Our theme today is things mounted on board.  Because twice today I’ve looked at a promsingly low-priced item, only to discover that the apparent cheapness is justified, because it has been glued to a large lump of chipboard.  Sigh.

The first offender is this – estimated at a mere £80-120, which is a pittance for such a lovely thing.

Alfred Clive Gardiner 1926 vintage London Transport poster Kew Gardens from Bloomsbury

This Deco splendery is by Alfred Clive Gardiner from 1926 and I like it very much.

It’s on offer in the forthcoming Bloomsbury Poster and other bits and bobs Auction on 20th January.  Sadly, there isn’t a great deal else there to detain us.  A McKnight Kauffer perhaps. estimated at £200-400.

McKnight Kauffer ARP vintage WW2 poster 1938

Of interest to me at least is this Norman Wilkinson National Savings poster, estimated at £100-200.

Norman Wilkinson National Savings Poster from Bloomsbury auction

It’s the estimate that I’m most interested in, as we have two of these (I know, I have no idea why) which we’d happily sell now, so if they end up being worth anything like that it will be what is known as a result.

Other than that, it’s the usual run of Art Nouveau, sleek Art Deco cruise liners and pictures of people skiing.  Although this one did at least make me laugh.

Visite Portillo vintage skiing poster Chile

Estimate £250-35o for the political animals amongst us.

The second piece of boardery turned up on eBay.  £199 Buy It Now seemed very cheap for a vintage Claude Buckle GWR poster.

Claude Buckle Bath poster from eBay GWR vintage railway poster

Until you get close to it.  Not only is it mounted on board, but someone seems to have been taking pot shots at it too.

The seller does have a couple of other interesting poster too, albeit at a price.  This Percy Drake Brookshaw comes up every so often in auctions and so on.

Percy Drake Brookshaw vintage travel poster from eBay

And every time it does, it gives me a headache, so I certainly wouldn’t pay £200 for it (and, judging by its auction record, neither would anyone else).

But I do quite like this 1958 image by John Cort.

John Cort vintage 1958 travel poster excursions to the continent

At £150 Buy It Now or a bright bit of 1950s moderne, I suspect that will go quite soon (although Mr Crownfolio thinks I am wrong there).  And if it doesn”t, it should.

But I do also have a question about chipboard, or rather the posters that are stuck to them.  I am assuming that these have such low estimates because it’s not really possible to get the poster off the board.  Is this so, or is the process reversible?

This isn’t an abstract question, either.  We’ve got this lovely 1922 London Underground poster by Alfred Rutherston in just that state.

Albert Rutherston 1922 vintage London Underground poster on board from us

So if it can be released, I’d really like to know.

  • A copy (the same one?) of “Excursions from London to the Continent” sold on ebay a month ago for a mere £22.26 ! (I was the underbidder)

  • yep I saw that poster too but wasn’t in love with it enough even to bid 20 odd quid. So I was VERY surprised to see it for £150. I’m with mr Crownfolio,it will never sell…..

  • I am clearly outnumbered on this one then. Although I still think that, sold to the right kitsch market, it ought to get a lot more than £22…

  • I think my comment sounded rather rude and cast aspersions on your good taste. I think perhaps I should reveal my poor taste by saying how much I love the whitby poster. I am of course a big fan of the town and have fond memories of the captain cook museum….but mainly the fish and chips. I imagine that particular poster will sell for rather more than 22 quid however. Ah well.

  • I seem to remember steam or freezing as a way to remove glued paper from another surface (assuming the glue is not water resistant)….though not particularly sure I would try this at home or indeed strive to prove this theory on one of my own beloved artefacts.
    Personal taste is an interesting thing – I too like the Whitby poster, but then I like all Whitby posters and all Scarborough posters and all Filey posters…perhaps my nostalgia hormone is having a laugh with me? As far as the Prestatyn poster goes, Im sure someone, somewhere is having their own nostalgia hormone moment with that right now, if it were mine I would mount that poster on chipboard – face down.

  • Oh no, not rude at all; taste is only relative, isn’t it, so I am no more right than anyone else. I just go on about mine more.

    And yes, I think home steaming, although an interesting idea, is probably a bit more risky than I’m prepared to go for. Although Mr Crownfolio would love to learn poster conservation, if only to be able to right some of the wrongs that we come across. But I do like the Prestatyn s0lution; there are a few more posters I could apply it to as well…

  • The Cort didn’t sell…

    Not only is the Gardiner on board but it is also trimmed and laminated. A tripple whammy! I doubt that there is much that can be done to save this except frame it as is.

    I imagine if a poster has been mounted on board with a water soluble glue it could be soaked off but would need to be backed straight away. Not a job for the amateur, I fear.

  • Many of the posters that you show, mounted on hardboard and laminated (they were originally in frames too – with no glass), are from London Transport’s poster archive. They were given this treatment so that they could be displayed in London Transport offices. They were sold off a few years ago via auction/s. If you own one (for instance your Rutherston – he produced 3 posters in total for the Underground) look on the back and you will see a London Transport archive catalogue number (‘Y’ followed by four numbers). And no I don’t think there is any way of a) removing the laminate or b) getting them off the hardboard!

  • Ah, thank you for that. I can’t lay my hands on the Rutherston right now (not without a wrestling match with various other things) to prove you right, but that does make sense. Irreversible poster desecration done by museum, then. Scratches chin thoughtfully…

  • We bought a York poster, (King’s Manor, York – Fred Taylor) from the big Harrogate sale. This is mounted onto board with some extra marginal strips overmounted. We have discovered a paper conservator here in York who reckons she can unmounted it and clean it up; it will then be mounted onto japanese paper (like nearly all good conservation practices, this is a reversible process). It’s not cheap and it may cost more than the poster is worth but, what the hell, if we like it, then it’s ok. The conservator does restoration on posters from the NRM so if she’s good enough for them, she’s definitely good enough for us.

  • Now that is interesting – do let us know how it turns out. As you say, if she works for the NRM she probably does know exactly what she;s doing!

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