No alarms and no surprises

I keep prevaricating about whether to post about eBay or this week or not.  There is stuff out there, but very little of it makes me jump up and down with excitement.  But then I thought perhaps that’s not fair, one man’s meat etc.  So here it is.  But don’t blame me if you don’t like it.

Let’s start with this, as the precise encapsulation of the malaise.

Abram Games vintage Railway poster 1957 British Railways

Yes, it is an 1957 Abram Games poster, with an opening bid of just £50.  But, how shall I put this, it’s not the most inspiring Games poster I’ve ever seen.

The seller has a few more posters for sale too, including this one,

Heysham vintage British Railways poster from eBay

Which means that I can take an educated guess that he, like so many other sellers, got these from the third Morphets Sale.  It’ll be very quiet when all that dust has settled, won’t it.

But the other posters he’s offering are a bit more interesting.

Studio Seven vintage British Railways poster Paris Excursions

Ebay vintage railway poster excursions half printed

They look like the kind of half-printed stock excursion posters that were more commonly produced by the coach companies.  But he says these ones are 40″ x 25″ and so railway sized, and I can’t find any trace of them in the Morphets sale.  I’ve seen a few before, but they tend to be earlier, like this Eckersley.

Tom Eckersley Race Specials British Railways vintage stock poster

Of course there may be loads of them, and they either weren’t kept much, or else they are sold continually at railwayana auctions and I fail to notice them as they go buy.  I shall endeavour to be more vigilant in future.

Elsewhere, expensive things.

By Trolleybus to Kingston 1933 F Gregory Brown

Now I cannot deny that this is a very fine poster, mounted on linen and doubtless worth a small fortune were it to come up at Christies.  But is anyone going to pay $1,200 for it on eBay?  I think not.  Especially not if they refer to it as ‘whimsical’ in the item description.  Were I about to spend a lot of money on something, I’d rather have it referred to as a very serious investment, thank you, not ‘whimsical’.  Honestly.

Now there are some other posters out there on eBay that I would normally mention but haven’t.  And that’s because we’re selling them.  Now a good part of this is because of embarrassment  – much of what we’re selling is some rather tatty odds and ends that I’d rather pretend we’d never bought.  Along with one or two nice bits too.

But there’s also an editorial question of how to do this without turning the blog into a shop window.  Shall I just leave it out?  Or would you like me to mention stuff that I would, under other circumstances, point at but make it clear that they’re ours and bear the shame anyway?  I don’t have an answer to that, so if anyone does, I’d like to hear it.

Finally, auction description of the week.

A box of wooden items, including elephants and posters.

We’ve asked, so if I get hold of a picture of a wooden poster, I’ll share it, I promise.

  • Oh I’d say don’t be shy, mention away – Im sure your usual editorial excellence and insight will not be compromised by the tawdry declaration of a commercial interest or a questionable purchase or two – Im looking at a very expensive folly right in front of me that lies framed, forlornly leaning against a wall in my office – one which has been banned by Mrs UnCreased from EVER appearing in our house EVER again…..
    Or would it be more fun to guess which items are yours to be traded and if correct win a prize? My guess would be that they include a brace of Paddens an Unger and a fabulous Cooper? ….

  • Ha, very good. But I fear your prize may be a 1970s Red Bus Rover poster. Or an early 1950s poster of Britain printed on the most rubbish paper in the world, as there’s plenty of those still to go.

    So now that I’ve owned up, do tell more about your folly…

  • Oh now there’s a sad and sorry tale ….Long, long ago before the days of the interweb, I often visited a shop known for pre-war posters a lot of them French. Having just purchased my first property I was not flush with cash and often looked longingly at the selection on sale – one in particular took my eye, a Prunier. I persuaded Mrs Uncreased that the perfect seal on our domestic bliss would be to invest in said Prunier despite our lack of funds. Next day I headed at lunch time to the emporium, bumping into a colleague on the way who suggested lunch in a nearby pub………..Unfortunately the lunch carried on for longer than anticipated. Somewhat “refreshed” I headed with colleague to make my purchase. The assistant proudly informed me that Prunier had just been sold to a “Mr Conran for his restaurant. ” Somewhat irked my eye drifted to a bright poster of similar size to the Prunier featuring a cyclist pelting at full speed down a mountain side . My colleague thought it good so on the spur of the moment I bought it and took it directly to the framer…Some weeks later, the newly framed poster unveiling proved not to be the great success I had planned. On inspection the cyclist resembled an Edwardian version of The Crazy Frog morphed with a Teenage Nina Turtle – the wheels on the cycle far from round, the colours jarring against a very bright blue frame…………

  • Wooden posters turn up pretty frequently in auction catalogues – on four poster beds!
    At the risk of being pedantic, the correct description is Tester bed.

    Still, inaccurate descriptions are what give us all hope in the hunt.

  • That has made me laugh quite a lot. I’ve never done tipsy poster buying (only CDs!), and I think that’s enough of a cautionary tale to make sure I never do. But I’m sure someone will want it, won’t they?

    Paul -indeed! But the four poster bed is the infuriating red herring in so many online searchers…

  • Hi – You could hide the decent stuff in a poorly described collective lot. there was a dorritt dekk menu alongside 11 “lovely” floral cruise menus on ebay a couple of weeks ago.

  • Indeed – I saw that too. Although the poorly described collective lot on eBay has, once or twice, been a treasure trove beyond imagining for us, so I’d hate to see them disappear altogether.

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