There are some things I haven’t been telling you recently, and it’s time to fess up.
The biggest omission is the Bloomsbury Auctions sale which happened last week. Now this wasn’t the most exciting collection of posters I have ever seen in one place, but there was one significant exception. This was three lots, right at the end, all by Dorrit Dekk. Each one was a total treasure trove, with a whole range of posters in, not just one.
What’s more, they were estimated at £200-300 per lot which, with at least ten posters each time, was looking like a total bargain. Hence my silence.
As the sale went on, we got more and more excited, because nothing seemed to be selling for over its estimate, and quite a few things were falling below that (the contrast with Christies is not something that you need me to explain). So by the time we got to the three Dekk lots our hopes were high.
But they were rapidly dashed to the ground again. They all went for well over their estimates, £420 in two cases and a whopping £550 for the one with all of the travel posters in.
Bah. I hope whoever got them likes them.
The second thing I missed was for the rather more practical reason that I only got about 48 hours notice of the sale, but it’s still interesting enough to draw your attention to after the event. Lot 247 at 1818 Auctioneers in Cumbria at the start of this week was a set of World War Two Home Front propaganda posters, How Mrs Housewife Saves Fuel For Battle.
There were thirteen in total, which would have been worth a mention on its own as it’s pretty rare for a whole set to turn up like this. But also included were these title banners.
Now I’ve never actually seen something like that before, and I was immediately reminded of this.
These are Beverley Pick’s travelling poster displays for the Ministry of Information, which I’ve blogged about before. And what I think came up for auction was a set of posters designed for exactly this kind of display. Which is a rare thing indeed. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if those posters were by Pick himself, either; I’ve seen that kind of brickwork effect on other designs of his.
By way of atonement for these past sins, please have a couple of things which are coming up for auction in the future and so you’re able to buy. Of which the most interesting is this rather lovely London Transport poster which is being sold by Wooley and Wallis in Salisbury next week.
It’s by a rather mysterious Leith, and seems to be the only poster that he or she ever designed for London Transport. It has an estimate of just £100-200 if you fancy it, and why shouldn’t you, it’s very appropriate for the season.
Meanwhile in Chippenham a collection of rather ordinary advertising posters has turned up.
I was going to call them pedestrian, but given that half of them are for tyres, that would just be silly.
Still, worth mentioning simply to remind ourselves once again that by no means all past advertising was great.
And quite a lot of it was really rather ordinary.
Finally, this isn’t a poster and it is in a Christies sale with the word Old Master in the title, so it’s definitely unaffordable. It’s by Lill Tschudi and dates from 1933.
But it’s people sticking up posters, and the work behind the paper is always worth remembering.