I’m feeling a bit guilty about this one. I didn’t get round to mentioning an auction in Marseilles last week as there was too much else on. Well, I thought, people aren’t actually likely to bid, as it’s a long way away, in French and the postage will cost a fortune.
What mainly interested me was not just that a few British posters had cropped up in an auction on the far side of France, but also that, once again, it was the airline posters which were appearing.
This anonymous BEA one, even though I haven’t seen it before, is perhaps the most standard in its blue-sky thinking. While the only place I’ve ever seen the one below is on the cover of Paul Rennie’s Modern British Posters.
It’s by Kenneth Rowntree and from 1957 should you be minded to know.
This one, by Adelman and from a year earlier, is just plain odd.
What is it advertising? Televisions and rock drills? And why?
Just a warning though, not all BEA posters were artistic masterpieces, even as early as 1953.
As further evidence, I could also present this too.
But do not despair, the hidden gem of the collection has to be this, an Eckersley design for Aer Lingus which is definitely new to me. Has anyone else seen it before?
All of which brings me to my error. There are some lovely posters here, and I thought that they would all sell easily. Not so – in fact far from it. Of the five above, the only one to do remotely well was the Rowntree, which reached €250, well over its €120-150 estimate. None of the others sold at all, not even the Eckersley (est. €180-220). So perhaps someone should have had a go.
I don’t think it’s just that the French don’t like British posters, because this French representation of Britain didn’t sell either.
So lets not take this personally.