See London

Onwards and upwards then, onwards and upwards.   Which today means London Transport Auctions, whose next auction is on November 1st.

As ever, along with the opportunity to buy a conductor’s hat or the radiator grille from a Routemaster, there are also a fair number of posters, some of them being rather good.  Really rather good – I would quite happily buy any or all of the posters on today’s blog, the only exception being the one we already own.  So this is going to be a relatively straightforward scoot through what’s taken my fancy, with the posters being allowed to speak for themselves.  For a change.

As I’ve been mentioning John Bainbridge quite recently, shall we start with him?

Original 1953 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Buckingham Palace' by John Bainbridge (1919- 1978) who designed posters for LT from 1953-1957.
John Bainbridge, 1953, est. £75-90

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Epping Forest' (Dick Turpin) by John Bainbridge (1919-1978) who designed posters for LT from 1953- 1957.
John Bainbridge, 1956, est. £40-60

And look, we have not only dates but proper estimates too from these lovely people.  Although the estimates, even allowing for some edge wear, do seem quite conservative, so it will be interesting to see what these actually go for.  I’m less likely to live with a royalist guardsman, but I’d happily pay £60 for Dick Turpin any day.

There are a couple more posters from the same year as the second Bainbridge, both excellent, which makes me wonder if someone went on a buying spree that year, and the results have just emerged from the attic.

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'The Tower' by Hans Unger (1915-1975)
Hans Unger, 1956, est. £75-100

Original 1956 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Visitor's London' by Frederic Henri Kay Henrion (1914-1990) who designed posters for LT from 1942-1956.
F H K Henrion, 1956, est. £75-100

I have, briefly, written about this Henrion series before, but they deserve some more attention really, for being both insane and at the same time very, very ahead of their time.  But now is not the moment.

And that’s not the end of the 1950s classics either; there are also these two to take into consideration.
Victor Galbraith, 1959, est. £75-100

 Original 1953 London T ransport double-royal POS TER from Coronation Y ear 'Kensington Palace' by Sheila Robinson (1925- 1987) who designed posters for L T 1951-53.
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est. £70-90

Or if you fancy something smaller, there is this Harry Stevens bus poster for the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Original 1959 London Transport POSTER 'Lord Mayor's Show' by Harry Stevens (1919-2008)
Harry Stevens, 1959, est. £50-100

On a price per square inch value (I’m estimating here, I haven’t actually worked it out) I don’t think that Stevens is worth that much more than Unger – or indeed than most of the posters I’ve already mentioned above.  But, as ever, I am quite prepared to be proved wrong.

Now I do tend to prefer post-war graphics but I’m not leaving out the earlier posters from the sale, it’s just that there really are very few of them in comparison.  There are one or two wartime ones, of which this Bruce Angrave blackout poster is probably my favourite.

Original 1942 WW2 London Transport POSTER 'In the Blackout.....make sure it is the platform side' by Bruce Angrave (1914-1983)
Bruce Angrave, 1942, est. £75-125.

Plus there is also this rather lovely little 1938 bus poster, but I’m sure I like it because it’s not so much of the thirties as pointing the way forward to the Festival of Britain styles of the early fifties.

Original 1938 London Transport POSTER 'A.A.A. Championships, White City' (Amateur Athletics) by Harry Blacker (1910-1999) who designed posters for London Transport in 1938/39.
Harry Blacker, 1938, est. £75-125

Apparently after being a designer before the war, Blacker gained fame in the 1960s as a cartoonist, particularly for the Jewish Chronicle.  But he did a number of posters, so I will keep an eye out for him.

Meanwhile, these were issued in the early 50s, but aesthetically are a product of the decade before.

Pair of original 1951 London Transport POSTERS 'Men Conductors Wanted' & 'Women Conductors Wanted' featuring an illustration of a speeding double- deck bus with a conductor hanging on to the platform pole. By an unknown artist.
Anon, 1951, est. £60-75

And obviously, you need two, because no man would become a bus conductor if the poster were addressed to women, or vice versa, would they.

