Selling, cont.

There were so many railway and London Transport posters in the Onslows catalogue, that I ran out of time on Friday to consider the rest.  So, today, any other business.

The bulk of this is World War Two posters.  Onslows usually have a fair selection and this sale is no different.

Vintage WW2 poster of nurse from onslows sale
Clixby Watson, est. £100-150

The most interesting, for me at least, are a pair of Mount Evans posters.

Mount Evans waste paper vintage world war two poster from Onslows
Mount Evans, est. £200-250

Mount Evans rags vintage world war two poster from onslows
Mount Evans, est. £100-150

The second one, along with the anonymous fuel poster before, are making an appearance for the second time this year.  So it remains to be seen whether they will make their estimates or not.

Save More Fuel vintage WW2 poster from onslows
Anonymous, est. £50-100

But I still like them both.

There are also an interesting set of posters by Heinz Kurth.  This is the prime one in the listing.

Heinz Kurth AFs poster in Welsh from onslows
Heinz Kurth, est. £50-100 (4)

Of Welsh interest, clearly.  But I actually prefer the three subsidiaries, which are both striking and good.

Heinz Kurth Civil defence posters from Onslows
Heinz Kurth, est. £50-100 (4)

Then there are lots of other ones which are clearly classic and of great interest to collectors, but aren’t necessarily great pieces of design (like Bateman cartoons about saving fuel, for example).  Or like this.

Jobs that girls can do to help win the war vintage WW2 poster from onslows
Anonymous, est £100-150.

Now if that makes its estimate, I will eat my warm woolly socks.  But I shall do so quite happily, because we’ve got a copy of it – don’t ask me why – which we got on eBay for less than a tenner.  Actually that probably tells you why we’ve got it.  But if anyone wants to pay £100+ for it, I am definitely open to offers.

Related to the World War Two material, there are also quite a few National Savings posters.  Mr Crownfolio has pointed out that I keep omitting these from my lists of posters that have been collected, when quite a few of them do survive.  He’s right, but I think I keep leaving them out because while they may be interesting pieces of social history, the vast majority aren’t actually good design.

Vintage National Savings poster from WW2 from onslows
Anonymous, c.1940, est. £40-50

Vintage National Savings map poster from onslows sale
J P Sayer, est. £50-70

It’s an interesting question as to why the National Savings didn’t pay the same close attention to design that the GPO or even HMSO did at the same time.  But it’s not one I have a ready answer to – any suggestions?  There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, and two of them are also in this sale.

Eric Fraser save for progress vintage National Savings poster
Eric Fraser, est. £70-100

Myerscough walker vintage national savings poster from onslows
Myerscough Walker, est. £80-120

Although I’m not entirely convinced about the Myerscough Walker, but it’s still better than  most.

What there isn’t – and it’s a rare contrast to almost every other selling emporium in Britain – is a plethora of coach posters being redistributed after the Morphets sale.  Just a few of this type, which are not unpleasant.

Vintage Coach poster from Onslows sale
Peter Andrews, est. £100-150

The rest is miscellaneous.  I never knew that Schweppes once made cider, for example.

Vintage Schweppes Cider poster from onslows sale
Anonymous, est. £300-400

And looking at that picture, I don’t think that Babycham was an entirely new idea, either.

But this miscellaneous category also contains what are to my mind two of the finest posters in the sale.  They’re both by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, and they’re both wonderful.

Ocean Cable, vintage GPO poster Ellis from onslows sale
Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, 1935, est. £250-300.

Vintage exhibition poster Ellis from onslows sale
Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, 1945, est £200-300

I covet both of these very much.  Here’s the catalogue for the wallpaper exhibition for your further delectation.

Wallpaper Exhibition catalogue from University of Northampton

This could be yours from Abebooks for a bit over £30.  Cheaper than a poster, that’s for sure.

Posted in auctions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Further training

I’m really glad we don’t collect railway posters very seriously.  Because we’d be stony broke by now.  This year has just been sale after sale of high quality railway posters (with a fair slew of London Transport stuff too).  And now, to round off the year, there’s another one.

Onslows’s December sale titles itself  Vintage Travel Posters including Fine British Railway Posters.  Which means posters like this, by the dozen.

Somerset Railway poster Frank Sherwin c1930
Frank Sherwin, 1930, est. £800-1,200

And this.  Which is quite interesting, because it’s by Brian Batsford, of book cover fame.

Brian Batsford Somerset vintage GWR railway poster
Brian Batsford, 1930, est. £800-1,200

Although there is also this too, which, as I think I have mentioned before, every right-thinking home should have a copy of.

