Without linen on backside

At last.  I’ve been banging on about PosterConnection’s shop on eBay for quite a while now – its selection is enough to persuade me to be interested in foreign posters every so often.  Now, finally, they are also selling some British designs.  And good ones too.  Pick of the pops has to be this Daphne Padden.

Daphne Padden Royal Blue vintage coach poster sailor 1957

They are asking about £250 for it, and I can’t work out whether that’s a reasonable price or not.  This is mainly because the last time I saw one of these going past an auction was at the final Morphets sale, where the prices were definitely depressed by the sheer quantity of what was on offer.  What is this worth? Do any of you lot know?

A few other British posters are on offer, of which my favourite is this poster by Harry Stevens from 1960.

Southern Coach vintage poster boy at seaside Harry Stevens 1960

Once again, there is also the chance to see Britain from the foreign point of view.  Which can be quite different, because I definitely don’t remember Manchester ever looking like this.  With the possible exception of the air colour, that is.

Swissair Manchester poster Harry Ott 1951

But I do rather like this cricketing lion.

Cricketing Lion Host Buzas 1960 vintage travel poster

He could almost be by Royston Cooper, but in fact he’s the work of one Host Buzas in 1960.  Good show.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the title, that’s how all of these posters are described.

There’s good stuff elsewhere on eBay too at the moment.  Perhaps most urgently, I need to point you at this Abram Games poster, which is a lovely joyful one without bullets or dead people or blood in it.  I know that’s not his fault, he was working for the Army so it was part of the job description, but I do find the results quite hard work sometimes.

Vintage Abram Games army civvy street poster world war two

The bloke who is selling this had the experience which I can only dream of; they bought a new house and found a whole roll of these posters up in the attic.  They’re in very good condition too.  I know this for certain because we’ve already bought one, and very lovely it is too.

While we’re on the subject of attic finds, you might want to watch the Antiques Roadshow on Sunday, because a Scottish woman brought in fifteen Keep Calm and Carry On posters – story here, and indeed everywhere else.  This brings the total known to exist to somewhere round about twenty and they are apparently worth £1,000 each; although how they’ve worked that out when no one has ever auctioned one before and the rip-offs are plastering the internet like bad grafitti I don’t know.  And if they say on the show – as I am pretty sure they will judging by the news story – that they were produced for use in the event of invasion when this is not true I will shout at the television.  So there.

Rant over, back to eBay.  A couple of posters we are probably not going to buy are these two Festival of Britain designs. They are wonderful, but their prices are already soaring into the stratosphere with a couple of days to go.

Festival of Britain vintage poster Abram Games

Festival of Britain vintage poster Abram Games

Festival of Britain is such a lovely searchable term, isn’t it.

For those of us without a bottomless wallet there is both this Amstutz, from 1967 (the sellers has a number of other GPO posters but I can’t quite get excited about them).

Vintage GPO guide poster Amstutz 1967

And then this psychedelic oddity.

boots poster, mad, black and white

They’re both being sold abroad, so might not go for that much.

Finally, this is not a poster, but might be of interest to one or two of you.

how to draw like Ashley havinden

I’d like to be able to draw just like that.  Now off you go, I’ve got a television to shout at.

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Oh my ears and whiskers

See that poster?  That’s me right now, so apologies if posting gets a bit erratic for the next week or two.

Grave-Schmidt from 1954 vintage german poster

If you like what you see, it’s for sale on eBay at the moment, courtesy of PosterConnection.  They’re selling some interesting things at the moment, so more about that tomorrow.  Or perhaps the day after.

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I’m feeling a bit guilty about this one.  I didn’t get round to mentioning an auction in Marseilles last week as there was too much else on.  Well, I thought, people aren’t actually likely to bid, as it’s a long way away, in French and the postage will cost a fortune.

What mainly interested me was not just that a few British posters had cropped up in an auction on the far side of France, but also that, once again, it was the airline posters which were appearing.

Anonymous 1950s BEA poster

This anonymous BEA one, even though I haven’t seen it before, is perhaps the most standard in its blue-sky thinking.  While the only place I’ve ever seen the one below is on the cover of Paul Rennie’s Modern British Posters.

Vintage airline poster Kenneth Rowntree 1957 BEA

It’s by Kenneth Rowntree and from 1957 should you be minded to know.

This one, by Adelman and from a year earlier, is just plain odd.

Adelman BEA poster 1956 inexplicable

What is it advertising?  Televisions and rock drills?  And why?

Just a warning though, not all BEA posters were artistic masterpieces, even as early as 1953.

BEA London photographic poster 1953

As further evidence, I could also present this too.

Monarch stratocruiser vintage airline poster 1950s

But do not despair, the hidden gem of the collection has to be this, an Eckersley design for Aer Lingus which is definitely new to me.  Has anyone else seen it before?

Eckersley Aer Lingus vintage European route poster

All of which brings me to my error.  There are some lovely posters here, and I thought that they would all sell easily.  Not so – in fact far from it.  Of the five above, the only one to do remotely well was the Rowntree, which reached €250, well over its €120-150 estimate.  None of the others sold at all, not even the Eckersley (est. €180-220).  So perhaps someone should have had a go.

