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Original Inaugural 1930 World Cup Poster

Original Inaugural 1930 World Cup Poster

Code: 12778


W: 28cm (11")H: 52cm (20.5")D: 1cm (0.4")

£5,750.00 Approx $7160.65, €6686.05

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural FIFA World Cup, the world championship award for men’s national association football teams. The tournament was held in Uruguay from 13th to 30th July, 1930.

Dimensions: 52 x 28 cm

Condition: Very good for age devoid of tears, creases or excessive age-toning and with a few printer’s roller-marks that provide the poster with its own innate provenance and authenticity

This monochrome poster reads in Spanish: ‘Soccer World Championship / Montevideo, Uruguay / 15 July – 15 August’. The poster also carries the original blue stamp of the Comite Ejecutivo, marked 1930.The poster created in Art Deco style, depicts in its upper half a stylised figure of a faceless goalkeeper lurching upwards in a valiant attempt to stop a ball aimed at the top right-hand corner of the goal posts from entering the goal area, with the position of the ball shown by placing the crossbar and the right-hand goal post at the back of it in an angular fashion. The lower half contains writing in a heavily stylized font: ‘1er Campeonato Mundial de Futbol’ in black, and ‘Uruguay 1930 Montevideo 15 Julio Augusto 15’. The I is shown enlarged and prominent to emphasise the historical fact that it is the First World Football Championship. The vivid imagery enshrined in this most iconic of sports posters strikingly reflects the creative imagination and the consummate skills of a graphic artist at the height of his career. This iconic and historic poster has come to be known as the ‘Laborde Affiche’. The posters were published by Olivera y Fernandez of Reconquista 624, Montevideo.

Background Information

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural FIFA World Cup, the world championship award for men’s national association football teams. The tournament was held in Uruguay from 13th to 30th July, 1930. FIFA, football’s international body governing, selected Uruguay as the host nation, acknowledging the twin-facts that in 1930 the country would be celebrating the centenary of its first constitution, and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Olympic Games. All the matches were played in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, the majority at the Estadio Centenario, which was specially built for the tournament. Thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America) entered the tournament. Only a few Europeans teams chose to take participate because of the difficulty of travelling to South America at the time. The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, and were won France and the United States, who defeated Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0, respectively. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while the US goalkeeper, Jimmy Douglas posted the first official ‘clean sheet’ in the tournament. Argentina, Uruguay, the United States and Yugoslavia won their respective groups to qualify for the semi-finals. In the final, the host-nation and pre-tournament favourite, Uruguay defeated Argentina in front of a crowd of 68,346 people, and became the first footballing nation to win the World Cup.

The 1930 Word Cup Poster

Two types of posters were commissioned by the Uruguayan Football Federation, AUF for the tournament. They were the Official Poster in colour (78.5 x 38 cm; 38 x 15 in) and a smaller monochrome version of the Official Poster with the official stamp of the Comite Ejecutivo (52 x 28 cm; 201/2 by 11 in) designed by the Uruguayan graphic artist, Guillermo Laborde who had by that time acquired an international reputation.

Guillermo Laborde

Guillermo Laborde studied at the Circulo Estimulo de Bellad Artes with Carlos Maria Herrerea in Buenos Aires, before travelling to Europe between 1910 and 1912 visiting Florence, Milan, Rome, Paris and Spain. On his return to South America his work was widely exhibited in Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador and was the winner of various art awards. In view of his recognition in the Uruguayan art world, Laborde was originally selected as a juror on the panel that was formed to select the winner of the competition to design the official poster for the historic first World Cup of 1930. However, he subsequently decided to resign from the jury as he wished to enter the competition himself. Laborde in fact entered two designs and finished first and third.  In later life he became a teacher at the Circulo Estimulo de Bellad Artes, the Escuela de la Construccion and the Instituto Magisterial. Laborde also forged close links with the theatre, managing stage design at the Casa del Arte.

The Colour Version

The colour posters were to be given to the participating teams and officials connected with the staging of the event and dignitaries, both local and foreign, mostly from the neighbouring Latin American countries. Research indicates that there were only two types of the colour posters, both having the same characteristics except some had the printers mark and the others were without this mark.

General Comments 

Very few of the colour posters are known to have survived, especially as the print run was small. A colour poster in very good condition, without losses, tears, nicks or creases or discolourations if it ever appeared in today’s retail market (2022) could fetch a price as high as £50,000. 
A lot more of the monochrome version were printed for general publicity and advertising purposes and to be distributed to football fans, local and foreign, but mostly from neighbouring Latin American countries. However, only a very few are thought to be in existence today in a good collectible condition, without blemishes like losses, tears or discolourations and/or deeply marked creases or heavy age-toning.

Specific Comments on the Poster on Offer for Sale

After a decade-long search for the monochrome poster in Uruguay, in particular Montevideo, using a network of  local agents, we managed to find a few prints in the possession of a descendant of the original publisher of the poster in very good condition for their age.
It was abundantly clear to us that he had looked after them with extreme care, subscribing to the highest standards expected of a custodian of a much-cherished family heirloom and fully aware of its historical significance.
It was after prolonged negotiations with him that he agreed to sell them to us. To him, their preservation for decades to come, for posterity was the predominant concern. Since their purchase we have done everything to honour the undertaking we gave him.
We confidently predict that after the next World Cup tournament in 2026, when this poster enters its final four-year phase before it acquires the status of an antiquarian item of sports memorabilia in 2030, the centenary year of its original publication, it will not only be much sought-after but also see significant increases of its value.