Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 22

"Routes of the Flying Clipper Ships [As of December 7, 1941 - Subsequent Wartime Changes Censored]",

Subject: World, Aviation

Period: 1942 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

23.2 x 18.8 inches
58.9 x 47.8 cm
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A superb pictorial poster of Pan Am's global flying routes, created by Leon Helguera. Images of animals and important sites are shown on an oval-shaped globe, with red lines indicating the routes of Pan Am's "flying clipper ships." Pan Am named their flying boat fleet "clippers" to associate them with the maritime heritage of ocean liners. Flying boats could land in any sheltered harbor, making them a convenient and quick form of transportation that could service more cities than land planes, which required large runways. The maritime theme is evident on this poster, with Neptune, a mermaid, and sea creatures flanking the title cartouche, and constellations filling the skies above the globe, a common form of navigation for sea captains. This poster was created in honor of Pan Am's transatlantic airline service between Europe and the Americas in 1939 aboard the Boeing B-314, which is shown at bottom left. The title cartouche notes that the routes are current as of December 7, 1941 with "subsequent wartime changes censored" - an interesting and unusual note.

Leon Helguera (1899-1970) was a Mexican-born artist who immigrated to the United States during World War I. He worked as a commercial artist in New York and was commissioned by the Office of War Information to create posters during WWII, including an iconic image of Uncle Sam putting a finger over his lips for the "I'm Counting on You" campaign and posters to help foster unity between the people of the U.S. and Latin America.

References: Rumsey #8595.

Condition: A

A superb, bright example with wide margins on a watermarked sheet. There is some minor extraneous creasing and marginal soiling.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $1,100

Closed on 4/28/2021