Look at this picture, which has just come up for sale on eBay.
Now obviously no one is going to buy it, and not only because it’s on offer for the frankly ridiculous price of £23.61, but more importantly because it is being sold by people who butcher books and sell the plates. Ought to be a crime, but isn’t.
However, their evil doings have, this time, brought up something which I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. What the picture shows is the building of Shell Corner on Kingsway, in 1920 (about which I know nothing except that this isn’t Shell-Mex House). So Shell clearly asked McKnight Kauffer to decorate their hoardings for them. They don’t even look like standard size posters, so I’m assuming the images were specially commissioned for this location. I only wish I could read the captions.
But it’s a reminder of one of my pet subjects, that people don’t just commission posters because they like art, or design, or want to advertise their product. Companies are much more likely to make posters if they already own the hoardings. This, obviously, is a slightly unusual case, but it’s none the less the same principle in operation.