Is it really efficient?

On we must go with the endless stream of auctions.  Today it is Onslows, which takes place on Friday.  What can I tell you about it?

Well the first thing that will strike you as you browse through the catalogue is precisely what a tonnage of Shell posters they have – and there are more too, tucked away at the end.

Keith Grant Somerset Shell Educational poster Wiltshire
Keith Grant, est. £100-150

I really must take a look at what these actually sell for, because the higher estimates of £100-150 do always strike me as slightly fanciful, but then a few always manage to reach that.  Certainly,  I don’t see them going as high at other auctions or on eBay.  Watch this space and I will report back.

That would, however, be an utterly reasonable price to pay for these Tristram Hillier items, which have the same estimate.  I’ve written about them before but, frankly, any excuse.

Tristram HIllier Shell guide to fossils educational poster

Tristram Hiller shell guide to minerals educational poster

What I haven’t ever written about properly, however, are the Shell educational posters themselves.  Must do that one of these days.

Meanwhile back at Onslows, the other thing that will strike you about the auction is a job lot of GPO posters, some being sold singly, some as individual lots.

1950 Harry stevens air mail GPO poster
Harry Stevens, 1950, est. £70-100

Sams 1954 minimum 4d letter rate GPO poster
Sams, 1954, est. £60-80

Now I happen to know the story behind these posters, and it’s one to make any archivist’s hair curl.  Back in the early 1980s, the Royal Mail in their Mount Pleasant HQ were having a sort out.  Sensibly, they decided that two copies of each of the posters they had produced should go to an archive – these are the ones which the BPMA have now.  Rather more bogglingly, they put the rest in a skip.  The seller rescued a selection that he liked.  Some were sold at Bloomsbury in March, this is another batch.

1950 Martin Aitchison Your Letterbox is it really efficient ?, GPO poster
Martin Aitcheson, 1950, est. £40-50

Other than that, the other two interesting items are two rather lovely sets of proofs, one by Barnett Friedman and the other by Edward Ardizzone.

Barnett Freedman (1901-1958) Wuthering Heights (16 plates) , Jane Eyre (16 plates) and Anna Karenina (16 plates), proof uncut lithograph sheets for illustrations from Heritage Press NY 1952,
Barnett Friedman, 1952, est. £200-300

Edward Ardizonne (1900-1979) lithograph proof sheets for Sinbad, Fairground Freak Show and WW2 sentry
Edward Ardizzone, est. £30-50.

I like them a lot, but what you’d actually do with them I’m not entirely sure.

Meanwhile the rest of what is on offer is the usual mix of foreign stuff that I am going to ignore, railway and travel posters, and, as ever, a fair selection of World War Two Home Front posters.

This is probably the stand-out railway poster for me.

Frank Newbould (1887-1951) Scarborough, original poster printed for LNER poster by Waterlow c. 1930
Frank Newbould, 1930, est. £700-1,000

Although, as even a cursory flick through this blog would reveal, I am always a sucker for this series.

L A Wilcox (Lesley Arthur 1904-1982) Cornwall Travel by Train, original poster printed for BR(WR) by Jordison 1960 BR poster
L A Wilcox, 1960, est. £600-700

The main event in the travel poster section, at least if you are me, is a stream of these black and white British travel posters.  A couple are quite interestingly early.

Brighton travel poster 1938
Anonymous, 1938, est. £50-70

The vast majority are not.

Walter Scott's Britain Warwick - The Castle, original sepia photographic poster printed for The Travel Association circa 1948 poster
Anonymous, c. 1948, est. £50-70.

While this in no way constitutes a recommendation to buy one, these posters are quite interesting as historical artefacts.  Take a look at the date: it’s just after the war has ended, and Britain is desperate to pay back the war loans.  And one of the ways to do that, is of course American tourist dollars; so these posters wing their way over to the States to try and persuade our American cousins to come over here.  But I often wonder just how well they worked.  Because America is sleek, glossy and most of all technicolour, but Britain is broke.  So our posters come in black and white and are printed on the cheapest, thinnest paper imaginable.

