Blog feature by Richard Davies for Abebooks:
The Tour de France remains one of the world’s most significant and most gruelling sporting events. The world’s most famous bicycle race was first staged in 1903 and its long history mirrors the development of the bicycle as a method of transport for leisure and work. Advertising posters for bikes have been around for even longer, stretching across art movements such as Belle Epoche and Art Deco.
Enjoy these 10 original bicycle advertising posters, all offered for sale by the AntikBar poster gallery in London.
A striking French Art Deco poster from 1928, designed by Maurice Lauro. Automoto was a French bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1902. It became part of Peugeot in 1930.
A 1930 poster. The boy is saying “I also have a Peugeot” as a blue Peugeot car drives by.
This 1908 Peugeot poster reflects the militaristic sentiments felt across Europe at this time as nations armed themselves for war. One soldier hands a message to a mounted colleague. Cycles Peugeot was founded in 1882 in France.
A very British poster from 1930. Phillips was formed in 1908 and later became part of Raleigh. The Birmingham-based manufacturer was Britain’s second-largest bicycle producer for many years after Raleigh.
The French also liked lions. This 1900 poster pitches Rochet cycles for customers around the world.
Terrot was a manufacturer in Dijon, France. It began by building both bicycles and motorbikes before focusing solely on motorcycles. This 1920 poster combines their product lines.
Boy meets girl. Royal Enfield was a brand name of the Enfield Cycle Company which manufactured motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines.
A Spanish poster from 1929. “Pulphi, the queen of the bicycles,” reads the tagline. The poster’s text at the bottom reads ‘champion of Spain’, but the Vuelta a España (Spain’s equivalent of the Tour de France) did not start until the 1930s.
A Belle Epoque-style poster from 1890, advertising Humber cycles, a premium British manufacturer of bicycles founded by Thomas Humber, who expanded into various overseas markets. Humber eventually moved into making cars. Is the lady going to ride the bike that dress?
Riders using Automoto bicycles won the Tour de France in 1923, 1924 and 1925 – a fact that the company used in their advertising in 1925. Oddly, the winning riders suffered tragic ends. Frenchman Henri Pélissier won in 1923 but was shot by his lover in 1935. Italian Ottavio Bottecchia won in 1924 and 1925, but was found badly injured by a roadside in 1927. He died 12 days later. His death remains a mystery.
+ visit our gallery or our website at www.AntikBar.co.uk for more information and to view our wide variety of cycling and other posters from around the world (propaganda, war, sport, travel, advertising and movie posters), available online with worldwide delivery:
AntikBar – Original Vintage Posters
404 King’s Road, London SW10 0LJ
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AntikBar is a Member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers’ Association (IVPDA), UK Posters Network, King’s Road Curve and The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA).