Size: 29.25 x 39.5 inches
A wonderful and extremely rare poster for the French Line, otherwise known as the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT, and commonly named "Transat"), was a French shipping company, established in 1855.
In 1861, the name of the company was changed to Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. The company's first vessel, the SS Washington, had its maiden voyage on 15 June 1864. After a period of trials and errors in the late 19th century, the company, gained fame in the 1910s and 1930s with its prestigious ocean liners such as the SS Paris and the SS Ole de France, as well as the SS Normandie .
Contrary to what its name suggests, Transat was not content with operating just in the North Atlantic route. It also offered service to Central America and even, for a time, the Pacific coast. From the beginning of the 20th century, it offered crossings between Marseilles and Algiers creating a tourist circuit in North Africa in the 1920s. In the 1930s, the company briefly became involved in aviation through Air France Transatlantique. Other than operating ocean liners, the company also had a significant fleet of freighters. The cargo service was started in the 1900s.
The ocean liners of Transat were often symbolic works of art of their time; they were intended to represent an image of France abroad. The quality of services on board, such as that of meals and wines, had attracted wealthy clientele, including Americans during the time of Prohibition. That is why this poster, showing elegant and cosmopolitain passengers partaking of libations at the bar, would be particularly attractive to an ocean-going public.
A rare and colorful image from 1935 showing the SS Normandie - a ship, which, at the time, was considered the ne plus ultra of ocean-going liners. "SS Normandie was an ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat; she is still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built.
Poster was left blank on the bottom so that the ship's next sailing date could be added as needed.
Poster was recently linen-backed and is in overall excellent condition. From a private collection. Rare.