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Gamy Montaut, Ernest Montaut

Gabriel sur Mors, Gabriel in Mors Pochoir Print

Early 20th Century

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Hand-colored pochoir print from Ernest and Gamy Montaut.

  • Depicting the pioneering but ill-fated international race of 1903 from Paris to Madrid, when Gabriel, driving a Mors car, exceeded an average of 100 mph for the first time on the road.
  • Framed and glazed.
  • Published by Mabileau & Co., Paris.

There was strong official resistance to racing on public roads, after this race. Only persistent lobbying by manufacturers eventually led to a reluctant change of heart. They argued such a race offered huge promotional potential for an industry now employing thousands of workers. The race attracted around 300 entrants, of which over 200 actually set off, starting in the gardens of Versailles at 3.:30 am on Sunday, 24th May. Such was the lack of experience in planning such a vast event, staged over a course of 1307 km, that the lack of crowd control and failure to anticipate the amount of blinding dust stirred up led to numerous accidents and injuries, as well as around a dozen fatalities. Following emergency government intervention, both French and Spanish, the race was at Bordeaux. At that stage, Fernand Gabriel was in 3rd place, driving one of the four Mors cars with their powerful 90 hp engines, capable of achieving 140 kph.

Ernest Montaut (1878–1909) was an innovative French poster designer whose all-too-short career captured the exhilarating new world of motorized transport, whether in the air, on the water or especially at high speed on the ground. He introduced the stylistic conceits of close horizontal lines and forward-leaning perspective in his vehicles, for instance, to exaggerate the sense of rapid motion. This period from the mid-1890s saw not only the rapid evolution of the motor car, but also the application of the internal combustion engine to boat design, as well as being fundamental in making possible the whole new concept of powered flight.

Montaut was joined in this endeavor by his wife, Marguerite (1883–1936), who expanding the range of earlier motoring posters to include aviation. She occasionally signed herself as M. Montaut, but more often as Gamy, an anagram of her familiar name, Magy. Following her husband's untimely death at the age of only 31, Marguerite continued their good work in the same distinctive and highly appealing style. This centered on the bold flat colors of the pochoir printing technique they mastered so well. Outlines and any text were printed lithographically, then corresponding stencils carefully prepared to allow in-filling by hand in watercolor and gouache, employing a number of artists for the purpose, leading to subtle variations in color in each painstaking example, often taking days to complete. It is this combination of factors that gives these highly attractive prints their superlative quality.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Not examined out of frame.

Wear is consistent with age and use.


Height: 19.38 inches / 49.23 cm
Width: 36.83 inches / 93.55 cm


Paper, Wood, Glass



Decorative Style

Modern Style, Transitional Style

Country of Origin


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