Owl Saving Time

I did promise some more Daphne Padden posters in due course, so, now that I have managed to produce some reasonable photographs, here goes.  One day I will discover thousands of pounds in my purse and pop out to buy an AO scanner, but until then, you’ll just have to make do with these.

To start, this is a rather eclectic selection, mainly because I haven’t seen any of these before now and it’s good to get them out into the world.

The GPO one is quite straightforward – and rather sweet – although I can’t find it in the BPMA’s catalogue.

Daphne Padden GPO vintage valentine telegram poster

The same is true of the ROSPA seat belt poster.  (I distinctly remember having seatbelts very much like this, and I suspect the poster is just the right vintage for this to be true!)

Daphne Padden ROSPA seat belts for children poster

But I can’t tell you the first thing about the Carlton Restaurant, other than that I rather like both their colour scheme and the look of their breakfasts.

Daphne Padden Carlton Restaurant poster

Any ideas?  I think this art work may have been for them as well, simply from the colours and the crockery.

Toby jug artwork Daphne Padden

All of these posters came from the sale of Daphne Padden’s work after her death, and sadly came with nothing that might identify them or what they were for.  I don’t even know whether they were ones she particularly liked, or simply ones that had survived.  So if anyone can tell me anything more, I’d love to know.

Also among them were a whole pile of Post Office Savings Bank posters, including this rather lovely pair promising you fairy-tale endings if only you’d save.

Daphne Padden Post Office Savings Bank Knight poster

fairy Daphne Padden post office savings bank poster

There are also some rather fine animals.  I posted the rabbits last week, but the owls also get a starring role on their own.

Post Office Savings Bank poster owl and rabbits Daphne Padden

Daphne Padden poster owls Post office savings bank

These I can at least make a stab towards dating.  The Post Office Savings Bank turned into the National Savings Bank in 1969, and Padden did posters for both of them in very similar styles and even colour schemes.

Daphne Padden National Savings Bank farmer poster

So I am guessing that the vast majority of these date from the second half of the 1960s, and perhaps the very early 1970s.

This one, though, feels a bit earlier and is probably my favourite.

Daphne Padden Post Office Savings Bank poster child and butcher

That’s not all, either.  Next time I’ll post the slightly more familiar, but still wonderful coach posters.

But before then, a couple of footnotes.  One is that there’s quite a bit of confusion out there between Daphne Padden and her father, Percy, who also designed posters.  If you go through Christies’ past lots, quite a few of them are ascribed simply to ‘Padden’, while this poster is sold as being by Daphne.

Percy padden White Star vintage poster

Which, given that she was born in 1927 and this poster is most likely earlier than that, seems implausible.  But they’re not the only ones to make the mistake.  The NMSI also ascribe this one to her (an error which probably goes back to Science and Society photo library cataloguing).

Dovercourt Bay Percy Padden poster railways

They date it to 1941, but I would have thought it more likely 1930s.  Even in 1941, though, Daphne would only have been 14, so again, I think it’s most probably her father’s.  There’s a nice tranche of work for someone in attributing out their posters one day, if anyone out there fancies taking it on.

On a more personal note, when the posters were sold, it was sad to see some sentimental items in with them.  Here’s her father, in a self-portrait done when he was younger.

PErcy Padden self portrait

And here’s his portrait of Daphne in 1940.

Daphne Padden oil portrait by Percy Padden

I do hope the pictures went to someone who knew who they were.

  • This Dovercourt poster is by Septimus Scott! There is another Dovercourt poster at NMSI with the same descriptive text which could be a Padden, but as you say most likely Percy, not Daphne as stated.
    There are a number of errors like this in the NMSI/SSPL archive.

  • That technicolor breakfast is just delightful!

    I love the fellow with the stripy apron and bow tie.

    Thankye for sharing this lovely bundle of goodness!

  • It’s loud, isn’t it. I hope it tasted as good as the poster suggests…

    mm – thanks for that, it’s much appreciated. Wierdly, if you put ‘Padden’ into the NRM search engine, nothing comes up at all, so you can’t cross-check it.

    I’ve been told that the errors on the NMSI database come from Science and Society cataloging of the images, so the curators aren’t to blame. But there are quite a few odd attributions in there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.