I was going to ignore the second Wallis and Wallis auction of World War Two posters, on the grounds that they mostly illustrate the same truth as the first auction, which is that there were far more bad wartime posters than good ones.
Once again in this auction, pictures of aeroplanes and excerpts from Churchill’s speeches are by far the majority. Posters like this.
There’s perhaps one classic,
And a couple which I quite like for no real good reason.
They’ll all go for a lot of money, though, so who cares what I think.
But then Serena, who had clearly been reading the catalogue more closely than I had, pointed out that lot 588 was quite interesting.
588 2 WWII ATS recruiting posters: “ATS as Signal Operators” 3 operators, one with morse key (51-9700) and “ATS carry the messages”, despatch rider on motor cycle (51-9796); in a sleeve. VGC
To be precise, at least one of them is by Beverley Pick and is rather good.
I’m guessing that the other one is also from the same series, but I can’t find an image of it. Pick also did this one as well.
I rather like the mixed photo-montage and text – Pick did the same sort of thing in these two great posters (apologies for not very good images).
I can find a few other things in the same sort of style, like this wartime one whose point I can’t entirely grasp.
And a few other things which are entirely different.
Then that’s about your lot. I think that, after the war, Pick concentrated on exhibition and industrial design rather than posters, including parts of Britain Can Make It and the Festival of Britain, and I ought to do some more research when I am less pressed for time. More on this later then, and thanks again to Serena for flagging the poster up.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world of auctions, this Abram Games has come up on eBay.
It’s lovely, it’s backed on linen, I’ve never seen it before, but it is still eye-wateringly expensive at $1,700 Buy It Now. You can make a best offer, though; perhaps I will go for £150 and see what they say. There on the other hand, as it’s almost 80″ x 120″, and I don’t have an advertising hoarding to put it up on, perhaps I won’t bother.