Time Out reports that London Underground is auctioning off 300 of its most iconic vintage posters this week – what I wouldn’t give to get my hands on one.
I think most people that live in London and have any kind of interest in design will be familiar with these – the fantastic London Transport Museum sells reprints of most of them and they are such lovely pictures that THE INTERNET HIVE MIND posts them pretty regularly.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that my favourite designs are the ones from the 20s and 30s – no way! You surprise me! The Lure of the Underground by Alfred Leete has always been my absolute favourite in terms of design – did you know that he also designed the your country needs you poster? (Estimate: £4,000 – £6,000)
I’m also very fond of the Brightest London one by Horace Taylor, which dates to 1924. I don’t know any backstory to it but I love the idea that some on-the-ball designer heard the phrase ‘bright young people’ in use and decided they could work with it. There’s a bit of debate around when the phrase was first used but it wasn’t particularly in popular use until the 20s so thumbs up who ever cashed in on that one. (This one isn’t in the auction but Horace’s other works are estimated at about £2,300 upwards.)
The Posters with a Purpose sale is happening at Christie’s on Thursday 4 October- and you can bid online, so I’d suggest drinking half a bottle of wine then spending £800 on your favourite design and feeling pretty pleased with yourself.
You can enjoy the whooole catalogue here and I really recommend you do – there are some really awesome pictures in there that I hadn’t seen before (like this one) and some great in situ pictures of old stations. You can also buy the catalogue for £20 here which is very tempting, but I’d rather get my hands on a proper big book of the history of tube posters if such a thing exists. Anyone know if this is any cop?
Finally, you can buy a postcard pack (LAME) of some of the sale’s highlights here.