Before the days of glossy magazines and social media, ski resorts only had one way of getting their message accross to potential holidaymakers – the humble ski poster. This may seem like a fairly primitive form of advertising by today’s standards, but many of these iconic posters have been reproduced on everyday items such as ski passes over the years and have consequently become collectors’ items for winter sports fans around the world.
Eager to portray their own area as the most stylish and desirable place to stay, the railway companies and tourist offices would provide the poster designers with a standard text and encourage them to interpret the character of the location and the joy of winter sport in their own unique way, creating a huge range of artistic styles. Thanks to the ordinary ski poster, the history of winter sport from bobsledding to ski jumping has been chronicled in glorious art form.
With their powers of seduction, and ability to leave us all pining for the glamour of a bygone age of skiing, when the slopes were deserted and the fashion was fabulous, ski posters have become a popular choice for those looking to decorate both their chalets in ski areas and properties back home.
The demand for original ski posters has been growing steadily over the years and the general rule of thumb when looking to make such an investment comes down to basic economics – the fewer original copies there are of a particular poster, the more valuable it will become. The slight problem is that nobody really knows how many copies are in circulation. The ski poster market, like skiing itself, is driven by passion – a passion for the sport, by a passion for a particular resort – with most purchasers choosing a poster quite simply because they like it.
These early adverts may have been simple, but they were certainly effective. Who would have thought that these promotional pictures would be adorning the walls of mountain homes in ski resorts around the world after all these years? It seems somewhat unlikely that anyone will remember a Tweet, Facebook post or any particular Instagram picture out of the millions of images that we are bombarded with every second of every day!
Christies is hosting it’s Ski Sale today, so pop down to South Kensington to pick up your favourite poster. www.christies.com/salelanding