Winter Cavalcade

You’d think we’d all be winding down for Christmas by now, but not in poster world, oh no.  We may be almost half way througb December, but there are still two auctions on the horizon.  The first is Swann, whose next auction is on 17th December.  Fortunately for my Christmas relaxation, this time they are selling two turn of the century collections.  So if you want to see a lot of high quality American and French art nouveau, you know where to go, but that’s all I am going to say on here.

The day before this, however, is the Onslows winter auction, and this is a whole other story. Or several other stories in fact.

Some of these tales we know already.  It is – just in case you hadn’t noticed – one hundred years since the start of World War One, and like every other auction with any self-respect this year, Onslows is celebrating by selling a lot of recruiting posters.  For some reason, these also bring a whole lot of Second World War posters travelling in their wake, and this sale is no exception.

This is probably my favourite, partly because I’ve never seen it before and partly because I keep thinking it wants me to get rid of iron dumps.

Official Scrap Iron Dumps, Bring Victory Nearer.., original WW2 poster - 33 x 38 cm Condition - Grade A mounted on linen world war two propaganda poster UK
Anon, est. £40-50

I’m easily amused, me.  And I do also like the typography, and the etc. etc at the end.

However, I do worry sometimes that this blog can get a bit jaded; I’ve already written about so many World War Two posters one way or another that perhaps I don’t get excited enough when they come up for auction.  So I feel duty bound to say that there is also a good Dig for Victory poster too.

Dig for victory world war two propaganda poster 1941
Anon, 1941, est. £1,000-1,500

There’s also yet another copy of Keep Calm and Carry On, but I don’t really need to show you a picture of that, do I.  After all, it doesn’t actually look any different to any of the reproductions.

The rest, though, aren’t actually that inspiring when I go back to look at them again.  So perhaps I am not quite so world-weary yet.

Story two, about which I am not so much jaded as bemused, consists of a group of Shell educational posters.  Every so often I spy these in an auction and say that I have no idea what they are worth.  This is still true, but it now seems as though my confusion has spread to the auction houses as well.  Onslows is offering one group of 21 posters in middling condition for £150-200, some smaller groups of posters for £50-80 and then this solo poster for a bit more even though it is just one.

Walter Hoyle (1922 - 2000) Shell Guide to Oxfordshire, original poster printed by C Nicholls 1963 - 76 x 51 cm
Walter Hoyle, 1963, est. £70-100.

If anybody feels like writing in and explaining the economics of Shell educational posters to me, along with some reasons why, I’d be very grateful.  From what I can see on eBay, the going rate seems to be £20-30 a go if they are in good condition, with a few exceptions, but please feel free to disagree.  I do have a vested interest in this, as recent explorations have revealed that we seem to have dozens of them, with many multiples.  So if theres a county you particularly want, please let me know.

The main excitement though is neither of these but a positively extravagent quantity of GPO posters.

Elizabeth Moore (dates unknown) The Shambles, Worcester, original GPO poster PRD 1316 1962
Elizabeth Moore, 1963, est. £100-150

The vast majority are of this type, art paintings of places, commissioned by the GPO to make us address letters correctly and intended, even at the time, to be collectable objects.  I offer you the highly typical one above mainly because it shows Worcester, the ancestral Crownfolio homeland.

Generally, I’m not wild about these,  even when it’s an artist of the calibre of John Minton.

John Minton (1917-1957) This is Eilean Donan Castle, original GPO poster PRD 881 1957 - 37 x 25 cm
John Minton, 1957, est. £50-100

However this collection (which I think was found as a single in a provincial auction by someone who is going to do quite well out of it all) is so huge that it includes some which are entirely new to me and I also rather like.

Peter Edwards Soho GPO poster
Peter Edwards, 1960, est. £100-150

Robert Scanlan (Born 1908) East Float, Birkenhead, Cheshire, original GPO poster PRD 1540 1965
Robert Scanlan, 1965, est. £70-100

I can’t tell you anything about either of these artists, but the posters are great, and there are two more equally good Robert Scanlan’s in the sale as well as that one.

But that’s not all, either, there are also a smaller number of commercial GPO posters too.  We’ve seen this Eckersley before.

Eckersley (Tom 1914-1997) Please pack parcels very carefully (cat), original GPO poster PRD 761 1957
Tom Eckersley, 1957, est. £200-300

Its even-more-frequently reproduced dog companion is also for sale.

But I have never seen this Manfred Reiss anywhere.

Reiss (Manfred 1922 - 1987) POSB, Daddy says I must go the Post Office Savings Bank, original photo montage poster, printed circa 1955

Manfred Reiss, 1955, est. £200-300

Crownfolio says that’s a bit freaky.

And there’s also these two as well.

G Parkinson (dates not known) Correct Postage Avoids Delay & Trouble, original GPO poster PRD 796 1955
G. Parkinson, 1955, est. £100-150

Barnett freedman 1938 post early gpo poster
Barnett Freedman, 1938, est. £80-120

I shall watch all of that go past with interest.

