Your goodwill eases our daily task

Right, I have got behind again (apologies) and so the next few posts are going to be mostly me catching up with the auctions.  And there seem to be quite a lot to get through, too.  Although I do also have some thoughts on 1930s railway posters which need an airing one of these days as well.

First up, because the auction is next weekend, is London Transport Auctions.  On the plus side, they do at least, unlike most railwayman auctions, include a guide price.  On the downside, the pictures in their catalogue are minute.  Like this one, for example.

St Albans timetable

That, to save your eyesight, is a road and rail timetable for St Albans in 1937.  I suspect that the cover design may be quite nice, but I can’t really tell.

Fortunately The Saleroom have come to our rescue, so we can actually have a look at some of the posters that are on sale.  Which is a relief, because there are some nice ones in there.  Let’s start with the classics (for which you can read really quite valuable posters) represented here by Anna Zinkeiesen.

Original 1934 London Transport POSTER by Anna Zinkeisen (1901-76, designed for London Transport 1933-1944) promoting the Lord Mayor's Show.
Anna Zinkeiesen, 1934, est. £150-200

There’s also a design of hers for the Aldershot Tattoo, but it’s not as mice as the one above.  Or this one below, come to that. which is by John Stewart Anderson.

Original 1939 London Transport POSTER by John Stewart Anderson promoting the Royal Tournament at Olympia by bus, coach and Underground
John Stewart Anderson, 1939,  est. £150-200

He did some work for Shell in the 1930s as well, in the same kind of airbrush style, but that is pretty much all I can tell you.  And I don’t know anything about Charles Mozley, either, except that he designs in a style very reminiscent of Barnett Freedman crossed with a Punch cartoon.

Original 1939 London Transport POSTER by Charles Mozley (1915-91, designed for London Transport 1937-1939), the last of the 1930-1939 series promoting the Rugby League Cup Final at Wembley.
Charles Mozley, 1939, est. £100-150

Although, when I google, it turns out that I probably should have heard of him.

Elsewhere in the classics department, there are a couple of World War Two posters.

Original WW2 London Transport POSTER from 1944 'Seeing it through' by Eric Henri Kennington (1888-1960), one of a series he designed for LT that year, this one featuring a woman firefighter at the wheel of a truck above three verses of poetry by A P Herbert
Eric Kennington, 1944, est. £75-100

Original WW2 London Transport POSTER from 1943 '10 million passengers a day - your goodwill eases our daily task' by James Fitton (1899-1982)
James Fitton, 1943, est. £100-150.

A James Fitton is always a joy to see, at least for me.

As is this Eckersley-Lombers, which I would say was rare, on the basis that I’ve never seen it turn up at auction before.  Except that there are two of them in this very sale, each slightly different.  Go figure.

Original London Transport 1936 double-royal POSTER "Christmas Calling" by Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) & Eric Lombers (1914-1978),


Original London Transport 1936 double-royal POSTER "Christmas Calling" by Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) & Eric Lombers (1914-1978),

Spot the difference.  Both are double royal, both from 1936 and both on offer for £100-125 which, if you ask me, would be a bit of a steal.  (Actually I think that quite a few of these prices are at the low end of what even a notorious cheapskate like me would be prepared to pay, so it will be interesting to see what things actually go for).

Elsewhere, there are also some lovely post-war poster which are, inevitably, a bit more up my own personal street. Cream of the crop is probably this very colourful Kensington Palace Coronation Special.

Original 1953 London Transport double-royal POSTER from Coronation Year 'Kensington Palace' by Sheila Robinson (1925-1987)
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est.  £75-100

I could quite happily decorate a room in those colours.  And with that poster too.

There are also a few nice later examples too, like these two by Victoria Davidson and Anthony Rossiter.

Original 1959 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Cockerel' by Victoria Davidson (1915-1999
Victoria Davison, 1959, est. £75-100

Original London Transport double-royal POSTER "Harvests" by Anthony Rossiter (1926-2000) who designed a number for LT between 1955 and 1974. The poster dates from 1965 (designed in 1964) and promotes Green Rover tickets for unlimited travel on London's country buses.
Anthony Rossiter, 1964, est.  £30-50

But you should probably go and have a look at the catalogue, if only because it is full of many and diverse delights apart from posters.  If I spend more than a few minutes in there, I find myself wondering about  bus conductors’s satchels and cap badges, about poster frames and brochures.  Or why not buy a bus stop?


Yours for £100-125 if you want it.  But I think I’d better end there, before I get entirely carried away.  On a bus, of course.