There are, as ever, more posters, so do go over and have a look at their catalogue.  Meanwhile, I will be back next week with the Christies auction, and, possibly, some more thoughts too.


Your goodwill eases our daily task

Right, I have got behind again (apologies) and so the next few posts are going to be mostly me catching up with the auctions.  And there seem to be quite a lot to get through, too.  Although I do also have some thoughts on 1930s railway posters which need an airing one of these days as well.

First up, because the auction is next weekend, is London Transport Auctions.  On the plus side, they do at least, unlike most railwayman auctions, include a guide price.  On the downside, the pictures in their catalogue are minute.  Like this one, for example.

St Albans timetable

That, to save your eyesight, is a road and rail timetable for St Albans in 1937.  I suspect that the cover design may be quite nice, but I can’t really tell.

Fortunately The Saleroom have come to our rescue, so we can actually have a look at some of the posters that are on sale.  Which is a relief, because there are some nice ones in there.  Let’s start with the classics (for which you can read really quite valuable posters) represented here by Anna Zinkeiesen.

Original 1934 London Transport POSTER by Anna Zinkeisen (1901-76, designed for London Transport 1933-1944) promoting the Lord Mayor's Show.
Anna Zinkeiesen, 1934, est. £150-200

There’s also a design of hers for the Aldershot Tattoo, but it’s not as mice as the one above.  Or this one below, come to that. which is by John Stewart Anderson.

Original 1939 London Transport POSTER by John Stewart Anderson promoting the Royal Tournament at Olympia by bus, coach and Underground
John Stewart Anderson, 1939,  est. £150-200

He did some work for Shell in the 1930s as well, in the same kind of airbrush style, but that is pretty much all I can tell you.  And I don’t know anything about Charles Mozley, either, except that he designs in a style very reminiscent of Barnett Freedman crossed with a Punch cartoon.

Original 1939 London Transport POSTER by Charles Mozley (1915-91, designed for London Transport 1937-1939), the last of the 1930-1939 series promoting the Rugby League Cup Final at Wembley.
Charles Mozley, 1939, est. £100-150

Although, when I google, it turns out that I probably should have heard of him.

Elsewhere in the classics department, there are a couple of World War Two posters.

Original WW2 London Transport POSTER from 1944 'Seeing it through' by Eric Henri Kennington (1888-1960), one of a series he designed for LT that year, this one featuring a woman firefighter at the wheel of a truck above three verses of poetry by A P Herbert
Eric Kennington, 1944, est. £75-100

Original WW2 London Transport POSTER from 1943 '10 million passengers a day - your goodwill eases our daily task' by James Fitton (1899-1982)
James Fitton, 1943, est. £100-150.

A James Fitton is always a joy to see, at least for me.

As is this Eckersley-Lombers, which I would say was rare, on the basis that I’ve never seen it turn up at auction before.  Except that there are two of them in this very sale, each slightly different.  Go figure.

Original London Transport 1936 double-royal POSTER "Christmas Calling" by Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) & Eric Lombers (1914-1978),


Original London Transport 1936 double-royal POSTER "Christmas Calling" by Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) & Eric Lombers (1914-1978),

Spot the difference.  Both are double royal, both from 1936 and both on offer for £100-125 which, if you ask me, would be a bit of a steal.  (Actually I think that quite a few of these prices are at the low end of what even a notorious cheapskate like me would be prepared to pay, so it will be interesting to see what things actually go for).

Elsewhere, there are also some lovely post-war poster which are, inevitably, a bit more up my own personal street. Cream of the crop is probably this very colourful Kensington Palace Coronation Special.

Original 1953 London Transport double-royal POSTER from Coronation Year 'Kensington Palace' by Sheila Robinson (1925-1987)
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est.  £75-100

I could quite happily decorate a room in those colours.  And with that poster too.

There are also a few nice later examples too, like these two by Victoria Davidson and Anthony Rossiter.