Eric Lander English Lakes vintage British Railways poster
Eric Lander, est. £700-1,000

Plus there’s lots of pictures of trains too, but I shan’t be bothering you with those today, or indeed on any other day.  Apparently most of the collection comes from a single estate sale, although I think I can recognise a few things which did also appear at Morphets earlier this year.

Bruce Angrave Parties of 8 vintage British railways poster
Bruce Angrave, est. £250-300

Royston Cooper vintage railway Harwich poster
Royston Cooper, 1959, est. £200-300

These Holiday Haunts posters by Abram Games and Tom Eckersley also appeared there as a single lot too – the Eckersley in particular is a fine thing.

Abram Games Holiday Haunts vintage railway poster
Abram Games, 1960, est. £200-300

Tom Eckersley vintage Holiday Haunts railway poster
Tom Eckersley, 1962, est. £200-300

Elsewhere, it’s the usual Onslow’s miscellany.  This poster seems to appear in almost every single sale they do, which at the price it goes for is quite an achievement.

Fortuno Mat Southport theatre poster from Onslows vintage Cheshire Railways
Fortunino Matania, 1933, est. £6,000-8,000

This is the rarer version, apparently, because it’s overprinted with the logo of the Cheshire Lines Railway rather than the LMS.  I have to say that I can’t quite bring myself to be bothered about the difference.

There’s also the usual selection of London Transport posters.  I love this Sheila Robinson (which comes with four other posters, it’s all the rage these days).

Sheila Robinson vintage London Transport poster Royal London
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est. £200-300.

We once owned a LT poster by her and sold it.  I still don’t know what was going through our minds at that point, and now every time I see one of her designs I am filled with remorse.

These James Fittons are also rather good too.

James Fitton vintage London Transport poster
James Fitton, 1936, est. £400-600

James Fitton vintage London Transport poster
James Fitton, 1937, est £200-300.

There’s also a complete set of four of these Austin Coopers, one of which featured in the last Christies.


Austin Cooper, 1933, est. £1,000-1,500

Although at that kind of estimate, a set of four is going to be a pretty substantial investment.

I also rather like this.  And it’s a lot cheaper too.

Farleigh vintage London Transport poster 1947
John Farleigh, 1947, est. £200-300.

But then I am always a sucker for a chalk hillside figure.

There is still more to consider in there, but I’ve run out of time.  So, World War Two posters and other miscellaneous bits and bobs next week.  And an Advent calendar too.

Posted in auctions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

You, the jury

A quick question today.  Which basically boils down to this: real or not?

LMS Bestway poster for auction in Lincolnshire

And there’s quite a lot riding on the answer, because this is up for auction at Brown & Co in Lincolnshire with an estimate of £100-150.  Which would be a bit of a bargain, for what might be a Cassandre which is in the collection of M0Ma in New York.

But is it the real deal?  I don’t know.  The colours are off, to start with.

Bestway Cassandre real deal

And the dimensions are too – the auction version is 43″ x 33″, instead of the 40″ x 50″ it probably should be.

Plus the description says that it’s “doublesided” (although how they can tell when it is also framed, I am not sure).

So, I’m unsure enough not to have a go, and to throw it open to you lot to see what you think.  Any thoughts, or tips, or opinions out there?

Mind you, even if it is a cropped reproduction, it’s probably still worth more than the estimate.  Chisholm Larsson are selling this.

Bestway Cassandre Reprint from Chisholm Larsson

It’s a 1980s reprint, but they want $750 for it anyway.  It’s a mad world, Mr Benjamin.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Responses

Leave your Paddens here

I spy with my little eye…

Torquay and Paignton Daphne Padden poster from Elephant and Monkey

…some Daphne Padden posters for sale.  And I’m rather pleased about it as her work really does deserve more attention and acclaim than it has got so far.

The one above is being sold by Elephant and Monkey for £95, but Fears and Kahn have this (for a somewhat more taxing £475).

Daphne Padden luggage coach poster from fears and Kahn

While Present and Correct have all of these,

Daphne Padden reindeer coach poster 1964 Present and Correct Daphne Padden lion savings bank poster Present And Correct

Daphne Padden knights coach hire poster Present and Correct

at prices ranging from £135 – £175.  Which is a lot more of her work than I have ever seen on sale before – and at interestingly variable prices too; it’s still perhaps a bit early to judge what her real market value is yet.

Now while I would like to read this entirely as the start of the Daphne Padden revival, that is of course just a small part of what’s happening here.  These bright and punchy 1960s graphics have been starting to surface for a couple of years now – mainly due to the efforts of shops like Fears and Kahn.

