Nous Les Aurons / Buy More Liberty Bonds WWI French Poster, Circa 1918

This is a striking World War I poster stating, "Nous les aurons [We will have them], Buy More Liberty Bonds." The color lithographic poster shows a woman dressed in a French infantryman's uniform with red pantaloons, a gray tunic, and puttees. She is holding a billowing French flag in her left hand and waving her hat with her outstretched right arm. A broken barbed wire fence can be seen in the background.

This poster was published just as Germany launched a series of major offensives that pushed the Allied lines back and had German troops advancing to within 70 kilometers of Paris. Previously locked in a stalemate of trench warfare all along the Western Front, the German 1918 spring offensives marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. This poster urges a war-weary American public to continue to support the war effort and “Buy More Liberty Bonds.”

The artist's name, "F. A. Crepaux," is shown near the lower right corner of the drawing. Small printed text in the lower right corner shows "Copyright 1918 by H. & G. Klotz & Co., N.Y." Printed text in the lower center area of the poster shows "Space Donated by Parfumerie Ed. Pinaud [Perfumery Edouard Pinaud]."

CONDITION:

Poster shows original folds. Color is vibrant and strong. Visible tear in upper right, which has been stabilized by a conservator. Small tears in bottom margin, stabilized.  Unframed Size: 46"x 30".

Poster has been framed with acid-free backing, UV Plexiglas, and a custom-built black wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 48" H x 32" W x 2 3/4" D.

PROVENANCE:

This poster was part of the Colonel Edward McCrahon Poster Collection. In 1919, during the final stage of World War I, Colonel Edward H. McCrahon found himself in the devastated French village of Mieux. Among the war-scarred buildings, he came upon a Howard Chandler Christy poster nailed to a door depicting a smiling woman in a navy blue suit declaring, "Gee, I wish I was a man, I'd join the Navy." McCrahon decided to take the poster as a souvenir and continued to collect more World War I posters over the next 16 years.

By 1935 he had obtained thousands, making his collection one of the largest privately owned World War I poster collections in America. As his collection increased, he started to expand his scope, including prints from all the major nations in the war, both Allied and Central Powers. McCrahon would frequent antique shops and bookstores, searching for forgotten posters. He even went so far as to advertise in local newspapers. After 16 years compiling his collection, Colonel McCrahon, along with his wife, made selected pieces of their poster collection public, exhibiting them in galleries, libraries, schools such as Middlebury College, and veteran groups such as the National Recovery Administration.

This specific poster is part of this amazing collection and was obtained via the McCrahon estate sale in 2015.  




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