As promised last week, another look at Sotherans and their new-found love of posters which I had hitherto never thought of as valuable, never mind the preserve of a Mayfair dealer, But I am always willing to learn.
What’s most interesting about the latest crop of posters that they’ve put up on their website is that there are a whole slew of GPO posters in there. This, by Donald Smith has to be my absolute favourite.
So much so that I almost thought about paying the £125 that they want for it. But didn’t, you’ll be relieved to hear.
I’ve mentioned my utter lack of knowledge about Donald Smith before (when a few of his posters, including the one above, turned up in the 1962 Poster Annual. Unfortunately nothing has turned up to change that since then, so I still can’t tell you the first thing about him except that he made very good posters indeed.
In the same sort of vein are a Stan Krol and Harry Stevens.
There’s a weird lack of consistency in the dimensions of these posters which is a bit puzzling, as they must have been made for a whole range of different displays.
Just to add further variety, there are also a couple of what I think are GPO schools posters, although I’ve never seen them before, both proudly promoting the Post Office’s role as a promotor of national unity, ‘in touch with the everyday life of the nation’. Which is probably something which should have been thought about a bit more before so many of them were closed down.
The sheer joyous optimism about new town life in Harlow in the Walter Hoyle poster at the top is rather wonderful, while the Norman Jacques below more falls under alright if you like that sort of thing. Neither of them, though, are ever going to be worth £145 in my book. Nor is this other Hoyle going to persuade me to part with £225 either.
But the griping about the prices is really a bit incidental. What’s odd (and if I’m honest a bit unnerving) is that this kind of poster has suddenly found its way into the mainstream. I am bemused, I really am.
Further bemusement is also caused by finding this anonymous CoI poster in there too.
I’m guessing it’s early 1950s, but is there really a market for Cold War memorabilia? This Beverley Pick is at least a bit less of a surprise.
But what still confounds me most about all of this is how the usual fare of Cuneos and railway landscapes have almost completely vanished from the Sotherans roster. To be sure, there are one or two in there, but not in the swarms there once were. Instead, they’ve been replaced by, well, this kind of thing. Posters I like and am interested in to be precise. And I’m not sure I like that, I don’t think I’m ready for my tastes to become mainstream. Quite apart from anything else, I’ll never be able to afford another poster again.