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Ernest Montaut: A Collectible Automobilia Artist

by David Bausch (10/01/08).

Not too many years ago the automobile was considered the work of madmen, determined to corrupt the morals of our society, not to mention upset the enterprise of the blacksmith, the horse breeder and the harness maker. (They weren’t far from the truth.) It is difficult for the current generation to understand how the automobile caught the world’s imagination.

The artist with his canvas was best to capture the new found exciting event. No one artist was able to capture the excitement better then Ernest Montaut of Paris, France. Ernest Montaut, artist and lithographer, was the first to mass produce automobile art. Not only were his lithographs sold in Europe, but Motor Magazine of the United States used some of his images, in printed form, as inserts in some of their early issues.

Pictured is a 1908 lithograph showing an early race car with a blue bird on the righthand corner of the lithograph. These, like so many early lithographs, fade quickly if not properly displayed, always away from direct sun light.

The value depends upon the condition, but his lithographs sell for around $250-$350.

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