Original 1959 London Transport double-royal POSTER 'Cockerel' by Victoria Davidson (1915-1999
Victoria Davison, 1959, est. £75-100

Original London Transport double-royal POSTER "Harvests" by Anthony Rossiter (1926-2000) who designed a number for LT between 1955 and 1974. The poster dates from 1965 (designed in 1964) and promotes Green Rover tickets for unlimited travel on London's country buses.
Anthony Rossiter, 1964, est.  £30-50

But you should probably go and have a look at the catalogue, if only because it is full of many and diverse delights apart from posters.  If I spend more than a few minutes in there, I find myself wondering about  bus conductors’s satchels and cap badges, about poster frames and brochures.  Or why not buy a bus stop?


Yours for £100-125 if you want it.  But I think I’d better end there, before I get entirely carried away.  On a bus, of course.

Going Postal

The blog has been a little bit overlooked lately.  Apologies for that, I’ve had a rather urgent appointment with some wallpaper that needed to be removed.  It’s been a bad time to be distracted as well, because people – well the readers of this blog to be precise – have been sending me things.  And they’ve been rather good.

Let’s start with these, mostly because I asked for them.  ‘Did Daphne Padden design any other leaflets for British Railways?’, I asked the other day.  The answer is a resounding yes.

Daphne Padden British Railways Leaflet Isle of Man

And here’s another, although I’ll be blowed if I have any idea what a ‘Radio Cruise’ is.  Can anyone enlighten me?

British Railways Brochure Cambrian Radio Cruise Daphne Padden front cover

She even designed the insides of this one too.

British Railways Brochure Cambrian Radio Cruise Daphne Padden inside design

Which include this rather fine map.

British Railways Brochure Cambrian Radio Cruise Daphne Padden map

Are there more out there?  I hope so, although I am anticipating that I might have to do something frightening, like attend a transport ephemera fair, to find them.

Meanwhile through the actual mail box came a small set of  these little London Transport prints – I’m sure there is a precise art historical word for what they are but I’m afraid I don’t know it.  Anyway, they were a fantastic gift all the way from America so thank you very much.

Small London Transport prints - front covers

What I got was four little folders, each containing a small print of a London Transport poster from 1953.  Here’s St James’ Palace by David Lewis.

London Transport poster print david Lewis St James Palace

Each print was the pictorial half of a pair poster, so making the transfer to prints quite well.  I can’t decide whether my favourite is the John Bainbridge or the Sheila Robinson (both artists who deserve further notice on this blog one day).

London Transport poster print John Bainbridge Royal London 1953

London Transport poster print Kensington Palace Sheila Robinson 1953

I have no idea, however, what the purpose of these were.  Were they bought by the public and framed, or where they sent out by London Transport as a form of publicity? Or some other reason that I can’t even guess at.  If anyone can enlighten me, please do.

While we’re on the subject of London Transport, this is also rather good.

London Transport spoof

This also reminds me that I’ve been meaning to mention the work of artist Micah Wright for a while.  He’s been working on ironic modern versions of propaganda posters for a while, and got in contact with the blog to say that we might like this take on Pat Keely. He was right.

Micah Wright version of pat Keely wireless poster

Most of what he does is American in origin, but it’s still very much worth taking a look at his PropagandaRemix website.

Micah Wright propaganda remix war poster

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a wall that needs demolishing.  But if you’ve got anything else to send me in the meantime, please feel free.

Ceci n’est pas un crease

Everyone has spent their weekend listing posters on eBay, it seems.  Well, everyone except me.  But there is a something for almost every taste out there this morning.

Quite a bit of it is, however, somewhat battered.  Like this Tom Purvis poster, for example.

Tom Purvis 1933 Shell Oil poster kingfishers

This series has been mentioned on here before, as an example of the shift in Shell advertising from technical to natural.  Which it is, along with being by Tom Purvis.  So I really ought to like it.  But I don’t, not even a little bit.

Mind you, it’s in better condition than the next exhibit, this whole collection of posters in the States, apparently discovered in an attic in 1967.

Chester poster Claude Buckle 1930s GWR

Cotswolds vintage Ronald Lampitt GWR vintage travel poster 1930s

Ayr vintage LMS railway poster 1930s Robert Eddie

The three above are the classics, but my favourite has to be this one.

