Friday Miscellany

Odds and ends from the internet today.  Mostly because I wanted to post this.

Tom Eckersley aluminium elephant

Normally it lives on the shelf in Richard Hogg‘s studio.  Lucky him.

You can buy some later Eckersley on eBay at the moment too.

Tom Eckersley London Transport poster 1974 on eBya

We’ve got a copy of that already.  But I can say with some certainty that it didn’t cost £100, which is its starting price.

There on the other hand, people seem to have come back to eBay after the summer holiday lull with high expectations of what their posters are worth.

Both this Unger

Hans Unger 1966 London Transport poster from eBay

and this William Fenton reproduction (previously mentioned in despatches here)

William Fenton London Transport poster from eBay

are up with a starting price of £44.99.

But perhaps the seller isn’t deluded.  Because this delightful John Burningham – also a reproduction – has just sold for £56.01.

John Burningham London Transport Country Walks poster

The John Burningham book has arrived, by the way, and is an utter delight.  So more on him next week.  For now,  a look at the proper version of the poster above to cheer you up on a dull Friday morning.

John Burningham Country Walks London Transport poster

Perhaps I might even go on a country walk myself this weekend.

Poster Mathematics

I can’t resist a few instant observations about Morphets.  The full set of opinions will have to wait until I’ve got the complete results in front of me and some more time, but for the moment, we’ll deal with what I know.

Firstly, it’s clear that not many people like Daphne Padden and Royston Cooper as much as we do.

2 x Royston Cooper vintage coach posters from Morphets

This is both a good thing and a bad thing.  It does mean that we can pick up some lovely posters for rather less than we thought we’d have to pay – the lot above went for just £85.  How anyone can not like that right hand poster in particular is beyond me.  I particularly love it because the woman looks like all of my aunts in old photographs, but that’s incidental, it’s wonderful anyway.

2 x Royston Cooper coach posters from Morphets

But it also means that their work still isn’t getting the acclaim and recognition that they both deserve; particularly when kitschy 1950s seaside posters were going for way more.  Perhaps it will just take a bit longer for the 1960s to come into fashion properly.

Eckersley Royston Cooper vintage railway posters

A possible third explanation (which would account for more than just these prices) is that the kind of people who buy 1960s posters don’t tend to hang around at railway and coach sales in Harrogate.  Which is their loss.  The left hand one above, incidentally, is an Eckersley which I have never seen before.  Has anyone else spotted it elsewhere?

Although more likely is that there just isn’t a developed enough market in coach posters for people to be competing over them.  Because 1960s London Underground posters did do well, with most of them hitting £80 – £100+, like this delectable John Burningham.

JOhn Burningham Autumn London Underground poster

All of which adds up to the fact that I don’t really have a definite answer on Padden and Cooper values; if you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

My other main observation is that auctions and their prices operate outside the world of logic, and I shall illustrate this with a small amount of mathematics.

This pair of posters went for £80.

Daphne Padden Royal Blue coach poster Morphets

If we say that the poster on the left is worth no more than £20, that values our sailor at £60.  So far so good.

This pair then went for £260.

2 x Daphne Padden Royal Blue vintage coach posters

Which makes our friends with the cat worth £200-ish.

Except that, just a few lots later, this went for just £65.

more vintage coach  posters from morphets

Despite the fact that this version is in better condition.  Unless the very subtle differences in the typography matter to people, this makes no sense at all.  But I can’t think about it any more because it’s making my head ache.

More thoughts on Morphets later on this week, something completely different tomorrow.