I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, and now the Jubilee has been and gone but I’m carrying on regardless. They’re Marks and Spencers’ Jubilee packaging designs – this is the tin we bought.
Remind you of anyone? To me, there is a definite touch of Daphne Padden about them, particularly this pigeon.
And of course she designed for Marks and Spencers too.
But this isn’t them raiding their archives, they are apparently by an illustrator called Phil Hankinson. I must drop him a line and ask whether he likes Daphne Padden or whether it is just a happy accident.
The pictures (because I ran out of time to take them myself and we’re still eating the shortbread anyway) are borrowed from H is For Home’s blog about the packets. They did it properly, and on time, not like me.
While we’re on the subject of Daphne Padden, a few of her paintings (and a couple of her father’s too) are up for auction tomorrow. It’s a saleroom close to where she lived, so I wonder what the connection is?
Dominic Winter’s forthcoming sale, meanwhile, contains a small set of McKnight Kauffer posters, which are worth taking note of because they include this one which I’ve never, ever seen before.
McKnight Kauffer, 1942, est. £400-600
Yes, that is for an elephant ballet to the music of Stravinsky. I will let the catalogue explain more…
This advertised the extraordinary Circus Polka, an act featuring fifty elephants in tutus ridden by similarly-clad dancers, which brought together the remarkable talents of the dancer and choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983), the composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), and the circus manager John Ringling North. By 1942 Stravinsky was an established composer living in Hollywood, and Balanchine was a well-known choreographer and the founder of the American School of Ballet. The elephant ballet was performed during the 1942 season entitled Holidays, in New York’s Madison Garden building where Barnum’s circus had performed since 1881.
These two are also discoveries for me.
This is considerably more familiar, mind you.
There seems to be an unerring rule that wherever the McKnight Kauffer ARP poster is offered for sale, the Pat Keely treatment of the theme must also be there too, and it applies here just as always.
I wonder whether these went out together, and whether quite a few were saved together by their recipients as souvenirs of what must have seemed, even then, to be a turning point in Britain’s history. Later on in the war, the pressure to salvage paper must have been greater, and so fewer posters survived. Or do these ones exist in great numbers because of an enormous print run?
Also for sale are a couple of Lyons prints, of which my favourite is this John Minton.
More obscure, but quite enticing despite this, are a collection of Edward Bawden and John Aldridge wallpaper samples.
But then they’re just as expensive as a good poster, and quite a bit smaller, so perhaps not.
While we’re on this kind of track, shall I draw your attention to a few things worth noticing on eBay as well? Top Quad Royal tip is this Hans Unger, although it comes with a rather aggressive start price of £193. But it’s still nice.
We have a copy ourselves, but one which could probably win a competition for worst preservation and condition of a poster ever. It’s so bad that I am too embarrassed to put a picture of it on here. Mr Crownfolio is saving it for when he retrains as a poster conservator, but even then it may still be beyond rescue.
This earlier London Transport poster is rather less my personal cup of tea but probably a bit more of a bargain at £120. It’s by Alan Sorrell and dates from 1938 and is, if you ask me, a rare example of neo-classicism in poster design of the times.
While this is an interesting and quite rare Home Front poster for just £39.99. This campaign was one of the rare early succeses for the Ministry of Information. who generally spent the first two years of the war getting everyone’s backs up.
But then that price probably reflects the fact that while it is a very important piece of historical ephemera, most people, including me, don’t actually want to sit and look at it all day.
A sentiment that also applies in even greater measure to this.
Advertised as a ‘fantastic train poster from the 60s70s’, it has a Buy It Now price of £175, but then the seller clearly had a crisis of confidence because the opening bid is set at £10. What am I missing here? Can any train fans enlighten me?