Right, there’s an auction on at Bloomsbury Auctions right now (or at least it will be by the time I post this). Quite why anybody has a poster auction at this time of year – there’s Onslow’s next week as well – I don’t know. Not only has any spare cash I might have gone on presents and turkeys, but I don’t even have time to think about what’s on offer. As the lateness of this post shows.
Nonetheless, we’re going to take a cruise through the catalogue, not only because it’s a rather pleasing selection of posters, but they also form a kind of index to some of the things that have obsessed this blog here in the last few years, which amused me. So, in no particular order, here goes.
First is an AOA poster by Lewitt Him. These are a constant in any auction worth its salt, and I’d be intrigued to know why quite so many survived (there are another two in this catalogue alone).
This is my favourite, though, as the one which perhaps best proves the point that the airline posters of the late 1940s and very early 50s are still engaged in a quite intense conversation with the war. How much does this remind you of an aircraft recognition poster? And radar? Quite a lot, I’d say.
In an equally unsurprising development, women are still getting to relax on holiday while their families have fun on the beach. In this case, both parents have absented themselves entirely while the children get on with running riot.
The catalogue dates this poster to 1957, but what 1930s faces those children have. The designer has signed in an illegible scrawl, and the poster doesn’t seem to be in the NRM collection, so I can’t tell you if he’d been working since then, or what. But in trying to find out, I did discover this gem.
Here the woman is so relaxed that her head seems to have exploded. It’s a risk.
It’s pleasing to see a small selection of Shell posters, which are appearing less frequently at auction these days, for reasons I cannot pretend to understand.
This one is by the strange and wonderful Tristram Hillier, who deserves much greater fame than seems to be his lot. I now see that there is a biography of him. I will read it and report back in the new year.
In amongst the railway posters, this blazes. The image didn’t come up at all when we were debating depictions of industry and the North, although it definitely should have.
It’s always good to be reminded about the sheer joy that are the posters of Pieter Huveneers.
While in the London Transport section, we are also reminded that Harry Stevens is a much better designer than he is sometimes given credit for.
Finally, there is also one London Transport gem which hasn’t come up on here before.
It’s worthy of inclusion just for being a great bit of 1957 design, but it’s also by Len Deighton. A man of many talents, clearly.
More thoughts about auctions to come over the next couple of weeks, along with some pictures of cute dogs, because it’s Christmas.