Bellevue Manchester vintage 1930s railway poster

In my head, I am now back in Manchester, to a soundtrack of the Smiths.  And I’ve never seen that poster before either, so it’s doubly pleasing.

These are all a bit spotted and chewed, but there are other ways to mistreat posters.

Clive Gardiner Country Houses vintage London Transport poster 1951

My eyes, my eyes.  It’s Out and About: Country Houses by Clive Gardiner from 1951, in case you can’t tell. Sadly there are several in this state up for sale, including Literary London by Sheila Robinson.

Sheila Robinson vintage London Transport poster Literary London 1951

Although the listings beg more questions than they answer.

Unfortunately this poster has been stored wrapped in an obscure way, which has left it too unravel as shown.
However there are no creases caused by this, so once framed or flattened out it will look good as new.

No, there are creases, I can see them.  Which leads me to suggest that it will take more than flattening to sort this out.

As is all the fashion these days, they’re all listed for £99, which I don’t really think they’re worth in this condition.  While the Peter Roberson below wouldn’t be worth that if if were flat, mounted on linen and offering to make me a cup of coffee every morning.

Peter roberson vintage London Transport poster, anniversaries 1972

Well, perhaps for the coffee.

There have also been a rash of Shell Educational posters turning up too.  A complete set of S R Badmin’s monthly Guide to Trees is available for the rather eyewatering sum of £350.

S R Badmin Guide To Trees shell educational posters April

Which compares rather unfavourably with both the full series of John Leigh Pemberton’s Life In… posters at just £1.99 each

John Leigh Pemberton Shell Educational Poster life in the corn

and also these six County posters, which have an even lower starting price of £1.50.

Shell County Guide educational posters Wiltshire

I wish I knew, for no other reason than my own satisfaction, what Shell educational posters were really worth.  I’ve seen auction houses really talk them up (although not always manage to sell them) while other auction houses won’t even take them these days.  So I shall watch these sales with interest and see if I can draw any conclusions.

Finally, someone other than us is selling Daphne Padden posters.  So if you’ve missed something you liked, here’s another bite at the cherry.

Daphne Padden granny Post Office Savings Bank vintage poster

These ones are also signed in pencil, as were some of the ones that we bought from her estate sale, so I wonder whether they too came from her own collection.  Perhaps I’ll email and ask.

Christmas bay

For once, eBay has come up with something seasonal.  Even better, it’s a classic GPO post early poster.

Huveneers post early poster GPO 1957

This 1957 design by Huveneers has already come up on the Advent Calendar here, and now you can have your own if you like.  Bidding starts at a moderately steep £22 (well I think it’s steep given that it’s 22cm x 15cm, which isn’t a great deal of poster) but they don’t come up that often, so the seller may be right this time.

Elsewhere on the bay, the delightfully named i.m.weasel has some London Transport posters to sell.  Only a few, but some rather good ones.  Shall we start with this Henrion?

Henrion hampton court maze vintage London Transport poster from eBay

Then there’s this Sheila Robinson too.

Vintage Royal London Sheila Robinson London Transport poster

And a rather good William Johnstone that I haven’t come across before (the colours remind me of James Fitton’s post-war posters, for what it’s worth).

William Johnstone Vintage London Transport poster from eBay

But the star of the show is this David Gentleman pair poster.

David Gentleman vintage London Transport pair poster from eBay

Now, I do have a few caveats about these auctions.  One is that – in the case of the Johnstone and the Henrion – he  illustrated them with the London Transport Museum catalogue image as his main pictures.  Which is a bit cheeky.

The other is that all of these items have a reserve on.  And I’d suspect that these are fairly steep ones too, given that the David Gentleman poster has a Buy It Now price of £1,000 attached.  Which is, yes, what it has fetched at Christies earlier this year.  But firstly that was with two Sheila Robinson posters (proof once again that these multiple lots make it almost impossible to value anything properly). Secondly, if you want a good price for a poster, putting it in an auction which ends on December 22nd probably isn’t the way to get it.  And finally, I think  that there is a more general point, which is that if you want a Christies price, you probably do still have to sell at Christies, and pay their premiums.  But I shall watch and see what happens with interest. Although probably without bidding.

