Name your price

Shall we talk about this?

It fell out of my and Mr Crownfolio’s newspaper at the weekend; a handy pocket guide to collectables and antiques.  To my surprise, they even included posters.  Or really just the one.

double page poster spread from guardian guide

Just in case that’s a bit too squinty for you, here it is, along with the mindboggling / dealer-worthy / under-valued price (delete according to your own opinion) they attributed to it – also online here.

Tom Eckersley victorian Line Vintage London Underground poster

Now, I know this is revisiting lots of things I have said before about the differential between dealers’ prices and the real world and so on, but really.  Eight hundred pounds?  My mind, this time, has been well and truly boggled.

So I went out hunting.  And I genuinely couldn’t find that poster as having been sold anywhere – it doesn’t seem ever to have been auctioned.

But I did find this.

Tom Eckersley vintage poster for Victoria Line - BR version

It’s a year earlier, and I think was published by British Rail rather than London Underground.

Now, I don’t think it’s as good as the later Underground poster – you can see his design evolving to give the poster more impact between the two.  But is it worth ten, twenty times less?  Or even eighty times less?

Because this poster was sold at a railwayana auction earlier this year for just £10.  Yes, you did read that right.  Folded, but VGC.  My mind is now even more boggled than it was before.  So much for the internet flattening out poster prices.  If anyone can explain what is going on here, I’d love to know.

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