Two for the shelves

Look what’s turned up on eBay.

Tom Eckersley Poster Design book from eBay

Poster Design by Tom Eckersley.  Currently a complete steal at £6, but I suspect it will go higher, as the going rate on Abebooks is running close to £50.

But mostly pleasing because it allows me to post this again.


Who knew colour separation could be such fun.

While we’re thinking about books on eBay, you could also also pick up “the definitive book on London Transport posters“.  Perhaps.

London Transport book from eBay

But you only get to see the book way down their listing; they’re advertising it via this rather lovely bit of Bawden.

Edward Bawden detail from LT book eBay

It comes from this 1936 poster for Kew Gardens.

Edward Bawden kew Gardens poster London Transport

This is currently at 99p (the book, not the poster), but again I’m sure that won’t last. Watch and wait.

Bits, bobs, and Bawden

Although I’ve been mildly obsessed with what’s been happening in Harrogate, life has in fact been going on elsewhere.

This rather wonderful Abram Games poster went past on eBay on Monday, for a what seems like a fair £231.

Abram Games coach poster on eBay

I’ve never seen one out in the wild before, and I approve of it.

Meanwhile, if you do have any money left, a few other posters are also coming up in the next week or so should you fancy them.

Probably  the most interesting is this London Electricity Board poster.  The seller actually has three, but this one by Geoffrey Clarke is my favourite.

LEB/RCA poster from eBay

The listing says that they’re from the late 1940s, and they seem to be from a collaboration between the LEB and the Royal College of Art.  They’re another example of how our history of posters is mostly determined by what survived; these are really interesting attempts to produce posters of cultural worth, just as the GPO or Shell did, but I’ve never come across them before or seen them mentioned.  If anyone can shed any more light on them, I’d be really grateful.

Elsewhere, this slightly odd Geraldine Knight poster is from 1972, with an inital asking price of £30.

Geraldine Knight vintage London Transport poster 1972

The original artwork is pictured on the London Transport Museum site, and it’s a great lump of bronze.  Which may quite possibly make this poster unique.  And I imagine plays havoc with their archiving systems.

Then, in competition for worst eBay picture of the week, there is this Badmin coach design.

SR Badmin ebay coach poster

The seller is hoping for £99, which isn’t entirely unreasonable given the prices that this kind of thing was fetching at Morphets (I wonder if that’s what flushed it out onto eBay or whether it’s a simple coincidence).  But it’s a very high start price, and probably needs a few more photos to do well.  As ever, watch this space.

And then there’s this, which isn’t a poster at all but is so delightful that I can’t resist, and has the added bonus of almost certainly not going for £99.

Greetings Telegram from ebay

It’s from 1962 by James Mawtus-Judd, about whom I can discover precisely nothing at all.  But it’s still lovely

Finally, I’ve been meaning to mention Martin Steenson’s blog for a while.  He has the admirable aim of providing a proper overview of the work of well known artists and designers (as opposed to the scattered thoughts and biased opinions on offer over here).

bawden beet pulp poster

His latest piece is on Edward Bawden, so please do go and take a look.

Up, up and away

Time, for a quick saunter round the Christies results.  Which were a mixed bag; some things sold, some things didn’t.  Some things sold for way over their estimate (we’ll come to those in a minute), some things for well under.    This Fred Taylor, for example, went for £250, despite an estimate of £600-800.  So far, so like normal.

Fred Taylor, Cambridge, from Christies vintage poster sale
Fred Taylor, Cambridge, British Railways

But the real shock – and the reason that it’s worth my saying anything at all – was this one.

Daily Herald, McKnight Kauffer, Christies vintage poster sale
McKnight Kauffer, Daily Herald

£32,450, the highest price in the sale, despite being huge.  I’m gutted.

I know that sounds unreasonable, but I love this poster.  Not only because it’s great (it is) but it was also one of the reasons that I started to appreciate posters in the first place.

Back in the day, it used to hang a little-used back stairwell of the V&A, which ran from the Exhibition Road entrance, past the Twentieth Century Galleries and then up into the Eighteenth Century.  I used to go up and down there quite a bit, and I learned to love it.  But now I’ll never own it (mind you, at 79 x 60 inches, that’s probably a bit of a blessing).

But that wasn’t the biggest shock.  That has to belong to this Edward Wadsworth.

Edward Wadsworth in German dazzle ships vintage poster

Estimated at £4,000-£6,000, it went for £18,750.  Someone must have been chuffed this weekend.

Other than that, it was also good seeing the Edward Bawden and David Gentleman London Transport posters making over £1,000.

Edward bawden London transport vintage poster

Although each lot had been made up with other posters (six more in the case of the Bawden – I wonder which they were).  Before the minimum lot requirements, these would almost all have been sold separately; it’s a shame that they’re all bundled up, unseen and unvalued now.

