Another day, another post, and once more we’re back on the subject of auctions. This is partly because I am so occupied with cleaning floorboards and painting walls that I haven’t had time to write the big post on The North that I want to write. But it’s also because the blighters just keep on coming.
Although today it is not a new auction but the Christies’ sale just gone, which I can’t ignore for two reasons. One is that the prices were insanely high, again, and the other is that it gives me a chance to be smug. But you’ll have to wait until the end for that. First, the prices.
The Christies’ results page offers you the ability to sort by price achieved, an opportunity I couldn’t resist. The first few are either Russian or Mucha (a name which, for reasons too complicated to explain, is always pronounced in my head as Muuu-ka in a broad Lancastrian accent).
The first British showing is this LNER poster by Andrew Johnson, which fetched a mindboggling £11,250.
Clearly people who play golf and collect posters have more money than they know what to do with, a point which explains the next stop on our journey too.
That fetched only just short of £10,000 too.
After that, it gets more interesting though (I’m ignoring lots of film posters along the way because I don’t understand them, apologies if this is annoying). We’ll zip past the Cassandres and the Cuneos, along with the job lot of Fougasse posters that fetched £5,000, and stop at these two, which both fetched £3,500.
Either way – for a David Klein or for a purely graphical 1930s railway poster – that’s quite a lot of money. It’s also worth noting that most of the posters that I picked out in advance of the sale were not the ones which fetched the highest prices. That’s good news, idiosyncratic taste means that I may yet still be able to buy posters.
But not for long. Some of the big surprises were further down the rankings, like this Abram Games which fetched £2,000 (and I did actually single out).
But even more surprising is this Reginald Mount, which also went for the very same amount.
Now what on earth is going on here? The Games I can accept, it’s a classic design by a classic designer and prices probably are going up (well they certainly are if Christies is having anything to do with it). But the Mount? I am utterly bewildered. It’s not so many years ago that Mr Crownfolio and I were at Onslows, hoovering up job lots of Mount/Evans posters for £20 or £30 a go, posters which I believe came from Eileen Evans’ own archives. It’s not even his nicest design – if that’s worth £2,000, what’s a reasonable price for this then?
Answers on the usual electronic postcard please.
I am, however, preparing to eat my own words. Back in the day, when this blog first started. I wrote about how Christies had increased their minimum lot price. I thought that this was a bad thing for the market in artists like Eckersley and Games (I hadn’t even considered Reginald Mount in there) as without the Christies prices, the value would fall. And for a year or two it looked as though I’d called it correctly. But now, well, I stand corrected, and surprised to boot. Will it last though? We will have to wait and see.
Further down the listings though is this Eckersley Lombers.
One thousand two hundred and fifty pounds worth of Eckersley Lombers to you at Christies prices. But rather pleasingly, not to us, as we’ve just bought a copy on eBay.
It’s not framed, it needs a bit of smoothing out, and it’s still the most expensive poster we’ve ever bought. But it’s wonderfully bright and comes with a rather pleasing sense of having beaten the system. You can’t get that at Christies these days.