We seem to own a piece of railwayana, how did that happen?
Fortunately, this didn’t end up being as relevant as it might have been this Easter.
But it still has a purpose, as you can also buy its cousin in a few days time in Chertsey. If that makes its estimate of £150-250, there may be another one coming onto the market quite swiftish.
The auctioneers have this down as 1930s, but they’re both published by the Railway Executive Committee, who ran the railways from the start of WW2 in 1939 until nationalisation created British Railways in 1948. And the ‘don’t travel’ message pretty much has to be wartime, I should think.
By way of completeness, here is a third from the National Railway Museum collections.
They’re all by Reginald Mayes, who was staff artist for the London Midland and Scottish Railway before the war and so presumably stayed on to produce a wide range of anti-travel and propaganda posters for the Railway Executive Committee. What’s interesting is that I can’t find any traces of anything he designed for the London Midland, so it looks as if he only started signing things after 1939. If anyone can tell me any more, please do.
In other auction news, Dreweatts in Bristol are selling a second collection of works by Percy Drake Brookshaw, once again being sold by the family of the artist (I blogged about the first sale in February). Some are the same posters,
and quite a few are in the same style as those in the last sale (i.e. with the colour turned up to 11).
But there are also a couple of interesting ones. This 1958 London Transport poster is rather lovely, and you’d get two copies for an estimated price of £50-70, which seems entirely reasonable to me.
Meanwhile the big estimate of £300-400 is on this Summer Shell poster.
The Shell Poster Book tells me that it’s from 1933 (there, incidentally, is an archive that would really benefit the world were it online) so it may well go for more. Happy shopping.
Reading your posts makes me realise that all too often I have been seduced by pretty, nostalgic picture style posters rather than good design. I tend to collect double royal rail posters so I went for the wonderful Brookshaw Bognor Regis poster in the Dreweatts auction, but was comprehensively outbid. I think my expectations were somewhat misled by the fact that they had sold another copy for £140 in an earlier auction, although I knew that Christies had sold one for ~£800 sometime back…but anything can happen there! I’ll have to keep looking…
There’s nothing wrong with rural nostalgia, it’s an essential part of the British view of life. I am currently sitting here with a Shell poster of haymaking at Stanton Harcourt looking over my right shoulder and very fine it is too.
Shame about the Bognor Regis, it’s infuriating when that happens. It does come up every so often, though, so there may be another chance
I suspect some of these posters painted a rather nostalgic or romanticised view of rural life even when they were first issued!
Hi, there is a mention here of a Shell poster of “haymaking at Stanton Harcourt”. I’d be very interested in trying to track down a copy and seeing what this image looks like. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Christies have sold one copy:
but it doesn’t seem to come up very often. Hope this helps!