GAMY-MONTAUT and H. L. Roowy
[Cycles Motos Alcyon] [Lehmann et Jolly motos Alcyon 1914]
Colombes: Mabileau & Co., 1914. Hand-coloured pochoir print. Very good condition. Image size (including text): approximately 26 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches. Sheet size: approximately 35 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches.
Founded in 1902 by the industrialist Edmond Gentil, Alcyon was a manufacturer of motorcycles and cycles. Renowned for their sturdiness and buoyancy, their motorbikes were built with a Swiss ZL engine beginning in 1904.
The Gamy-Montaut prints document various historical events in the early history of motorized transportation, including Power Boat Racing, Motorcycle and Motor Car Racing, Motor Car Touring, Zeppelins and Airplanes. Having observed the rapidly growing interest in cars and racing during the early years of motor cars, Ernest Montaut ( 1879-1909) produced his first motoring prints in the mid-1890s, and by 1897, his drawings were pictorial records of the many races in France. Montaut's work was extremely well received in the Paris of his day and was shown in the fashionable shops of the Rue de l'Opera and Rue de la Paix, as well as in the better galleries. Marguerite M. Montaut, Ernest's wife, continued his work after his death producing not only racing prints but also developing a fine series of aviation prints commemorating such events as the first flights on the early European mail routes. While Marguerite Montaut's works were occasionally signed "M. Montaut", she usually used "Gamy", an anagram for Magy. The Gamy-Montaut prints were all produced by the pochoir process in which the outlines for each image were drawn onto lithographic stones and printed. Using these uncoloured prints as a template, elaborate stencils were cut for each colour. Water-colour was then brushed onto the image through the stencil. The colouring process was quite complex, with each print taking several days to produce. It was also quite labour intensive, and the studio of Gamy-Montaut therefore employed a group of trained artists, including Nevil and Campion, to assist in the colouring.