The weather is grey, the economy going into a tailspin, but still those auctions keep on coming. This week’s offering is from The International Poster Center in New York.
Because it’s in New York, it’s heavy on the usual suspects of Art Nouveau, bicycle posters (which for some reason that escapes me are disproportionally collected and expensive), French travel posters and so on. Although I do quite like this Cassandre, if only as a terrible warning of what television might do to you.
Cassandre, 1951, est. $1,400-1,700
Naturally there are golf posters too, although here at least there is a small amount of British interest.
Rowland Hilder, est. $1,200-1,500
Andrew Johnson, 1930, est. $2,000-3,000
People with lots of money do choose the oddest things sometimes.
Elsewhere there are a few more British odds and ends, although they tend towards the traditional, you might even say stereotypical view of Britain. Golf and pageantry, that is probably what we mean to the Americans.
Christopher Clark, 1952, est. $1,500-2,000
Seeing as we’re here, the poster above raises an interesting question about dating. The auction house have dated it as 1932. Which is approximately when the picture was painted, but given that it was previously issued in 1930 as an LMS poster, I’m not even sure that that’s quite right. Here’s the earlier poster from 1930.
But neither of these are really the date of the poster, as the British Railways logo shows – it was actually printed in 1952. So which is the answer ? I suppose it depends whether you’re seeing this as a print of the painting, or as a poster itself. I’d date it at 1952 on that basis – what do you reckon?
Along the same lines is this, which might as well be a print of a painting rather than the Southern region poster it claims to be.
Anna Zinkeisen, 1938, est. $2,000-2,500
The frame is particularly bemusing, because the description says merely,
B+/ Slight tears at horizontal fold.
but the image on NMSI has no such frame. So what is going on here? Search me.
Fortunately there are a couple of pieces of modernity to lighten the day. Like this Austin Cooper, even if the image is stubbornly retrograde today.
Austin Cooper, 1928, est. $1,200-1,700
Along with this McKnight Kauffer.
McKnight Kauffer, 1937, est. $1,000-1,200
Now the McKnight Kauffer isn’t alone, because one thing that the New York auction does have going for it is an interesting selection of Shell posters.
Leonard Applebee, 1952, est. $700-900
Harold Hussey, 1952, est. $700-900
These two are the most pedestrian of the bunch, but I’m putting them here because the estimates seem quite high. I can say this from a position of some confidence, given that we bought one of these on eBay for the grand sum of just £12.50 a few years ago.
This Ben Nicholson, however, is great.
Ben Nicholson, 1938, est. $800-1,000
But I also rather like this, by Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris.
Cedric Morris, 1938, est. $800-1,000
I like it and him even better for having read this fantastic reminiscence. Anyone who gets into a fight with Munnings has a lot going for them.
Should any of these take your fancy, you can bid online via LiveAuctioneers. But I have to warn you that buyers’ commission comes in at a rather painful 22.5%, and then you’ve got to get the thing back over the Atlantic too.
All of which makes eBay seem an attractive option. If only there was anything out there to buy. All I can offer you at the moment is a lot of rather late Public Information Posters. Which I’m mainly pulling out to reinforce a point I’ve made before, which is that National Savings posters are rarely design classics.
The only one I come close to liking is this incentive to teeth-brushing.
But I’m not sure I’d pay the £9.99 they’re asking, although I am sure someone will.
The best lot I can find at the moment isn’t even a poster.
The cover design for this LP is by Reginald Mount. But it would be wasted tucked away on a shelf.
There was one good thing on eBay this week, but we bought it. So I’ll share that with you when it arrives.