I don’t normally bother you with auction results except for the biggest sales. But Swann Galeries sent me the results for their 15 November poster sale which I wrote about a few weeks ago. And it’s noteworthy for two things.
Number one is this.
It went for, wait for it, $24,000 – the second most expensive poster they sold at that auction. Which is a fairly extraordinary result for a London Transport poster. Almost everything else in the list of high-fliers is a trad tourism poster from the 1920s or a picture of a cruise ship. I’m surprised and impressed.
Although this did also make $10,800 t00.
The catalogue text could only have been written by an American. One who has never seen the English seaside.
Here, in a visual snippet worthy of Brideshead Revisited, Higgins’s exceptional Art Deco style captures the perfect essence of an elegant evening at a British holiday destination.
The other brilliant thing about Swann’s results, though, is that they tell me just a bit about who bought the poster, at least whether it’s a collector or a dealer. So both of those ones above went to collectors, for example.
One of the real sadnesses about internet bidding, is that I just don’t know who’s bought anything any more. Back in the old and draughty days of Onslows at Marble Arch, I knew exactly who had beaten me to a gem, and who else was hoovering up all of the odds and ends for £20 a lot like us. I can’t even see who’s bought a poster on eBay now. So it’s always good to hear even just a little bit about where these things are going.
Elsewhere, Onslows have put up a preview for their December sale. The auction advertises itself as ‘Important Railway Posters’ so it is perhaps no surprise that the preview features more pictures of trains than I consider strictly necessary in one place (a detailed image of a train being repaired at Crewe being perhaps the apotheosis of this). Although, as pictures of trains go, this one isn’t bad.
It’s by Zec, it’s from 1932, and Onslows are estimating that it will go for £10,000-15,000 in the sale. Which could make it the most expensive railway poster they’ve ever sold. We shall see how hard times really are then, shan’t we?
The only one I can muster up any real enthusiasm for is this Bromfield from 1956.
Although I didn’t buy it for £440 at Morphets, so I rather doubt that I will buy it at Onslows’ estimate of £700-1,000 either.
Finally, Sotherans have put a new(ish) catalogue of posters on their site. It’s all digital and so fully carbon neutral, whoop de doop.
It is, of course, still eye-achingly expensive. I’ve gone on about them often enough before, so you can take my complaints as read this time. Although I am starting to get inured to their prices. To the extent that £195 each for these seems really quite reasonable.
This may of course be down to the fact that we own two of these cows already, and I really, really need the third.