Of course none of this explains why the 1938 poster is equally as shoddy.  Perhaps the British Travel and Tourist Association were just cheapskates, all the time.

The reason I’ve thought about these posters so much is that Mr Crownfolio and I, some years ago, bought a whole roll of these posters from America for about £30.  We tried to sell a couple on eBay but basically got laughed at.  But then, a couple of years later we tried again, and the prices started rising – so much so that one of the last ones went for over £100.  And now they are at Onslows, well I never.

In the war section, meanwhile, this is probably the most classic poster.

Norman Wilson (dates unknown) Dig for Victory, original WW2 poster printed for HMSO by Chromoworks c.1940 propaganda poster
Norman Wilkinson, 1940, est. £300-400.

While this is my favourite.

Coughs & Sneezes Spread Diseases, original WW2 Home Front poster printed for HMSO by Chromoworks circa 1940
Anonymous, 1940, est. £40-50

Just look at the difference in prices, I am clearly in a minority of one on this.

For a change, there aren’t that many London Transport posters in there, but it’s worth persevering through the whole catalogue, because a pair of gems, both by Abram Games, are tucked away at the end.

Abram Games london zoo lovely poster
Abram Games, 1976, est. £100-150

Abram Games (1914-1996) London Transport Conducted Tours, original poster printed by Waterlow 1950 London Transport poster
Abram Games, 1950, est. £400-500.

In fact that poster above is the very last one in the sale.  And probably one of the best.   But it’s an exception, and I am slightly worried by the general lack of good posters like that from the Onslows sale.  Because with Christies having got so expensive, there’s a real need for an auction house selling the stuff that, well, Christies used to – the Games, the Eckersleys and the Royston Coopers to start with, never mind the Daphne Paddens.  But they aren’t appearing here – so where have they gone?  They haven’t entirely migrated to the railwayana auctions, so where have they all gone?  Do any of you know, because I certainly don’t. And I’d like to.

Who knew?

Today’s news is that I did something to something yesterday and discovered a whole new online archive.  For a collection that I had no idea even existed in real life.

It turns out that the British Council owns a socking great heap of posters.  Made up of things like this McKnight Kauffer.


And this Purvis.

EAST COAST JOYS 1932 Tom Purvis

And even this anonymous psychedelic gem.

Beat the breathalyser smoke pot

These – and the many hundreds of others which go with them – come from the Alan Mabey archive, whose story is told on the British Council’s website as follows.

Mrs Phyllis Mabey donated this collection of over 300 posters to the British Council in August 1977. At the time she wrote “I should be very glad to hand the collection to The British Council as a gift, as I feel sure that it could not be in better hands, and it will be kept as a collection and not broken up.I wish that the collection be preserved as an entity and that it should be known as the Alan Mabey Collection.

I’ve tried to Google Mr and Mrs Mabey without finding anything out at all, least of all why they failed to give the whole lot to me.  But I can tell you one or two things about Alan Mabey just from looking at the archive.

The first is that he liked McKnight Kauffer very much indeed, because he must have owned pretty much every poster that Kauffer ever produced.  At leas that’s what it looked like.


There are acres of Kauffer’s designs for London Transport on the site, which I won’t bother illustrating because you’ve almost certainly seen them before.  But Alan Mabey also picked up some other designs of Kauffers which don’t come up anything like as often.  These two are new to me.

poster - READ 'CRICKETER' IN THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN 1923 Edward McKnight Kauffer

vintage poster POMEROY DAY CREAM 1922 Edward McKnight Kauffer

I think more modern advertising should be along these lines.

