Poster, poster, poster, table.

There are a ridiculous number of posters on eBay right now, and I’m not just talking about the Crownfolio clearance sale.  The poster collectors of the world seem to be spring cleaning with a vengance.  Or something. Whatever the cause may be though, there are posters out there and you can buy each and every one of them for money.

To start with, worthydownbookstore have unleashed a flood of health and public information posters.  Now I quite like a few of these.  Although I am less of a fan of the carpet.

Coughs and Sneezes vintage poster for sale eBay

Cod liver oil vintage Ministry of Health poster for sale

But I don’t think that many of them (with the possible exception of the one above) are from World War Two, which is how they are all described.  This Reginald Mount I am pretty sure is early 1950s (another from the campaign has appeared on here before ) while the one below that has to be even later.

Keep Britain tidy vintage Reginald Mount poster

Mount Evans drink driving poster for sale

Whatever the actual dates, it’s still an interesting haul.  As ever, my beef is with the prices, which range from £45 to £80 for the ones above. all on Buy It Now.  Which is only a bit under what I’d expect to see them fetching in an expensive gallery, rather than on a carpet.  We shall see.

One of our regular haunts, thebasement101, is currently selling a selection of what can only be described as the wrong sides of pair posters – the side with all of the text rather than the pretty pictures, like this Harold Hussey from 1952.

Harold Hussey Birds pair poster 1952 Vintage London Transport wrong side

Compare and contrast with the other side.  I think the birds have it over the words.

Harold Hussey Birds pair poster Vintage London Transport 1952

And, like every other LT poster they sell, the asking price is £99.  Not even the linen backing can make that value for money.  Unless I suppose you want to make up the pair.

While we’re there, you could also pay £95 for this 1967 poster by John Finnie.  Or perhaps not.

JOhn Finnie vintage London Transport poster 1967

I would love to know where all of these linen backed posters came from though.

Elsewhere, a quirk of fate means that you have not one but two chances to buy this Tom Eckersley stock poster; either in the UK for £150,

Tom Eckersley stock racing poster British Railways from eBay

Or from the States for $195.

Tom Eckersley Stock british railways racing poster with printing

Another fine carpet there too, I see.

Finally, something which is not a poster, not for sale on eBay and doesn’t even have an estimate attached.  But it is wonderful.

John Piper coffee table

And unlike a poster or indeed pretty much anything else by John Piper, you can put your coffee cup down on it.  For sale on the 10th in Malvern if you wish to enquire further.


  • …and I have just noticed a third copy of the Eckersley on eBay for a Buy-it-now of just £19.99! This one is for racing at Ayr. It’s like London buses…

  • Now that’s more like it (or at least more like what we paid!). But both of the others have sold for slightly more than the initial price, so that BIN should disappear pretty quickly I imagine.

  • Still a bit better though; I can’t quite convince myself that any of those posters are worth a three figure sum!

  • Ah, that table, little surprise that a google search leads me here! I have one. I have always been far from being convinced that it is John Piper, for all that it is often attributed to him. I have also seen it attributed to Terence Conran. It was suggested to me last week that it is distinctively David Gentleman.

  • All roads lead to Quad Royal, don’t you know.

    I think – although I can’t remember how – that when we bought ours at a local sale room I managed to dig out an attribution for it that convinced me, but don’t ask me where or how. Having said that, I could easily believe that it is also by Terence Conran as well – he could well have designed the shape of the table with Piper doing the pattern.

    I can see how the Gentleman idea arose as well, but I don’t think it is – as far as I know he only started doing those architectural drawings much later on, in the 80s.

    But the main argument for its being Piper is that he did so much other furnishing work in the 1950s and early 60s – both wallpaper and fabrics, some of which were best-sellers. So I can see how the coffee table would seem like a really good idea.

  • I’ve been looking for a firm attribution for ages, to no avail. Generally it is a negative attribution, e.g.

    In support of the Gentleman theory, most of these Gentleman architectural drawings are 1970.

    I just struggle to think of any of Piper’s work that is so realistic – other than his Brighton aquatints (and maybe the nursery frieze) both of which are 1930s. A Piper table would surely have looked more like this (design for a tapestry, the tapestry now hangs in the Guildhall Art Collection):

  • You may be right, and I will do some more digging, but probably not for a week or two as we’re about to get stuck into moving. Although someone could probably just ask David Gentleman, might be the easiest way.

  • What a clever idea; so I did ask him! Sue Gentleman has confirmed to me that it is not Gentleman – indeed she says he never designed any furniture – although she knew the table, and it has previously (wrongly!) been attributed to him. Gentleman doesn’t think it’s Piper either, but he does not know who the artist is.

  • Well that’s definitely progress which is more than I achieved. Next stage is probably looking through Designers in Britain for the late 1950s, early 1960s. I might have a go at that when they come out of the boxes at the other end. Design magazine might also have some leads too.

  • “I’ve just been to RCA 175 exhibition again and was looking at a Robert Heritage sideboard with drawings on the doors by his wife Barbara and something about the way the trees were drawn made me think of your coffee table. I haven’t time to do any research.” [Following some lengthy and fruitless googling I think the author meant Dorothy, not Barbara. Which is why I’ve only just posted this.]

  • I see that sideboard and know what you mean, although her style there is more classic twiddly fifties, but I wouldn’t rule it out either. I have finally got the Designers in Britains out of their boxes and will have a look for that this evening.

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