It’s also worth noting that this John Bainbridge is still floating about for sale on a Buy It Now too.

John Bainbridge vintage London Transport poster eBay

Currently on for £90, which is down from its original starting bid of £120, but still a bit tatty round the edges.

While, in the endless re-settling and rearrangement of the posters from the last Morphets sale, these two are also available on Buy It Nows.

Bigg vintage coach poster bridge from Morphets eBay

Atkins vintage coach poster from Morphets via eBay

Curiously, the Bigg (above) is at £100, while the Atkins, which I infinitely prefer (always the sucker for a chalk horse though) is only £75.  But in both cases that’s significantly more than their auction price.

Tomorrow, more GPO admonishments but this time seen on their natural habitat of a wall.

Further training

I’m really glad we don’t collect railway posters very seriously.  Because we’d be stony broke by now.  This year has just been sale after sale of high quality railway posters (with a fair slew of London Transport stuff too).  And now, to round off the year, there’s another one.

Onslows’s December sale titles itself  Vintage Travel Posters including Fine British Railway Posters.  Which means posters like this, by the dozen.

Somerset Railway poster Frank Sherwin c1930
Frank Sherwin, 1930, est. £800-1,200

And this.  Which is quite interesting, because it’s by Brian Batsford, of book cover fame.

Brian Batsford Somerset vintage GWR railway poster
Brian Batsford, 1930, est. £800-1,200

Although there is also this too, which, as I think I have mentioned before, every right-thinking home should have a copy of.

Eric Lander English Lakes vintage British Railways poster
Eric Lander, est. £700-1,000

Plus there’s lots of pictures of trains too, but I shan’t be bothering you with those today, or indeed on any other day.  Apparently most of the collection comes from a single estate sale, although I think I can recognise a few things which did also appear at Morphets earlier this year.

Bruce Angrave Parties of 8 vintage British railways poster
Bruce Angrave, est. £250-300

Royston Cooper vintage railway Harwich poster
Royston Cooper, 1959, est. £200-300

These Holiday Haunts posters by Abram Games and Tom Eckersley also appeared there as a single lot too – the Eckersley in particular is a fine thing.

Abram Games Holiday Haunts vintage railway poster
Abram Games, 1960, est. £200-300

Tom Eckersley vintage Holiday Haunts railway poster
Tom Eckersley, 1962, est. £200-300

Elsewhere, it’s the usual Onslow’s miscellany.  This poster seems to appear in almost every single sale they do, which at the price it goes for is quite an achievement.

Fortuno Mat Southport theatre poster from Onslows vintage Cheshire Railways
Fortunino Matania, 1933, est. £6,000-8,000

This is the rarer version, apparently, because it’s overprinted with the logo of the Cheshire Lines Railway rather than the LMS.  I have to say that I can’t quite bring myself to be bothered about the difference.

There’s also the usual selection of London Transport posters.  I love this Sheila Robinson (which comes with four other posters, it’s all the rage these days).

Sheila Robinson vintage London Transport poster Royal London
Sheila Robinson, 1953, est. £200-300.

We once owned a LT poster by her and sold it.  I still don’t know what was going through our minds at that point, and now every time I see one of her designs I am filled with remorse.

These James Fittons are also rather good too.

James Fitton vintage London Transport poster
James Fitton, 1936, est. £400-600

James Fitton vintage London Transport poster
James Fitton, 1937, est £200-300.

There’s also a complete set of four of these Austin Coopers, one of which featured in the last Christies.

Austin Cooper, 1933, est. £1,000-1,500

Although at that kind of estimate, a set of four is going to be a pretty substantial investment.

I also rather like this.  And it’s a lot cheaper too.

Farleigh vintage London Transport poster 1947
John Farleigh, 1947, est. £200-300.

But then I am always a sucker for a chalk hillside figure.

There is still more to consider in there, but I’ve run out of time.  So, World War Two posters and other miscellaneous bits and bobs next week.  And an Advent calendar too.