The archive would be worth your time simply for these, but there is plenty more, because Alan Mabey had the kind of catholic taste that I can only approve of.  He liked Shell posters and London Transport too, although interestingly there aren’t many railway posters.  Amongst these are plenty enough of the recognised heroes and heroines of graphic design – not just Kauffer, but also Dora Batty, Austin Cooper and Frank Newbould.

poster ORIENT LINE CRUISES Frank Newbould

But he also bought some less obviously collectable posters, the kind of commercial art, in short, which is so often left out of the record.  The first of these is by Robert Gossop from 1928, the second is dateless and anonymous.


JAMAL THE FREEDOM WAVE vintage poster 1930s

This F Gregory Brown is also rather fine.


What doesn’t tend to be represented as much is the kind of post-war poster that I love most of all.  There are one or two, to be sure, like this 1963 Abram Games.

poster KEEP BRITAIN TIDY 1963 Abram Games

Again, this is matched with some of the more commercial work of the time.

PASCALL SWEETS MAKE LIFE SWEETER 1947 advertising poster

CHRISTMAS WISE D H EVANS 1946 Barbosa poster reindeer

The first is anonymous, but the second one is by Barbosa, and the website gives a rather wonderful biography for him.

Artur Barbosa was born in Liverpool, the son of the Portuguese vice-consul and a half-French mother. He studied at Liverpool School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. Whilst still a student he produced illustrations for Everybody’s Weekly and The Radio Times, in addition to producing book covers. He is probably best remembered for his cover illustrations for the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer. In addition to cover illustrations, Barbosa also designed for the stage, produced drawings for fashion magazines and the leading advertising agencies. Barbosa was at school with Rex Harrison, the friendship endured into adulthood when Harrison commissioned Barbosa to design the interiors of his villa in Portofino. This in turn led to a commission to refurbish Elizabeth Taylor’s yacht, the Kalizma.

What is present though, as the poster at the top has hinted, is a major collection of psychedelic posters from the 1960s.

FAIRPORT CONVENTION 1968 Greg Irons  poster

What I can’t tell you is whether any of this this represents Alan Mabey’s taste or not, because the British Council has been augmenting the collection over the years.

 Since the bequest the collection was augmented by post-war works by leading British artists and designers acquired by General Exhibition Department.

They must have been doing that quite heavily too; they say that the bequest was over 300 posters, but the online catalogue runs to 843.  Which is quite a lot.

F Godfrey Brown Ideal Home Show exhibition 1930s poster

There are two things to say about the archive.  One is that only about a quarter of the poster are illustrated.  However much I have tried to work through the full list of titles, my feel for the collection is still very much based on what I have seen rather than read.  I actually found the collection when looking for a Tom Eckersley Post Office Savings Bank poster from 1952, so there is plenty more treasure within.  How about this wartime Edward Wadsworth lithograph, produced by the Council for Encouragement of Music and the Arts?

SIGNALS 1942 Edward Wadsworth  lithograph CEMA

I need to know more.

The other point worth making is that this is actually one of the major British poster collections.  It may not be quite as large as the V&A’s, but it has some of the same scope and ambition.  But I had no idea that it even existed.  So what else is out there that I need to know about?

Odd and odder

This week, Ebay seems mostly to be selling oddities.  And the oddest of the odd has to be this, a redacted Daphne Padden poster for £9.99.

Daphne Padden post office savings bank poster which has been redacted

It would be rather nice if they hadn’t done that, wouldn’t it?

The listing does at least give a bit of provenance:

we understand that this advertisement was displayed in the Post Office Savings Bank Kew until it closed down , 1975 we believe.

My guess was that they rather liked this poster, and so when the Post Office Savings Bank changed its name, they just blacked it out and carried on.  There’s another example from the same place and seller as well.

Vintage GPO savings bank poster redacted

Neither, I’d suggest, are worth buying, but still an interesting object.

As is this.  Which isn’t a poster so I strongly suggest that you don’t spend the best part of £30 on it.

Youths in the post office vintage leaflet

I can’t tell you anything useful about the design either, other than that it is rather good and I would guess prewar.  Does anyone know any more? I may also return to addressing youths in that way too.

