Going dutch

It was the Van Sabben poster auction on Saturday.  As usual, there weren’t too many British posters there, but this time those few were mostly of very high quality – and ones that don’t often turn up – so it’s worth taking a look at.

To start with, there were five Abram Games.  This RAMC Parachute poster made the most, at €600 (approx £508), despite being my least favourite by quite some distance.

Abram Games RAMC parachute vintage poster 1944

I would much rather have had this one, for a mere  £386-sih.

Abram Games vintage ROSPA stacking poster 1947

Clearly someone who was very interested in sending telegrams to ships was selling their collection too, as there was this 1947 Rothholz (a bargainous £183)

H A Rothholz vintage GPO poster sending telegrams to ships 1947

And a 1949 Pat Keely on the same subject which went for just  £122.

Pat Keely vintage GPO poster radiotelegrams ships 1949

As well as yet another Games – probably the nicest of the three, and quite cheery for him.

Abram Games telegrams ships vintage GPO poster 1950

That went for £355, since you ask.

But the highlights of the sale for me were three Zero posters.  The starter is this lovely Central line extension poster from 1946, which made just over £200.

Hans Schleger vintage London Underground central line extension poster 1946

But that’s not the main attraction.  This fantastic WW2 Ministry of Food poster

Hans Schleger vintage WW2 poster grow your own food

would have been covetable enough on its own, but it came with its sibling too.

Hans Schleger vintage WW2 poster eat greens

Together they went for £560, which is actually very reasonable for posters of this quality – especially ones which don’t tend to come up at auction much.  We didn’t buy anything in the end, but I now wish we’d tried a bit harder with these two; we might never get the chance again.

Just to stop this blog being too insular, it is also worth remembering that the auction had hundreds of very lovely foreign posters for sale too.  Van Sabben quite often have a fair quantity of Dick Bruna for sale.  This auction had just a few, but this one, advertising childrens’ book week, is rather fun, especially just for £91.

Dick Bruna childrens book week poster

I also rather like this image by Kees Kelfkens, which I’ve seen come up before and went for £142.

1958 Kees Kelfkens poster give a book

But then I am always a sucker for a nicely drawn cat.  Especially one from 1958.

Even though the sale’s over, it’s still worth taking a look at the catalogue, as Van Sabben offer ‘aftersales’ – i.e. a chance to buy anything which didn’t go at auction.  So it’s still possible to get a 1943 Pat Keely for just over £100, should you so desire.

Pat Keely navy poster 1943

But don’t spend all your money now.  The Onslows’ sale comes up in just a few weeks time – more news on that when the catalogue appears.

  • I’m not sure if you’re a poster purist but I bought the ‘eat your greens’ print from the London War Museum for £4 a few years ago. It hung very happily in the kitchen until we moved! Lovely stuff on here, great job


  • I started out buying postcards and prints, and so I’m definitely not a purist. It’s a great way to get a wonderful piece of design on your wall – I’d far rather people were looking at and enjoying these posters than just locking them away in archives. Glad you like it so much!

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