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The XII Summer Olympiad was originally due to be held in Tokyo from September to October 1940 but political unrest because of the ongoing Sino-Japanese War resulted in the Games being rescheduled to take place in Helsinki from July to August of that year.

A promotional poster was designed by Finnish artist Ilmari Sysimetsa for the occasion but the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 meant the games were indefinitely postponed (although by that time the posters had been printed).

This Latin American version is a rare example of the 1940 poster and is guided at $800-1200. The Finnish capital finally hosted the games in 1952 with Sysimetsa’s design duly updated. An example of this later poster will also be offered, guided at $700-1000.

swanngalleries.com