Meanwhile this poster is odd in every which way: it’s a rare survival of a commercial advertisement, it’s for an event I’ve never ever heard of and I had no idea such things went on at the Albert Hall.

Ford at the Albert Hall poster

It also doesn’t look very British, by which I think I mostly mean that I’ve never really seen anything like it.  It’s actually just finished as I was writing this piece, but sold for just £58, and I would think it’s worth a lot more than that to the right classic car owning buyer.

Is this Tom Purvis – well they say it is – World War Two poster odd or not?  I can’t decide.

Tom Purvis vintage world war two poster air raid information ebay

Perhaps the frame makes it look a bit strange, because it is after all a workaday poster which was just there to tell people what to do, not be a work of art.  Good to see it, though, because very few of these kinds of things do survive precisely because they aren’t as good to look at as an Abram Games or Lewitt Him from the same period.

There are one or two sensible things too, like this British Railways poster  for Right Labelling which the seller has down as 1960s but I might put a bit earlier.

Vintage British Railways poster right labelling 1950s

Along with this pair of classic railway posters for Inverness and Somerset respectively.

Vintage British Railways poster 1950s lance Cattermole Inverness

Vintage British Railways map poster somerset by bowyer

There are a couple of other map posters being sold by the same seller too, so if that’s your kind of thing, you know where to go.

But I do wonder whether he’s going to get any offers.  Recently I said that prices on eBay seem to be matching those at auction.  This was a hostage to fortune, and eBay has since then concentrated on proving me wrong.    Take this classic London Transport poster, for example.

Vintage London Transport poster theatreland 1921 Jan Poortenaar

It got plenty of bidding attention, but at £188 failed to reach its reserve.

Elsewhere, this British Railways poster failed to sell at just £48.

Frank Newbould vintage British Railways poster Stratford on avon 1950s

One of Frank Newbould’s more peculiar turns if you ask me.

What’s to blame for this?  Is it the new Greek market turmoil, or just the good weather keeping everyone away from their computers?  Answers in the comments below please.

War Games

When I posted this Games poster on the blog last week, I mentioned that there was more to be said about the subject.

Abram Games your britain fight for it now vintage WW2 poster 1942

I’ve been meaning to write about Abram Games’ war posters for a while now and that poster (which incidentally fetched £950 at Onslows when it was sold a few days ago) has finally made me do it.

Games did design some of the most striking and, in a few cases controversial, posters of the war, but you might be wondering how much more there is to be said than that.

Abram Games ATS poster blonde bombshell vintage World War Two poster

But these posters are actually an exception to the usual run of WW2 Home Front posters, something which isn’t often pointed out.  To start with, they were almost entirely designed for a particular subset of the Home Front: the serving soldier, whether at home or abroad.

Abram Games Kit ticket army poster vintage world war two propaganda

This is because Games didn’t work for MoI or one of the other ministries, nor even for one of the advertising agencies.  He created his own job in the army, which gave him great freedom to do exactly what he wanted – not only could he choose his style but in some cases he even chose the subject matter too.

Abram Games ventilate your quarters vintage ww2 army propaganda poster

Later on in the war he also had Frank Newbould as his assistant, which, given that Games was 27 and Newbould was a rather more experienced 59, must have been an interesting situation.  (If you want to know more about Games’ wartime service, there’s a good section on it in this book.)

This situation  meant that  Games was able, unlike almost any other designer in the war, to produce a coherent set of poster which were modern in both their design and their social message.  Sometimes their subject matter and execution were the same as the mainstream Home Front publicity and posters.

Abram Games Grow Your Own Food vintage ww2 propaganda poster army

On occasion, though, they were very different.  For example, Games’ army equivalent to the Careless Talk Costs Lives has a graphic representation of the possible results.  Men will die.

Abram Games Your Talk May Kill Your Comrades WW2 army propaganda poster

The above poster is perhaps the best-known, but the design below is even more explicit.

