several other high-profile cover artworks, including a Romain de Tirtoff Erté cover for Harper’s Bazaar which sold for $45,000 after an initial valuation of $6,000 – $9,000.Romain de Tirtoff Erté, La Cage Improvisée, Cover art for Harper's Bazaar, published July, 1922. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.

Romain de Tirtoff Erté, La Cage Improvisée, Cover art for Harper’s Bazaar, published July, 1922. Photo Courtesy: Swann Auction Galleries.

Lepape made a name for himself in the world of haute couture after befriending fashion designer Paul Poiret, for whom he illustrated the seminal sign book Les Choses de Paul Poiret Vues par Georges Lepape in 1911. He was then featured in a historic exhibition at the Museum of decorative Arts in Paris which attempted to catalogue how painters of the time viewed 20th Century fashions, by which time Lepape had also become a regular contributor to the French fashion magazine, Gazette du Bon Ton.

Bon Ton was a part of the Condé Montrose Nast empire and following its closure in 1925, Lepape was invited by the US editor of Vogue to continue his work there. During his six-month long stay in the Big Apple, Lepape produced a large and significant amount of work for the magazine. art


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