While I am sure that you are all now saving up every last penny for the Christies sale, there are a couple of good odds and ends on eBay right now. And, not surprisingly, they are a bit cheaper.
Pick of the pops are these two ARP posters, being sold by one MrsLovely.
The McKnight Kauffer I have seen before (not least because we have a smaller version on our sitting-room wall) but I don’t think I’ve ever come across the Keely until now.
What’s interesting is that if you take a flick through MrsLovely’s feedback and past sales, you will discover that she’s already sold one copy of the Keely (for the £120 asking price) and two copies of the McKnight Kauffer. So someone, somewhere must have come across a stash of pre-war ARP posters which were never used. Which does give me hope that there are still plenty more old posters out there waiting to be discovered. By me, preferably.
Also in her past sales, I found this Paul Nash.
It’s a collotype proof for Urne Buriall (enough to recommend it on its own) and a rather wonderful thing to get should you have had £180.
If you’re feeling rather more lighthearted, though, you could always plump for this wide-eyed giraffe.
A little eaten, but still currently quite covetable at £39.99.
And finally, proof that aesthetic value isn’t everything in posters, particularly when there’s railways involved.
This 1960s Christmas poster went for just £14.49 a few days ago.
While this one from the late 40s made £72.
Now, in a fight on looks alone, I think I’d probably just pick the 1961 poster, although I probably wouldn’t put either of them on the wall.
So why did the second one make so much more? Yes, it’s older. And yes, it does also have a certain historical value as a record a period when British Railways had only just been formed but the identities of the pre-war railway companies hadn’t entirely disappeared yet (although you could read them on this poster as going up in flames). But even that, surely, can’t make almost £60 worth of difference. It has to be just the sheer fact of those names being there which has given this poster the extra value. Strange, but true.
Both of these posters, incidentally, came from the Malcolm Guest collection, which means that I can tell you that the seller spent £65 on them and so is just about in profit, with four more posters to go.