Blackpool, camels and shandy

I’m posting like fury this week to try and catch up with all the auctions that are going on.  Although this post is in fact about a couple of auctions that have already happened, but are still worth noting.

The first of these is the recent GWRA auction, where we had been hoping to get this Daphne Padden, but were outbid and it went for £280.

Daphen Padden Lancashire coast British Railways psoter

I don’t think we’ve seen that one before ever, so I am a bit sad about that.  We also failed to buy this Lander too.

Royal Mail Boats Lander poster

Although as it went for just £140 you may deduce that we weren’t trying that hard.

We did, however get this Lander, which I am rather pleased about.

Morecambe British Railways poster RM Lander

Again, it’s not one that you see very often (something I have mentioned on here before now).  But it’s a brilliant piece of what I believe people now refer to as ‘mid-century’ and will look rather good framed.

The auction was chock-full of posters including, interestingly, another two for Blackpool – as far as GWRA knows, both anonymous.

Blackpool Britsh Railways poster anonymous


The first one went for £300, the second for a whopping £700, which was almost the record for the entire sale.  The actual top price, though was £750, which was paid for this.


With this Fred Taylor coming a close second at £720.


But if you just wanted a nice pictorial seaside poster, quite possibly with a bit of kitsch in it, and you wanted to pay £200-300, you would have been spoiled for choice.  Here’s just one of the dozens.


That went for £240, and for ten pounds less you could have had yourself another Daphne Padden as well.

Daphne Padden isle of Man BRitish railways poster

I do like that cat.

But there were a few bargains here and there, at least if you like Peterborough.


Just eighty of your pounds.

There are even one or two bargains still to be had as well.  This rather striking Bromfield failed to sell, and is now on offer with a reserve of just £50.

bromfield - hampshire

Surely that must have some midcentury appeal somewhere; I’m sure it would go for more than that on eBay.

Also passed and worthy of note is the recent Christies sale, which I did manage to blog about beforehand.

Apart from the obvious conclusion that expensive posters are expensive, what has most caused me to raise an eyebrow here is the price of the little bus posters.  Several, like this Anna Zinkeisen, went for more than a thousand pounds.

Anna Katrina Zinkeisen (1901-1976) WIMBLEDON TENNIS lithograph in colours, 1934

Although interestingly, this Herry Perry, which had an estimate of £1000-1,500, only fetched £875.  And not everything sold either, although I haven’t had the time to do the forensics and find out exactly what.

Herry (Heather) Perry (1893-1962) BOAT RACE lithograph in colours, 1935

All of which will make it particularly interesting to see how this Anna Zinkeisen will do on eBay.

Anna Zinkeisen bus poster motorcycle show

It’s currently at £9.99, but with 6 days to go and a reserve that hasn’t been met yet.  Watch that space.

While we are watching that eBay space, a few more things that have turned up.  This Quantas poster is mostly of interest because it is quirky, has a picture of a camel on it and is not overpriced at £39.

Quantas Camel poster from Ebay

While someone by the name of prbs1929 is also selling a job lot of coach posters at very reasonable prices.  This is my favourite.

Late holiday coach poster

This, on the other hand, does seem a bit expensive to me.

poster for Maltese shandy

Although I know nothing about the Maltese poster market and may turn out to be completely wrong about that.

Finally, I think we have a collectable in the making here.

Can safety poster

I have no idea what it is trying to tell me, but that’s part of the fun.  I think. And there are plenty more to be had if that tickles your fancy.

On the buses

Last week, Mr Crownfolio and I scored that increasingly rare thing, a bargain on eBay.  Although this did involve us chancing a reasonably large sum of money on what was described as

a lot of old railway posters that i got when i was turning out my grandparents old house they are at a ruff guess about 25 plus

along with a picture that didn’t give a lot away.

lot of posters on eBay

A bit of additional description says that there were some half-page posters as well as some full page ones, but we had no idea what would turn up.  Well apart from this, of course.

Llandudno tourist information poster 1950s vintage seaside

And the knowledge that at least some of the posters would have tatty edges.

Fortunately we weren’t disappointed.  As a starter, this Alan Durman on its own would have been quite enough to keep us happy.

Alan Durman butlins poster for coaches 1950s vintage classic

Fortunately there were more goodies even than that.

Vintage coach poster Llandudno

But what I don’t think we’ve ended up with  is a set of railway posters.  The Butlins one does say ‘Travel by Train’ at the bottom, but there’s no British Railways logo or anything.  More importantly, they’re all 20″ x 30″, so standard advertising display size, Double Crown,  rather than British Railways standard display size of 40″ x 25″ or Double Royal.  To prove my point, here is the Alan Durman Butlins poster as a Double Royal with the British Railways logo on.