I don’t think it’s just that the French don’t like British posters, because this French representation of Britain didn’t sell either.

Vintage Air france poster grande bretagne

So lets not take this personally.

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Mr Crownfolio has been diversifying into ephemera again.  But I can’t really complain when it’s as good as this.  And anyway, we haven’t had a nice Eckersley on the blog for a while.

Tom Eckersley British Railways leaflet Holiday runabout tickets 1960

But this isn’t some niche piece of design for a high-end firm.  What we have here is a popular leaflet produced by a giant nationalised industry.  I can’t think of anyone working in a similar way today.  Which is more than a shame, to me that represents a loss of respect for other people – respect for their intelligence and taste, but also a respect in terms of making the world better looking rather than uglier.  And that’s quite something to lose.

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People, bishops and mumbly-jumbly latin scholars

A bonus extra today.  I almost lumped this little treasure in with yesterday’s eBay news, until I decided that it deserved a post all its own.

Not that I have a huge amount to say other than this is rather wonderful.

Parade portfolio of posters Curwen Press 1965

It is a portfolio of posters from about 1965, designed by Bob Gill (there’s a good interview with him here too) with words by Keith Botsford and printed by the Curwen Press.  So top notch stuff, which just happens to be designed for children.

There are nine posters in total (or at least there are nine posters in this portfolio, perhaps there were more originally).

Parade portfolio of posters Curwen Press 1965 poster of knights

The instructions are pretty self-evident: arrange the posters to make the parade of your choice.

Parade portfolio of posters Curwen Press 1965 selection of posters

With my design head on I think its fantastic; from a more parental point of view I also wish we could still buy things as idiosyncratic as this now.  I sometimes think we under-estimate what children can take in these days. Here are some 1960s children enjoying it for the benefit of the camera.

Right now it is on eBay, although just for another day and a half, and with a starting price of about £65.  So we probably won’t be buying it, but I am very glad to have seen it anyway.


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Meet Mr Poster

There has definitely been a change in eBay over the last few years, at least in terms of the poster market.  When we first started watching it, most of what was up for sale wasn’t either of much quality or of much value.  Think National Savings and posters which had been damaged beyond all reasonable repair.  And quite often both.

Nowadays, though, it’s very different out there.  What’s on offer can sometimes look more like a sample from a specialist poster auction than the scrapings from someone’s attic, although admittedly you don’t get to look at pictures of so many people’s floors in a proper auction.

It’s one of those weeks this week.  So you could have a Guinness poster.

Guinness Poster 1951 Wilk (Dick Wilkinson)

Or a high quality film poster by none other than James Fitton.

James fitton film poster Meet Mr Lucifer 1953

Although with a starting bid of £250, I shan’t be buying it.  As the posters on offer edge up to auction quality, it seems the prices are doing the same.  I’m less impressed with that, however inevitable it is.

For a £99.99 opening offer, you might also have this period railway poster, featuring a man with wonderfully spivvy dress sense.

Lggage in Advance vintage railway poster late 1940s

Extra points for standing on the poster while you’re taking the photograph there.

You might also be interested in this gem  (starting price £80) which is one of my favourite railways posters that we don’t own.  Yet.

Manchester Piccadilly vintage railway poster British Railways 1960

I spent several of my teenage years travelling in and out of Manchester Piccadilly for gigs, nightclubs and hanging around in shops without buying anything, so it has a great nostalgic appeal.  Although I don’t remember the architecture looking quite that optimistic or even interesting after a couple of decades of unsympathetic adaptation and Mancunian smoke.

If it’s London Transport posters you are after, there is this bus stop poster by Harry Stevens.  Again.

Harry Stevens bus stop litter poster London Transport 1977

This keeps coming up, everywhere from eBay to Sotherans, and has probably been mentioned on here more times than any other single poster.  I have no idea why there are quite so many of them about.  Were they distributed to every London school child for the Silver Jubilee or something?  Or were they just very easy to steal from bus stops?  If anyone has a clue, please do share.

But all is not lost, some corners of eBay are just as they ever were.  Would you like a 1960s RoSPA poster?

1960s ROSPA road safety poster mirror gear signal

Please say you would.  Because I’ve got a whole tube full of these to put up for sale one of these days, although probably with a starting price of less than £9.99.

There’s also still space for the oddities too, like this man in France who is mostly selling a vast array of posters about safety out on the airport apron which is really worth looking at just for curiosity value alone.  The collection includes this British Airways safety poster, yours for the grand sum of €2.

British Airways safety poster

My favourite, however, is this Air France one, also €2 if you fancy it.

Air France safety poster dogs bottom

Finally,  there are the things that are more likely to come up in a junk shop or ephemera fair than an auction house, like a large set of BBC Schools leaflets or a Dorrit Dekk menu.

Lots of lovely time and tune for you

Dorrit Dekk P&O Chusan

These reassure me.  I’m really pleased it isn’t all tidied up and auction-like yet on eBay; life would be much duller if it were, and I wouldn’t know quite how many people had beige carpets. And we’d hardly be able to afford any posters at all ever. So long may it carry on like this.

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