Will everyone just stop it please. Right now. Because I can’t keep up.
Yes, this kind of thing. It’s a 1925 Underground poster by Alma Faulkner, and what it signifies is that yet more high quality London Transport posters are up for auction. As if we hadn’t had enough already
These are at Tennants Auctioneers up in Yorkshire, and although there are only a few of them (in a huge general sale), they’re all rather splendid.
Particularly interesting are these two, both by Andre Marty and from 1931.
They’re intriguing not just because they’re good, which they are, but also because they form part of a quad poster series, all designed to be hung together. Which I had never heard of until now
There are a few on the London Transport Museum site, including, to my surprise, this one.
Which is by Anthony Blunt. Well knock me down.
But the most interesting lot of all has, of course, no images with it.
Six Small London Transport Advertising Posters, for both underground and bus, lithographed in colours, comprising Wimbledon Championships by Phylis Bray, Richmond Royal Horse Show, Derby Day, Aldershot Tatto by E A Marty, The Royal Tournament, Olympia by E A Marty and Ascot Summer by Walter E Spredbery, various sizes, in matching frames
Guide Price: £300-500
It’s not the work of too long to track them down – although it would still be nice to see the real thing.
So if you missed out at Christies, you know where to go. And as all of the single posters above are estimated at £100-£200, you may also get more poster for your buck too.
Should you be interested, there’s also this rather good Bawden print too.
Along with another Bawden, and two John Pipers too. Estimate £300-500 for that Bawden, a bit less for the others.
There’s more too, much more, but I’ve run out of time for today. More auctions when I can face it, something different tomorrow.
It’s great that posters are considered art these days and sold at auctions. I wonder how many modern poster designs will become valuable in years to come?
It will be interesting to see what becomes collectable and what doesn’t. It may not be the things we think are valuable now!
It certainly appears as though the people who collected contemporary posters in the past favoured the more pictorial ones judging by the large numbers of this type of poster available today. (I think this preference was reflected in the salaries/fees paid to the artists too. Of the LNER Big 5, someone like Fred Taylor was on a much higher retainer than the more artistically adventurous Tom Purvis or Frank Newbould.)
The most highly prized and priced of the old posters today appear to be those stronger on design which are also those in shortest supply. Were they only appreciated by the elite few? Did they do their job if they were not liked? Maybe these posters were always in the minority. Was it Frank Pick of LT who said something like, “ For every 20 posters I commission I request 14 straightforward ones, 4 slightly challenging and 2 difficult”?
Reading my comment back on your blog I realise I omitted to make it clear that I was thinking specifically about ‘railway’ posters! …but you probably guessed that.
The first Andre Marty one I bought last year when I visited the London Transport Museum store — the colors and images really caught my eye, and it’s currently hanging on a wall at work. They also sold a print of the second one as well, though I didn’t buy it. It was only after I returned home and browsed through the online collection did I find that they were a set of four, so I ended up buying all of them in a different size later on.
I haven’t seen the Anthony Blunt one before but I like it too. Now I think I’ll have to add that set to my wishlist as well!
(Also, I’ve been following your blog [which is terrific] for awhile but never commented till now.)
mm: – yes I think you’re right about that (and that it applies to LT posters too). The prettier landscape posters (i.e. the ones which looked most like paintings) sold best – certainly that’s what the companies’ records show. And so the more modernist ones tend to be in short supply now. I do like the Frank Pick quote – haven’t heard that before, but it’s perfect.
Karen – hello and thank you for the kind words. I hadn’t known those sets of four existed either until those Marty ones came up in the sale. It would be great to have the space to hang them all.