Salon du Cycle Plate #051 Original Vintage Bicycle Poster
- TITLE: Salon du Cycle Maitres de L'Affiche Plate #051
- ARTIST: Jean-Louis Forain
- CIRCA: 1896
- ORIGIN: France
- SIZE: 11.25 in. x 15.5 in.
The "Les Maitres de l'Affiche" series was offered as a subscription series to collectors. Every month for 60 months, from December 1895 through November 1900, subscribers received by mail, 4 loose sheets (Maitres) with a cover sheet. It was sold in Paris for 2.50 francs for one month's subscription, (4 Maitres) and for 27 francs for 12 months (48 maitres), plus special (bonus) plates. Maitre's were never issued in a book form, but a binding of the 12 months Maitres was offered to subscribers, at the end of the year, with a beautiful hardcover design for 8 Francs.
The "Maitres de l'Affiche," were issued as separate numbered sheets, referred to as "plates". They were numbered, with the printers name "Imprimerie Chaix," in the margin at the bottom left hand corner, "PL.1" to "PL.240." In the margin at the bottom right hand corner of each, is a blind embossed stamp from a design of Cheret's. Each overall plate measures approximately 11 3/8 in. x 15 3/4 in. (29cm x 40cm). The actual poster image varies in size within the sheet, as the larger version posters were printed in varied sizes. Therefore, each has a margin (border) around the actual poster image.
The smaller format and the fact the "Maitres" were a paid subscription series, allowed Imprimerie Chaix to use the latest state of the art printing techniques, not normally used in the large format posters due to cost. A very high quality of paper was used, were as the large format posters were usually printed on lesser quality newsprint, due to cost and a short expected life span. This explains why the quality of the printing, in the "Maitres de l'Affiche," usually far exceeds that of their larger counterparts.