Look Mummy – posters!

We’ve considered Posterconnection before – they offer vast quantlties of posters on eBay, generally for quite a high price.  All of which means that I’m not suggesting that you buy either of these two, but simply that you might want to take a look at them.

The first is by Hans Unger, but not for one of his usual clients like London Transport.  In fact, I’ve never heard of British United Airways before.  But the poster is lovely.

HAns Unger travel poster British United Airlines to Holland

Yours for £378.12.  Precisely.

The second is even more interesting.  Its’s by Derrick Hass, who has been mentioned in despatches on here more than once, but whose poster designs don’t come up that often.

Derrick Hass Cooks travel poster from poster connection

The listing says it dates from 1954, and who am I to doubt them, because it is a classic bit of early 1950s design.  Yours, however, for nigh on £500.

But it’s probably worth drawing your attention to the fact that, if you look at PosterConnections completed listings, that almost none of their sales go for the asking price, but instead for some unspecified ‘Best Offer’.  So it might be worth a punt.

Elsewhere on eBay, there is further evidence that it is turning into a proper market place for proper vintage posters.  Take a look at these pair, for example, both being sold by the same seller (and apparently with the same lumps of chewing gum holding the corners down).

Shell petrol cheetahs the quick starting pair poster

Shell spring is here vintage poster

Both posters have reached almost £300 with a few days ago, which does seem to suggest that they will get as good a price as they would in any auction.

What’s interesting about these two,  though, is that they are both a bit battered around the edges; they’re not the kind of posters, perhaps, that Christies would accept.  So is this just the poster market spreading out to eBay, or is it something subtly different emerging, a place where the B+ posters now go.  If anyone knows what these would fetch in top condition, do say, as it will help  me work out what I think.

On a similar note, and for those who like early infographics, this London Transport poster by Aldo Cosomati is also up for auction.

1927 London Transport Poster Aldo Cosomati

Although with a starting price of £199, it remains to be seen how well it will do.  By way of comparison, the Shell posters had a starting price of £100 and have now shot away.  Sometimes you need to be brave with starting prices on eBay in order to reap the reward.  I have no idea why that works, but it does.

Back in the world of things that I am more likely to afford, there are also some interesting items.  We would bid on this Lander, for example, were it not for the fact that we’ve got one already.

R M Lander British Railways Plymouth poster

Although with a starting price of £90, perhaps we wouldn’t.  The colours are fantastic though.

And finally, despite the title of the listing, this coach poster isn’t by Daphne Padden but Studio Seven.

Studio Seven Bristol Omnibus coach poster

Something they do admit in the text, but even so it’s a bit cheeky.  And I wouldn’t have thought Daphne Padden gets that many searches on eBay, but then I might be wrong.  That starts at £65, but has (for what reason I do not know) been backed onto linen so who knows what it’s worth really?  Still, it’s an auction, so we can all find out in due course.

  • I think you’re right about Ebay filling the gap that the snootier auctioneers have created. As regards bidding on Ebay for something I want, well, I don’t. I use a sniping program (Gixen)that bids on my behalf just before the auction ends because otherwise ridiculous bidding wars can ensue. I’ve seen a 1920s dip pen worth about £5 to £10 go for £95! I set what I think is a fair price and the most I’m prepared to part with then just go away until the auction ends. The other advantage is that if I change my mind or see something better I can delete my bid, which you can’t do once you’ve entered it on Ebay. Once you’ve bid, you’ve bid.

  • You can withdraw bids on eBay – as a seller (not of posters) it annoys me but not quite as much as those people who win items and then don’t pay.

    Some bidders on eBay place bids and then withdraw them so they can see reserve prices or what previous bidders maximum bids were.

  • Yes, it’s still not perfect by any means, but it does seem to be coming into its own as a market for posters.

    Of course its imperfections are part of its appeal – how else could we get cheap posters put up for sale in foreign parts, or pick up something that has been badly described and so slipped under other people’s radars. That doesn’t happen at Christies…

  • That doesn’t happen at Christies…

    Oh yes it does! (Not in a CSK special poster sale, admittedly.)

  • Here’s something at Christies which was obviously hopelessly mispriced:

    Compare: the estimate, the realised price, and the dealer price (which I think is far from expensive, actually). Most dealers don’t manage a five-fold markup on something they buy from Christies, and to sell most of them within a week of buying them.



  • Yes, that makes art dealing look like quite a cushy job really, doesn’t it. Why on earth did they not go for more before?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.