Finders

Amidst all the chaos of moving, a pleasant surprise, in the form of this Lewitt-Him children’s book, which was discovered squashed between two bigger poster books on the shelves.

Lewitt Him Little Red Engine gets a Name cover

Now I’ve blogged about their books before, and even mentioned this in passing but I had no idea we owned a copy of it at all.  Not even Mr Crownfolio, who tends to be less surprised by these discoveries than I am, knew it was there.  It has now been put in a safer place, because it is truly delightful.

Lewitt Him Little Red Engine gets a Name illustration

I’m afraid I can only show you the single illustrations. There are also some great double-page spreads too, but unfortunately the long thin format doesn’t fit on the scanner, so you’ll just have to believe me on that one.

Lewitt Him Little Red Engine gets a Name illustration

Still, as well as those there are some smaller pictures in the text which do fit.  I am particularly fond of these sheep.

Lewitt Him Little Red Engine gets a Name illustration sheep

I used to be on the train, whizzing past that arrow.  Now I think I’m more like the sheep.

There is also an entirely accurate preview of the state of things here at Crownfolio Towers right now.

Lewitt Him Little Red Engine gets a Name illustration suitcases

The removal men arrive later today.  More news when we come out the other side.

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AP Again

As the piles of boxes grow around me, here are some more Artist Partners delights from the archives.

Today, a second helping of the AP2 Artists Partners book.  (Is it a brochure?  a catalogue?  I’m not entirely sure how to address it).

Artists Partners cover image Patrick Tilley

I ran through a few of the obvious highlights by the big names like Hans Unger, Saul Bass and Tom Eckersley last time, but there are plenty more treasures for your entertainment.

In fact, the sheer quantity of other stuff is one of the notable things about the book.  Most of what would now be seen as the big names are in the creative design section, but there are six other categories in the book, including realistic figurehumour and whimsy (section cover by Reginald Mount)

Reginald Mount AP2 artwork

fashion and sophisticationphotography ( a wonderful graphic by Heinz Kurth)

AP divider photography Hans Kurth

scraperboard, still life and industrial,

scraper board and industrial divider ap

and finally architecture, landscape and nature.

It’s a reminder, once again, how easy it is to recreate the past in terms of what we like best now.  For every classic bit of graphics, one equal and opposite bit of kitsch was created (although this is not just any old figure illustration kitsch, it’s Artist Partners kitsch by Rix).

AP tripping with dripping image

Good to know that about the dripping, too.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t some stylish things in the other categories too, such as this Christmas card for ABC Television, by Bruce Petty.

ABC christmas card AP

Or once again, Patrick Tilley, this time with a cover for a Shell almanac, filed under Humour and Whimsy.  No one would ever admit to doing whimsy any more, would they, it’s hardly cool; I think that’s rather a shame.

PAtrick Tilley for shell almanac graphics

Almost as strange as that career change are these two window displays by George Him, for De Bejenkorf  (which seems to be a department store in Amsterdam).  The first one in particular, looks almost impossibly modern.

George HIm Shop Window AP

The second is just brilliantly odd.

George Him shop window 2

More of this kind of thing please.

 

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Sealion is believing

Truly, everything imaginable is on eBay.  And also a few things that I really had not ever got round to imagining at all.

truly this is an unnecessary thing

I am afraid that your eyes are not deceiving you and that really is a ‘collectable’ china reproduction of a poster by Tom Eckersley.  It comes with a certificate of authenticity although sadly not a statement of the reasoning behind creating it in the first place.  What’s more they want £50 for it too.

Here’s the real thing, just to make it all a bit better.

Tom Eckersley 1950s guinness vintage poster sealion topiary

Fortunately, proper posters by Eckersley also out there on eBay too, in the shape of this 1955 design for the GPO.

Vintage GPO poster 1955 Tom Eckersley shop early post early

It’s teeny tiny (6″ x 8″) and costs £35 on a Buy It Now.  Which I would say is an entirely reasonable price, but then we did buy the first one that came up for sale a few weeks ago.  They clearly had two, lucky old them.  And now you can have one.

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AP, again

While everything is in flux here at Quad Royal central (I am writing this in a room already stacked with boxes and wev’e still got a week to go) I thought I would dig out a few posts from the earlier days of the blog which are worth revisiting, especially as not everyone will have seen them first time round.  This one seemed like a good place to start, especially as it was Artist Partners’ own website who first alerted me to the existence of the Patrick Tilley posters.

Sometimes, writing about posters can feel like a constant harking back to a golden age of British graphic design, long since lost to the evil forces of photography, Photoshop and general bad taste.  But not everything from that time has disappeared.

Like Artist Partners for example, who are not only still going but have set up a usefully informative website which covers their past as well as their present.  And their past was very glorious indeed.