Abram Games Talk Kills vintage army poster world war two propaganda

Nothing similar was ever produced for the general public.  Whether posters should show such direct consequences of careless talk was debated more than once within the Ministry of Information during the war.  But the MoI always decided against ‘pictures which hurt’, turning down one proposed campaign as ‘too tough and realistic’.  Even this design by Norman Wilkinson kept death at arm’s length; the men in the foreground have survived.

NOrman wilkinson a few careless words vintage ww2 propaganda poster

When Games’ posters are included in more general surveys of Home Front posters, without any explanation of why they are different, this subtlety disappears.  The posters, instead, are seen to cover all approaches when that wasn’t the case.

Perhaps the most important results of Games’ freedom to work was the Your Britain Fight For It Now series.  These posters were not only designed by Games but Newbould too.

Frank Newbould Your Britain Fight For It Now ww2 propaganda poster army ABCA

The results are an example of their partnership of modern and traditional working at its best; the different posters would have appealed to very different people and so the message would have got across to the widest possible public.

Frank Newbould Your Britain Fight For It Now vintage ww2 propaganda poster army ABCA

But that’s a digression, because what’s important about these posters is their message.  Newbould’s posters are exhorting the soldiers to fight for an image of an idealised and traditional Britain (located, as this deep Britain tends to be, in the countryside).  Games’ designs use the same slogan but have a different message.  Fight, he is saying, for a better Britain after the war, and he locates this future in an urban and modern idiom.

Vintage world war two poster ABCA Abram Games

In the wake of the Beveridge Report in 1942, this wasn’t a particularly novel idea.  But it wasn’t one which was being expressed in posters elsewhere.  The Ministry of Information repeatedly applied to the Cabinet for permission to produce sets of posters along these lines, but the request was always turned down, quite possibly on the orders of Churchill himself.

Abram Games abca Finsbury Health Centre rickets vintage ww2 poster

All of which gives further resonance to Churchill’s banning of the Finsbury Health Centre poster above.  (I’ve written a fuller explanation of the controversy here if you would like to know more.)

The Ministry was clearly frustrated by this restriction, as can be seen by its use of Walter Spradbery’s The Proud City series

London The Proud City Walter Spradbery Vintage London Transport poster WW2

This series of posters came into being because they were commissioned by the London Passenger Transport Board, another organisation which was less constrained than the Ministry in terms of the propaganda it could produce.  But the MoI made use of this loophole too, paying not only for the posters to be printed in the tens of thousands, but also to be translated into multiple languages and distributed to Britain’s allies.

London The Proud City Walter Spradbery Vintage London Transport poster WW2 in Arabic

All of which underlines why it is so important to separate out Games’ work from the broader mass of Home Front posters and propaganda.  Because if they are all just lumped in together, as is so often the case, the results are misleading.

Games vote poster army world war two

Not only do we see a much more modern set of posters than the average person in the street ever did, we also believe that this message of building a better Britain was a commonplace.  But in doing so we are imposing our retrospective justifications for the war onto the past – and distorting it.  Because at the time this kind of propaganda was not taken for granted; rather it was something controversial and disputed – and what’s more, something which was definitely not seen on the streets of Britain during the war.

Abram Games army education poster world war two propaganda

If you think, incidentally, that I’ve been banging on about World War Two posters quite a bit recently, I have.  There is a good reason for this, too, but all will be revealed in the New Year.

All images, once again, from the VADS/IWM online archive.

Recent Acquisitions

In the days when I used to be in the V&A, which is quite some time ago, each department used to have cases where they displayed recently bought objects, before they found their place in the main collection, with a small paper sign in which read Recent Acquisitions.  A friend of mine got hold of one of these and stuck it on her fridge, which amused me a great deal at the time.

All of which is by way of saying that we’ve bought a few things recently (in fact, thanks to the wonder of modern phones, we managed to do most of this on holiday).  These GPO posters are small, Demy I think, but each one perfectly formed.