Alan Durman vintage british railways Butlins poster 1950s bathing beauty

I don’t think I will be complaining about the misdescription though.  Because Double Crown wasn’t just the preserve of commercial advertisers.  The other big advertisers who used it as standard were the coach companies, and that’s what I think we’ve got here, a batch of coach posters.  Which isn’t a very difficult deduction to make looking at a set of posters like these.

Vintage Coach poster for Bridlington

Vintage coach poster brighton and hove 1950s

Vintage coach poster wye valley lander

The bottom one is by Lander and is I think particularly nice.  If you needed any more persuading, this one even says coach on it, with a handy picture too.

Vintage coach poster isle of man

That seems pretty certain then.  Even better, there are some good posters amongst the lot, not least of which is this Daphne Padden.

Daphne Padden vintage coach poster scarborough

There are also some artists I’ve not come across before.  These two posters are signed Greene.

Vintave coach poster morecambe greene 1950s

Vintage coach poster colwyn bay greene

I think this is John Greene, quite possibly working with his wife Margaret too.  But I’m not going to go off on a research digression for once, they can wait for another day.  Meanwhile one of my favourites isn’t signed at all.

Vintage coach poster portsmouth navy days

There are few more as well, and among them a set of these oddities.

Bus destination poster, vintage 1950s

Mr Crownfolio reckons that these must have been put up by the various stops at bus stations so that people knew they were getting on the right coach.  But if there’s a transport historian out there with a better theory, do let me know.

Now we just need to decide what to do with a whole heap of posters with a lot of blank space on.  Perhaps we’ll frame them on magnetic backing and use them as notice boards.  Even then, we’ve probably still got quite a lot…


General Entertainments – no lemon!

As promised, some more of the Daphne Padden designs that she left to Oxfam.

P&O menu design Daphne Padden Oxfam archive

In many ways, having seen the first batch, there are no great surprises here as the range –  everything from posters to packaging design – is very similar.  But it’s still very interesting.  For example, I had no idea that she did this packaging design, which does look vaguely familiar to me.

Lux packaging design Daphne Padden Oxfam Archive

There’s plenty more of this kind of thing too – her work really did extend from poster design into packaging as well as the fifties went into the sixties.

Daphne Padden shampoo bottle designs Oxfam Archive

There are loads more quirky little things too.  Who would have known that she had designed this early 1950s catalogue without seeing this design?

Home Furnishings catalogue Daphne Padden Oxfam archive

And I had no idea that she had done this Holiday Haunts cover either.  The seagulls are familiar too, I seem to remember them from one of her P&O menu designs.

Daphne Padden British railways holiday haunts cover Oxfam Archive

Although now I go back and look they have definitely put on their glad rags for cruising.

Daphne Padden menu birds on trident from back

While I’m on the subject, there are also one or two more nice designs for menus in there in addition to the one at the top.

Royal Scot menu design Daphne Padden archive Oxfam

Once again, only the most assiduous combing through ephemera fairs and eBay would ever have brought this to light.

But there’s more to what remains than just a joyous skipping through unseen designs (although let’s be honest, that’s fun).  I’m also beginning to learn a bit about her design processes from what remains.  At least I think I am.

It looks as though the first step was a rough sketch.  She might have prepared a good handful of these, and I wonder if they sometimes got shown to a client, at least a client she trusted.

Coach poster sketch stately homes and gardens daphne padden oxfam archive

I love the dog on this, but I don’t think this design ever got printed, more’s the pity – at least this is the only version I’ve ever seen.

Daphne Padden stately homes and gardens poster

Sometimes, particularly in the early days of her career, I think she would work up these small sketches as detailed pen and ink drawings to show her clients.  Here’s one for her Wales poster which was in the collection that we bought.  Note the delightful sheep nestling on the ‘L’.

Daphne Padden artwork for wales poster

Then I think if the design was commissioned she produced a near full-sized collage.  Here’s one for what I am guessing is a fabric pattern.

Daphne Padden fabric pattern oxfam archive

This is what I believe went to the printers, and if they ever came back from that inky place possibly went to the client.  What is certainly the case is that none of these have turned up in either archive for a commissioned design.  So my guess is that all the ones that she kept were, for one reason or another, never produced.  Perhaps she was keeping them in case they came in handy later.