But the real story is, of course, Morphets.  The vast slew of 1960s and 70s posters that were released at their July sale is now working its way into the dealers.  Because all of these people aren’t just selling Daphne Padden, they’re also selling a whole heap of other coach and rail posters along with them.  So Elephant and Monkey have Royston Cooper and Harry Stevens.

Royston Cooper bus to airport poster from Elephant and Monkey

Harry Stevens vintage coach poster from Elephant and Monkey

Fears and Kahn have this splendid stag.

New forest stag coach poster from Fears and Kahn

And Present and Correct can offer this rather good rendition of a family tree.

Family tree vintage coach poster Present and Correct

In each case there are plenty more where that came from on the websites too, small and large, cheap and expensive.  But, at my guess, almost all originating from Morphets.  The only one I know wasn’t in the sale was the Daphne Padden lion and mouse – but I am happy to be corrected if anyone out there knows better.

What will be interesting to see is whether this  lasts.  Did the Morphets sale release a flood of stock onto the market which will come and then disappear because no one else preserved these posters?  Or will the high prices entice more of these graphics out of their hiding places and up for sale?   I’d love there to be more, but I’m not really optimistic that they are out there to be sold.  We shall see.

Posted in other | Tagged , , , | 3 Responses

Collectors and cows

I don’t normally bother you with auction results except for the biggest sales.  But Swann Galeries sent me the results for their  15 November poster sale which I wrote about a few weeks ago.  And it’s noteworthy for two things.

Number one is this.

Andrew Power Wimbledon Poster from Swann Galleries vintage London Transpot

It went for, wait for it, $24,000 – the second most expensive poster they sold at that auction.  Which is a fairly extraordinary result for a London Transport poster.  Almost everything else in the list of high-fliers is a trad tourism poster from the 1920s or a picture of a cruise ship.  I’m surprised and impressed.

Although this did also make $10,800 t00.

Reginald Higgins Scarborough poster LNER vintage railway poster

The catalogue text could only have been written by an American. One who has never seen the English seaside.

Here, in a visual snippet worthy of Brideshead Revisited, Higgins’s exceptional Art Deco style captures the perfect essence of an elegant evening at a British holiday destination.

If only.

The other brilliant thing about Swann’s results, though, is that they tell me just a bit about who bought the poster, at least whether it’s a collector or a dealer.  So both of those ones above went to collectors, for example.

One of the real sadnesses about internet bidding, is that I just don’t know who’s bought anything any more.  Back in the old and draughty days of Onslows at Marble Arch, I knew exactly who had beaten me to a gem, and who else was hoovering up all of the odds and ends for £20 a lot like us.  I can’t even see who’s bought a poster on eBay now.  So it’s always good to hear even just a little bit about where these things are going.

Elsewhere, Onslows have put up a preview for their December sale.  The auction advertises itself as ‘Important Railway Posters’ so it is perhaps no surprise that the preview features more pictures of trains than I consider strictly necessary in one place (a detailed image of a train being repaired at Crewe being perhaps the apotheosis of this).  Although, as pictures of trains go, this one isn’t bad.

Zec night train poster 1932

It’s by Zec, it’s from 1932, and Onslows are estimating that it will go for £10,000-15,000 in the sale.  Which could make it the most expensive railway poster they’ve ever sold.  We shall see how hard times really are then, shan’t we?

The only one I can muster up any real enthusiasm for is this Bromfield from 1956.

Bromfield golden arrow railway poster 1956

Although I didn’t buy it for £440 at Morphets, so I rather doubt that I will buy it at Onslows’ estimate of £700-1,000 either.

Finally, Sotherans have put a new(ish) catalogue of posters on their site.  It’s all digital and so fully carbon neutral, whoop de doop.

It is, of course, still eye-achingly expensive.  I’ve gone on about them often enough before, so you can take my complaints as read this time.  Although I am starting to get inured to their prices. To the extent that £195 each for these seems really quite reasonable.

Vintage London transport cows from Sotherans catalogue

This may of course be down to the fact that we own two of these cows already, and I really, really need the third.

Posted in auctions | Tagged , | 3 Responses

Designs of the times

Oddly enough, the day after I posted a (rare) Robin Day poster on here, news has broken of his death.

He was of course far more of a furniture designer than a graphic artist.

Robin Day roomset for Festival of Britain Design Council slide

This is a roomset he designed for the Festival of Britain in 1951, and I’d willingly move into that tomorrow.

He only really designed posters in the early years of his career – pretty much up until the Festival.

Robin Day Festival of Britain exhibition of science poster

But as a giant of British post-war design, he very much deserves remembering here.  And there’s a very good obituary in the Guardian today if you want to read more.

Posted in other | Tagged | 1 Response