Tom Eckersley vintage posters 1955 GPO
Tom Eckersley, 1955

Beaumont Vintage GPO post early poster n/d
Beaumont, can’t find a date

Frank Newbould Telephone your orders vintage GPO posters
Frank Newbould, 1930s?

Although small daughter refuses to be quite persuaded that the image above is actually a telephone.

There’s also the Bloomsbury Sale, which was on Wednesday.   I didn’t get time to preview it, what with being in France, but that’s also been handy because I didn’t want to point at this too hard.

Lewitt Him vintage London transport poster 1938

It’s by Lewitt Him, and dates from 1938.  I’d never seen it before, even though it is in the London Transport Museum Collection now I look.  And I think we won it, although I haven’t definitely heard from Bloomsbury that we have yet.  We better had, that’s all I’m saying.

There were a few other nice things in there, but the online catalogue seems to have disappeared already so I can’t tell you about then.   More fun next week, though, when there will be some pictures of actual vintage posters on billboards for you, and rather good posters at that.

Modern selling

The auction season really is upon us; no sooner do I promise you the Christies highlights, than the Swann Galleries catalogue also pops into my email box.  And to my surprise, the American auction is, I think, the winner.  But let’s take a quick canter through both of them, and then you can make up your own mind, starting with Swann’s offering.

There are of course a lot of classics in there, which is all you’d expect from a catalogue calling itself Modernist Posters.

Abram Games vintage BOAC travel poster 1956 Swann Galleries
Abram Games, 1956, est. $800-1,200

Eckersley Lombers 1936 vintage London Transport posters Christmas
Eckersley Lombers, 1936, est. $1,200-1,800

In amongst those classics are a considerable quantity of Zeros, which is always nice.

Zero journalists Use Shell vintage poster 1938
Hans Schleger, 1938, est. $2,500-3,500

Hans Schleger Zero Vintage London Underground poster 1935 Swann
Hans Schleger, 1935, est. $4,000-6000

Even better, there are some that I haven’t seen before, like this quiet and understated design, also for London Transport.

Hans Schleger Vintage London transport poster service 1935
Hans Schleger, 1935, est. $1,500-2,000

There are some other interesting posters in there too, like this Willy de Majo for B.S.S.A.

William De Majo vintage BSSA travel poster South America 1948
William de Majo, 1948, est. $700-1,000

B.S.A.A. split from the British Overseas Aircraft Corporation (B.O.A.C.) to operate in the South Atlantic. Founded in 1946, it merged back with B.O.A.C. in 1949, after a series of unlucky incidents, in which two of their planes disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.

All of which rather leaves me wanting to know more, both about B.S.A.A. and William de Majo, who has featured on these pages before.  Other questions are also raised by this rather out of the ordinary London Transport poster.

Maurice Beck vintage London Transport fuel tax poster 1931
Maurice Beck, 1931, est. $500-750.

Fortunately, the catalogue is here to answer them.

An extraordinary montage of photographed letters and numbers designed by Maurice Beck. He was both a designer and a photographer, often incorporating photography into his work. In the 1920s he was the head photographer for British Vogue, and he is credited with designing 18 posters for the Underground, all photomontages. One in a series of four posters based on the unusual premise of informing the public how much “the Underground group (U.E.R.L.) pays in petrol tax. The information highlights the success of the company, still profitable in spite of so many taxes, and the fact that U.E.R.L. contributes significantly to the Treasury and therefore to the London’s economy” (

I have to say, I really do like this catalogue.  While I’m not normally a fan of online catalogues,with their pretend turning pages and interminable loading times, I am prepared to make an exception for this one, which is well worth the investment of time and bandwidth.  This isn’t just because of the layout, which makes almost every poster desirable.


Swann Galleries catalogue page spread 2

Including that McKnight Kauffer at the left, which I don’t remember having seen before now.