For some of her more complex designs (which I tend to assume are earlier although I couldn’t prove that), she also used ink along with the collage, as is the case with this splendid cheeseboard.

Daphne Padden cheeseboard Oxfam archive

There’s lots more, but I am going to end with a question.  I’m guessing that this sketch is for a coach poster.

Daphne Padden zoo coach poster sketch Oxfam archive

It feels curiously familiar, but I can’t find the actual poster it refers to, just this one.

Daphne Padden party travel poster

Was it ever produced or not, or am I just getting the two confused – does anyone out there know?

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.

Surf, psychosis and Audrey Hepburn

Remember I asked last week where all the traditional railway posters have gone?  Well now I know the answer: they’re all in the forthcoming Onslows Sale.

Ronald Lampitt (1906-1988) St. Michael's Mount, original poster printed for BR(WR) by British Colour Printing c.1948
Ronald Lampitt, 1948, est. £500-600

There’s no shortage of them yet, that’s for certain.  In fact, in some wierd inversion of the natural order of the world, Onslows are currently offering a much more traditional set of posters than Sotherans.  Strange, and yet true.

Jack Merriott (1901-1968) Newquay, original poster printed for BR(WR) by Waterlow c.1954
Jack Merriott, 1954, est. £800-1,000

There are hundreds of them, really, please do go and see for yourself.  In fact I’d quite like it if you did as there are almost certainly some goodies which have passed me by.

All of which is not to say that there aren’t some other kinds of gems in there as well.  My pick of the sale has to be this, which is fabulous and I think underpriced.

F K H Henrion (1914-1990) Changing the Guard, original poster printed for London Transport by John Swain 1956
F H K Henrion, 1956, est. £100-150

But I’m more than happy to point you at this because we already have a copy and very nice it looks in its frame too.  As the estate agent said, it’s the foreshadowing of Pop Art in 1956, while at the same time insane genius at work.  Go on, you know you want to.

I also have no designs on these two James Fittons, because we’ve bought quite a bit of his work over the last year – by quite a bit I mean two or three posters, and we don’t have the wall space for even those.  I’m a bit less keen on the blackout poster; and while the clown is lovely, I suspect that it is lovely enough to fetch quite a high price too.

James Fitton (1899-1992) Inside its bright outside its dark, original poster printed for London Transport by Waterlow 1941
James Fitton, 1941, est. £200-300

James Fitton (1899-1992) Its safer by London Underground, (Clown on Tight rope) original poster (without title) printed for LT by Baynard 1937 - 102 x 63 cm
James Fitton, 1937, est. £400-600

Now I do rather want this Royston Cooper, although probably not at that price.

Royston Cooper Hastings & St Leonards, original silk screen poster printed for BR(SR) by Planet
Royston Cooper, est. £250-300

Hastings never looked so Continental.  It’s not alone either; there’s a fair amount more late 1950s early 1960s travel posterage  in there alongside the traditional stuff.

Anon Be Budget-wise ! Buy a Shopping Ticket to London, original poster printed for BR(SR)
Anonymous, est. £100-120

(Audrey Hepburn on a cut=price day return if you ask me.)

John Cort Country Afternoon Tickets, original poster printed for BR(SR)
John Cort, est. £100-120

Not only railway posters but also coach travel too.

Studio Seven Britain by Motor Coach, original poster printed by Waterlow -
Studio Seven, est. £40-60

I can’t work out whether the Morphets Sale is still feeding through into the rest of the market, or the rest of the market has woken up to the potential of this kind of design.  Either way, I rather like it.

The kitschier side of the 1950s is also represented here, and at prices only slightly lower than you might find at Sotherans too.

Alan Durman (1905-1963) Herne Bay on the Kent Coast, original poster printed for BR(SR) by Baynard 1962
Alan Durman, 1962, est. £600-700

I will be watching this kind of poster closely to see what they actually make.  I’m not entirely sure I approve of the trend here – are these posters actually that much better than the ones above them –  but that’s a thought for working out on another day in another post.

Although this Bromfield does get the Quad Royal seal of approval, even if it does look as though she’s standing in front of a giant bee.

Bromfield So near to the sea, original poster printed for BR(SR)
Bromfield, est. £160-180.

And it’s cheaper too.

There’s plenty more in this catalogue too, not least the World War Two posters, but this post has gone on for quite long enough already.  So I’ll deal with the rest of it next week, which gives you plenty of point me at all the interesting posters that I’ve missed too.  Then I’ll also explain why we’re probably not going to be buying anything from Onslows this time round (it involves a rabbit and pony, that’s all I’m saying for now).