Founded in 1950, the agency represented some of the biggest names in illustration, graphics and photography from the fifties onward.  There’s no point repeating their entire history, because they’ve done the job already.  Although I was particularly interested to see that Reginald Mount was one of the founding partners.  He’s a fascinating character who seems to pop up at all sorts of interesting points in the history of graphics, and I’d be interested in finding out more about him one of these days.

They’ve put together a small retro section on their website as well, with a few nice images, like these Sunday Times advertisements by Patrick Tilley.

Patrick Tilley vintage sunday times advertisement Patrick Tilley vintage sunday times ad

But it’s not the website that made me want to post about them, it’s this (the cover also, incidentally, designed by Tilley), which we’ve had on the bookshelves for a while now.

Cover of Artist Partners graphic design brochure

Dating from, I guess, the early to mid 50s, it’s a brochure for the artists represented by AP, and a very delightful book in its own right.  Here’s one of the section headings for example.

Divider from Artists Partners graphics book

Or this one, by none other than Tom Eckersley

Eckersley Artist Partners graphics book divider

Oh to be sitting at at an advertising agency desk in 1954 and trying to decide who to commission.  Because there is such as wealth of wonderful talent in this book.  Amongst other people, Artist Partners represented Eckersley, Hans Unger, George Him, Eileen Evans, and of course Reginald Mount.  And even Saul Bass.  Here’s a trade advertisement for Enfield Cables.

Saul Bass Enfield Cables ad Artist Partners book

And a rather fetching advertisement for Technicolour by George Him.

AP George Him technicolour ad

My main sadness is that it’s only partially in colour, because there are simply hundreds of pieces which I haven’t ever seen before.  For every page like this

AP content various

(Two Hans Ungers – one GPO, one London Transport, a Leupin and another Patrick Tilley)

there are ten like this.

AP eckersley page

I’ve managed to find the peas one in colour at least for your entertainment.

Tom Eckersley Hartleys peas graphics

That’s more than enough for now, but I’ve still only barely scratched the surface of this wonderful book.

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Visual Signalman

Despite the holidays, there are a few faint signs of life on eBay now.  In fact more than faint, as this 1963 Tom Eckersley went for a whopping £123.65 a few days ago.  Not to us, I hasten to add.

Tom Eckersley vintage London Transport poster 1960s Cutty sark

I’m not sure what’s going on here.  It may be that later Eckersley posters are starting to rise in value, which would make sense as they certainly seem to be very popular out there on the visual web. Equally, it could be that people are engaging in silly bidding because there is so little else on offer right now.

It’s not just the Eckersleys either. The seller had a few more London Transport posters for auction, so this John Farleigh went for £83 too, in spite of some of the more eccentric (and less informative) photographs I’ve seen for a while.  This is the best, which isn’t saying much.

John Farleigh vintage London Transport poster eBay tulips lo winter is past

They dated it as 1960s but it looks a bit earlier to me.  But I can’t find it on the London Transport Museum site or indeed anywhere else, so if someone out there knows more, I’d love to hear from you.

We did get this Carol Barker for just £23, though.

Carol Barker vintage Hampstead poster London Transport

She’ll be fashionable one of these days, you mark my words.

Elsewhere on eBay, in America to be precise, there are a set of three World War Two British Navy posters for sale.  They’re pretty expensive too, at $140 a pop starting price, but I mention them because they are quite interesting.

Visual Signalman vintage world war two propaganda poster British Navy

They’re a celebration of what are clearly some of the less exciting jobs within the Navy – Stores Assistant anyone?  Although I don’t know whether their aim is recruitment, or just to reassure the people in these jobs that they are also a valuable part of the Navy too.

Stores Assistants vintage world war two poster ebay

What makes them really interesting is that I have never ever seen them anywhere else before (and goodness knows I have been looking at more than enough World war Two posters over the last few months).  They are by an artist called M Bertram about whom I know nothing either and generally they are a complete mystery.  But I do think they are real.

Finally, my searches for the John Farleigh poster above did lead me to this.  Which needs no further comment really.

John  Farleigh poster vintage London Transport 1937 yes really

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A moving story

This, as it turns out, is an appropriate message from James Fitton.

James Fitton abbey Road poster

We bought it at the last Onslow’s auction (in the after sale, to be precise) but have only just got round to picking it up.  Fitton’s sense of colour is as brilliant and unique as ever; the more I see of his work, the more I like it.

The timing is perfect though, as family Crownfolio are moving house in exactly two weeks.  So Quad Royal may be a bit erratic for the rest of August as broadband is transferred and I try to pack a rather excessive amount of stuff into boxes.  Apologies in advance, and a normal service will definitely resume in September.

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