Railway posters also make up a reasonable showing, although they are predominantly pre-war and quite a conventional bunch, while London Transport material is very thin on the ground indeed.  Although if you like this bus poster, you will be pleased to hear that it is also available in blue.

M Barnard (Margaret 1900-1992) Winter Cavalcade Earls Court, original panel poster printed by Waterlow 1938 -
M Barnard, 1938, est. £70-100.


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‘Tis the season

Sleigh bells, holly, Santa, etc.  You know the drill.

But right now, as someone rather brilliantly defined it on Twitter, it’s the brief and shining season between the bumper Christmas Radio Times coming out and the realisation that there’s nothing you want to watch in there at all.

So to celebrate, some Christmas covers from the past.  When graphic design was much, much better.

Hans Unger radio times cover

That one’s Hans Unger, not unsurprisingly.  I can’t tell you who the next two are by, but the date from 1965 and 1966 respectively.

Christmas Radio Times cover 1965

Christmas Radio times cover 1966

I particularly like the latter one, and wouldn’t mind finding the original artwork under the tree, should someone happen to have it lying around.

But things were good before the war too – take this McKnight Kauffer from 1926.   As I am sure many of you would like to.

McKnight Kauffer radio times christmas cover 1926


For those of you who would like to do a proper trawl, the full Flickr set is here.  But be warned, there are more than a thousand photos.

And finally can I note that this blog post was produced without any co-operation at all from my ‘y’ key, so apologies for any typos.

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Please Look

This was meant to be a Friday afternoon treat, but got unavoidably delayed.  Still, these four posters are delightful any day.



These first two for the GPO, I have never seen before, and they don’t seem to be in the BPMA archive either.  While this one I have no idea about at all, except that the colours are particularly lovely.


Finally, this one has been on the blog a few times before, but until now I had no idea that it was by Patrick Tilley.

Patrick Tilley GPO poster properly packed parcels

The BPMA didn’t know that either, but you’ll be pleased to know that they do now.

And as ever, many thanks to Patrick Tilley for allowing me to share these with you.

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I’m still catching up with the auctions, but I think we are nearly there now.  I missed the recent Van Sabben auction entirely, but then there were only three or four bits of British interest in there, of which this Reginald Mount poster was perhaps the most interesting.

REginald Mount RAF poster 1951

There seems to be an almost unfailing rule with Van Sabben, that they will always have a Reginald Mount poster and it will usually be one I’ve not seen before (we’ve been known to buy them in the past, too).  I wonder where they come from?

This one, however, is unsold, and so you could still get it in the aftersale if you wished, along with these two.

Clive Upton Order your fuel now squirrel ww2 propaganda poster

Claude Buckle Railway poster 1938 Bristol


In the interests of accuracy I must point out that the Buckle poster dates from 1938 so much of Bristol’s medieval architecture was subsequently bombed, then quite a lot of what remained was trashed by planners, so don’t go looking for it on the basis of what you see on here.

There’s also a poster of the Queen’s Coronation Regalia still on offer should you desire, but I don’t.

More troublingly, I also missed out on the most recent Christies Sale, but I am inclined to think that this was a bit of a Freudian slip, as I didn’t much care for it.  There was a tonne of French and Russian stuff – and I know that this is just them doing what auction houses do, following the money, but even so.

There were a couple of London transport pair posters that I tend to follow in the auctions, because we’ve owned one and still own the other.

Edward bawden London transport vintage poster

David Gentleman vintage London Transport pair poster from eBay

And so I can tell you that as both went for £750, prices are dropping, because they did used to fetch £1,000 each a few years ago.  Other than that it was a pretty dreary selection, so no wonder I forgot.

On a  more cheery note, Onslows have put up a preview for their December auction (carefully timed so that we can all forget about it thanks to Christmas parties and so on).  Highlight for me is this delightful Henrion.

Henrion GPO post early poster

I said to Mr Crownfolio that there would be no point buying it as we’d never have a Christmas poster framed.   He laughed at me, and quite rightly, because this is our hallway.

our hallway

There are more on the other side, too, so that’s me told.

Apparently the Henrion is just part of a large collection of GPO posters.  These seem to be all the rage as almost every auction seems to have had something similar this year.  There are other ones illustrated, including quite a few of the fine art location ones like this.

JOhn Nash Nayland Suffolk GPO poster

But also this lovely Eckersley too.

Tom Eckersley cat ornament poster GPO pack parcels carefully

There are Cuneos, and railway posters and all sorts of other things too, but who cares about those in comparison to the GPO delights?

Finally, something happening in real life rather than on the internet.  This Saturday, November 22nd, I will be at a Vintage and Other Things fair (the other things include macaroons, so I’m quite looking forward to this) selling all of our lovely Daphne Padden prints and tea towels and mats and cards, along with a selection of vintage posters.


It’s at the Silkmill, Merchant’s Barton, Frome, Somerset BA11 1PT.  Do come along, and if you mention Quad Royal, you’ll get a free Party Ring biscuit.

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Further Krolleries

A brief post today, simply to share something which came in via email this week.