What will be interesting is whether or not more posters pop up at the next Onslows sale at the end of the month as a result.  Patrick Bogue has just posted up a teasing page of previews at the moment – so it’s hard to tell. There’s a Stan Krol UN poster that I rather like, and I will post that when some larger images are about, and anything else interesting which turns up in the catalogue.

Posters, posters everywhere, but not a lot to buy

Well, it’s here.  For the first time under the new rules (which are, as ranted about previously, a minimum lot value of £800) it’s the Christies May vintage poster auction.  And, unsurprisingly, it’s not for me any more.

There are lots of cruise posters, some French posters, a fair smattering of Olympic posters, and lots more besides, but very little that I’d actually want to buy.

Perhaps the most interesting one for me is this Hans Unger Safari poster, mainly because I’ve never seen it before

Hans Unger Safari poster from Christies

This may also be true for Christies, because they don’t seem to have a date or a publisher for it.  Anyone out there with any ideas?

There are also five lots of Lyons teashop prints, which you don’t often see, although I’m not sure whether this is because they don’t often come up, or because they more often make their appearances at Modern British Art sales.  This 1947 one by William Scott is probably my favourite,

William Scott Lyons print christies

with Barnett Freedman a close second.

Barnett Freedman Lyons print from Christies

It’s worth noting that not even Barnett Freedman can make himself worth the minimum lot value, and for the estimate of £800-1,200 you get two Freedman prints for your teashop.

A few of the usual suspects are present, like these pair of McKnight Kauffers (estimates £1,000-£1,500 and £2,000-£3,000 respectively)

Magicians prefer Shell McKnight Kauffer vintage poster Christies

Lubrication by Shell McKnight Kauffer vintage poster Christies

There is also this Bawden City of London Transport poster (estimate £700-£900)

Edward Bawden vintage London Transport poster City of London

Interestingly, this comes with six other London Transport posters when I would have thought that it would hold that value perfectly well by itself.  I’d also be curious to know whether one of them is its pair poster, as this half is coming up more and more, but you never see the text side for sale.  Perhaps I’d better ask Christies.

Further to yesterday’s post, there is also a David Gentleman pair poster,

David Gentleman pair poster London Transport

For your £700-900, you also get its other half and two posters by the very under-rated Sheila Robinson, so a good helping of Englishness to be had there.

From the other side of the Channel, design-wise, this has also appeared.

Jean Dupas LPTB Richmond vintage poster Christies

I wonder if it was lured out by the Antiques Roadshow coverage.  The estimate (£3,000-£5,000) is pretty much what they gave, so it will be interesting to see how that does.

In other news, the lot value restrictions haven’t entirely kept out the kitch as this

Mervyn Stuart Butlins vintage poster from Christies

has an estimate of £600-800 despite being a bit grubby.  I’ll be surprised.

And this Carvosso will probably go for at least its £800-£1,200 estimate for its curiosity/ephemera value.

Carvosso 1966 World Cup poster Christies

While I admire its attempt to inject glamour into the roll-call of Manchester, Middlesborough, White City, I still don’t like it very much.

This, meanwhile, is just delightful.

D W Burley Chessington Zoo poster Christes

It’s by D W Burley but also isn’t dated.  But it’s still not £600-£800 worth of nice to me.  So I shan’t be bidding.

This post is already far too long, but it’s also my duty to point out, as a grumpy under-bidder, that this Henrion went off on eBay yesterday for a mere £139.

Henrion punch poster from eBay

One thing I really miss is knowing who has bought things.  In the good old days of eBay, most of the time you’d be able to see who’d beaten you to a poster like this.  But now – unless you’re selling it yourself – everyone has a cloak of invisibility which no computer wizardry can pull aside.  And with Onslow’s now online rather than in the eccentric Festival-modern hall at Marble Arch, I can’t even go there and see for myself wh0’s won things.  There’s no reason why I should know of course, but it’s still annoying.

Mr Bawden designs a railway poster

You’d think that the subject of the Morphet’s auction had been well and truly exhausted – it was only a poster sale after all.  But there was one more thing I wanted to say about it, and that’s Edward Bawden.

I knew he’d done some rather wonderful London Transport posters before now.

Edward Bawden London Transport half pair poster

This one was also in the Morphets sale (estimate £150-£200, sold for £1200, I say no more).  It’s half of a pair poster from 1952 and is rather wonderful.

But what really surprised me was this.

Edward Bawden York railway poster

For the very simple reason that I had no idea that he had ever designed a railway poster.  It’s from 1954 and is a Quad Royal depicting the York mystery plays*. The National Railway Museum collection only has this one.  Are there any more out there that I don’t know about? Or is it unique?

*And it only went for £440, so with hindsight I wish I’d bit a bit more bravely on it.  Never mind.