Styria Cycles (Joh. Puch & Comp) poster by Franz Laskoff (Francois Laskowski)


Styria Cycles (Joh. Puch & Comp) poster by Franz Laskoff (Francois Laskowski)

An original advertising poster for Johann Puch & Comp. Styria Bicycle Works from 1895. Wonderful art nouveau style with clean and simple lines. Extraordinarily rare early bicycle history and memorabilia.

1 in stock

This stunning poster is in very good condition and is currently framed and protected with clear Perspex.  The colours are bright, clean and retain their original specification which was very particular for this amazing bicycle manufacturing company who exported to both Great Britain and France.


Taking its name from the southeast Austrian city, Cycles Styria is shown here as the perfect racing bicycle.  This new design of bike the ‘safety bicycle’ (or simply a safety) is a type of bicycle that became very popular beginning in the late 1880s as an alternative to the penny-farthing (“ordinary”) and is now the most common type of bicycle. Early bicycles of this style were known as safety bicycles because they were noted for, and marketed as, being safer than the high wheelers they were replacing.

From 1889 Johann Puch (1862–1914) worked as an agent for Humber vehicles and manufacturer of Styria safety bicycles in a small workshop in Graz and in 1890 he founded his first company, Johann Puch & Comp., employing 34 workers. Cyclists like Josef Fischer, winning the first edition of Paris–Roubaix in 1896, popularized Styria bicycles which were even exported to England and France. By 1895, Puch already employed more than 300 workers producing about 6000 bikes a year.


As a young man Laskoff studied in Strasbourg, Paris and London. It was there that he found the greatest influences on his style, as his work with flat colors was certainly inspired by Aubrey Beardsley and the Beggarstaff Brothers. His style is dramatically different from his contemporary counterparts at Ricordi, Adolfo Hohenstein and Leopoldo Metlicovitz. Unlike the exuberant Liberty Style, Laskoff employs minimal outlining and minimal decorative effects, and uses flat colours to design strong images like this one, which is one of the rarest of his posters.

Franz Laskoff participated in the Kunschthafe which he made many maps and the 8th menu.

The poster Jugendstill of the retrospective Exhibition Alsace and Lorraine in 1895 (the pavilion of the orangery ) made it known to the public. Participation in the illustration of the work of Gustave Stosskopf , Luschtig üs’m Elsass .

Most of his work was done in Italy in the graphic studio of Casa Ricordi under the direction of Adolfo Hohenstein . He became a great figure of Italian art nouveau and produced many publicity documents and posters (Campari, Costina, Riccordi, Magazzini Mele di Napoli). Franz Laskoff participated in the newspaper Avanti.

Franz Laskoff left Alsace for Paris in 1898 then Milan and settled in England from 1906 where he pursued a career of poster and caricaturist.  François Laskowski disappeared in combat in 1918.


Designed by Franz Laskoff (Francois Laskowski) won first prize in response to a competition by the newly founded company and sponsored by the printer Grimme & Hempel, Leipzig it is a rare example of his beautiful work.

Going back as far as there is written history of competitions, champion athletes associated with products were often paid to endorse them or the sport. In bicycle race and endurance competitions of the day Franz Gerger (b. 9 Apr. 1867, d. 25 Mar. 1938) dominated bicycle racing from 1895 to 1897, and he was among those highlighted in Puch bicycle advertising.

The white and green colours derive from those of Styria, the Austrian state (or Bundesland) where the company was founded. The shade of green used on the Styrian flag is that of a fir-tree green reflecting the pride of the residents in their forests of fir trees.


This is the original poster, currently protected in a modern soft wood frame with Perspex.  It is in very good original condition with clear and vibrant colours.  Fold creases as to be expected and unbacked so in wonderful original state.  Poster Dimensions: 31 3/4 x 45 1/4 in./80.6 x 115 cm

Can be delivered rolled and unframed or in its existing frame.  If you would like it reframed in your own style, please get in touch with any of the team at Bygone Treasures with your specification and we will be happy to assist.

Additional information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 150 × 95 × 20 cm

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