Stan Krol artwork for iced tea

It’s an original piece of artwork by Stan Krol, designed to advertise Iced Tea (at least there’s a piece of paper pasted on the back, saying Iced Tea, so that seems like a reasonable assumption).

Now as I have said very many times before, it’s always great to see an original piece of artwork, simply because so few survive.  And in this case, it’s doubly lucky because it was found in a charity shop by a couple, Delia and Mike Allen, who realised that they had something interesting and did a bit of research to find out what it was.  So I think we can all give a hurrah for things surviving and being recognised.

But I do have to admit that my heart is not entirely full of joy.  Because do you know how much the finders paid for that lovely piece of original Stan Krol artwork?  Three pounds.  Three whole pounds.  I cannot tell you how envious I am.  Nothing goes for three pounds in the charity shops round us, never mind then getting an original piece of art work for that little.  If anyone knows where there might be other bargains like that,  can you let me know.  Please.

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See London

Onwards and upwards then, onwards and upwards.   Which today means London Transport Auctions, whose next auction is on November 1st.

As ever, along with the opportunity to buy a conductor’s hat or the radiator grille from a Routemaster, there are also a fair number of posters, some of them being rather good.  Really rather good – I would quite happily buy any or all of the posters on today’s blog, the only exception being the one we already own.  So this is going to be a relatively straightforward scoot through what’s taken my fancy, with the posters being allowed to speak for themselves.  For a change.

As I’ve been mentioning John Bainbridge quite recently, shall we start with him?

Original 1953 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Buckingham Palace' by John Bainbridge (1919- 1978) who designed posters for LT from 1953-1957.
John Bainbridge, 1953, est. £75-90

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Epping Forest' (Dick Turpin) by John Bainbridge (1919-1978) who designed posters for LT from 1953- 1957.
John Bainbridge, 1956, est. £40-60

And look, we have not only dates but proper estimates too from these lovely people.  Although the estimates, even allowing for some edge wear, do seem quite conservative, so it will be interesting to see what these actually go for.  I’m less likely to live with a royalist guardsman, but I’d happily pay £60 for Dick Turpin any day.

There are a couple more posters from the same year as the second Bainbridge, both excellent, which makes me wonder if someone went on a buying spree that year, and the results have just emerged from the attic.

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'The Tower' by Hans Unger (1915-1975)
Hans Unger, 1956, est. £75-100

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Visitor's London' by Frederic Henri Kay Henrion (1914-1990) who designed posters for LT from 1942-1956.
F H K Henrion, 1956, est. £75-100

I have, briefly, written about this Henrion series before, but they deserve some more attention really, for being both insane and at the same time very, very ahead of their time.  But now is not the moment.

And that’s not the end of the 1950s classics either; there are also these two to take into consideration.
Victor Galbraith, 1959, est. £75-100

 Original 1953 London T ransport double-royal POS TER from Coronation Y ear 'Kensington Palace' by Sheila Robinson (1925- 1987) who designed posters for L T 1951-53.
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est. £70-90

Or if you fancy something smaller, there is this Harry Stevens bus poster for the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Original 1959 London Transport POSTER 'Lord Mayor's Show' by Harry Stevens (1919-2008)
Harry Stevens, 1959, est. £50-100

On a price per square inch value (I’m estimating here, I haven’t actually worked it out) I don’t think that Stevens is worth that much more than Unger – or indeed than most of the posters I’ve already mentioned above.  But, as ever, I am quite prepared to be proved wrong.

Now I do tend to prefer post-war graphics but I’m not leaving out the earlier posters from the sale, it’s just that there really are very few of them in comparison.  There are one or two wartime ones, of which this Bruce Angrave blackout poster is probably my favourite.

Original 1942 WW2 London Transport POSTER 'In the Blackout.....make sure it is the platform side' by Bruce Angrave (1914-1983)
Bruce Angrave, 1942, est. £75-125.

Plus there is also this rather lovely little 1938 bus poster, but I’m sure I like it because it’s not so much of the thirties as pointing the way forward to the Festival of Britain styles of the early fifties.

Original 1938 London Transport POSTER 'A.A.A. Championships, White City' (Amateur Athletics) by Harry Blacker (1910-1999) who designed posters for London Transport in 1938/39.
Harry Blacker, 1938, est. £75-125

Apparently after being a designer before the war, Blacker gained fame in the 1960s as a cartoonist, particularly for the Jewish Chronicle.  But he did a number of posters, so I will keep an eye out for him.

Meanwhile, these were issued in the early 50s, but aesthetically are a product of the decade before.

Pair of original 1951 London Transport POSTERS 'Men Conductors Wanted' & 'Women Conductors Wanted' featuring an illustration of a speeding double- deck bus with a conductor hanging on to the platform pole. By an unknown artist.
Anon, 1951, est. £60-75

And obviously, you need two, because no man would become a bus conductor if the poster were addressed to women, or vice versa, would they.

There are, as ever, more posters, so do go over and have a look at their catalogue.  Meanwhile, I will be back next week with the Christies auction, and, possibly, some more thoughts too.


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