But even better is the text, which, as the examples above demonstrate, is consistently interesting and informative.  Take this BOAC poster by Henrion, for example.

Henrion BOAC vintage travel poster 1947 Swann
FHK Henrion, 1947, $800-1,200

In post-war Britain, competition between the different airlines was fierce, and as a result, the airline companies hired the best graphic designers in the field for their advertising, such as F.K. Henrion, Ashley, and Abram Games. At the time when Games was creating a series of posters for B.O.A.C., the trend among artists was not to illustrate the actual airplanes (as had been the style in the thirties), but instead, to advertise the advantages of flying, such as saved travel time. They did this by creating beautiful, symbolic and surrealistically inspired images that captured the abstract concepts poetically. Here, Henrion incorporates the company’s Speedbird logo into the design.

All poster catalogues should be like this, why aren’t they?

You may be feeling that you saw that Henrion poster quite recently, and you did; there is a lot of overlap between the various auctions.  Like the PosterConnection sale mentioned in my last post, Swann also have a fair number of airline posters of one kind and another.

AOA LEwitt Him vintage travel poster 1948
Lewitt-Him, 1948, est. $800-1,200

Imperial airways vintage travel poster theyre lee elliott 1935
Theyre Lee Elliott, 1935, est. $700-1,000

But there’s an even more interesting overlap between the Swann Galleries and Christies sale, which is this.

McKNight Kauffer vintage London Transport Power poster 1931

It’s by McKnight Kauffer and dates from 1931, but it’s worth $12-18,000 if you’re Christies, $15-20,000 if you’re Swann Galleries – and the Christies one is purportedly in slightly better condition, too.

It will be interesting to see how that pans out.  Will the existence of two depress prices? Or does the fact that they’re on opposite sides of the Atlantic mean that this doesn’t matter.  I shall watch with interest.

Sadly, that’s about as much excitement as I can muster up for the Christies catalogue.  While there are plenty more unseen gems at Swann, where I can even get enthusiastic about German posters that I’m not supposed to be interested in.

Hymmen, 1949, $400-600

At Christies, everything feels a bit more familiar, with only a very few exceptions.  Best of all, I like this Herbert Bayer.

Herbert Bayer - Allies Need Eggs vintage propaganda Poster WW2 1940
Herbert Bayer, 1940, est £800-1,200

And I probably would like this Night Scotsman classic if only I could afford it.

Alexeieff Night Scotsman Kings Cross vintage railway posters 1931
Alexeieff, 1931, est. £15-20,000

Ditto this Paul Nash, which I suspect will go for a bit more than the estimate.  If only suburbia had ever looked like that.

Paul Nash vintage London transport poster come out to live 1936
Paul Nash, 1936, est.£800-1,200

But other than that the catalogue seems to be both rather thin, covering the same old ground, and without pithy texts to make me care about particular posters.  So there are railway posters, of course.

Frank Sherwin Somerset vintage railway poster GWR
Frank Sherwin, est. £700-900

With an honourable mention going to Frank Newbould for his impressive impersonation of McKnight Kauffer.

Frank Newbould Scarborough vintage railway poster 1924
Frank Newbould, 1924, est. £1,000-1,500

And London Transport too.  But a lot of these are similar to or even the same as items from the last sale, and so feel like they’re riding on the coat-tails of that last set of high prices.

Marty Wings of Joy vintage London Transport poster 1931
Marty, 1931, est. £1,000-1,500

Jean Dupas Richmond vintage London Transport poster, 1933
Jean Dupas, 1933, est. £3,000-5,0000

Of course no auction this year would be complete without airline posters, particularly those for BOAC.

Abram Games vintage BOAC poster 1949
Abram Games, 1949, £600-800

The only good news is that there don’t seem to be too many multiple lots this time, which is a relief. But I wonder if this is policy or accident? And where are all the nice, inexpensive London Transport posters going to be sold these days? Surely they can’t all be on eBay?