It has been a busy time at Onslows this spring with many new and wonderful poster discoveries coming to light. A rare group of posters relating to the Western Islands and Skye discovered on the island they had been collected by the late owner over the last forty years, they include two romantic MacBrayne’s posters for Steamer services and a striking quad design for The Coolins estimates range from £500 to £1200.
The next find is a group of early London Electric Railway posters from around 1915, they were discovered rolled up in old canvas amongst the stock of a long-closed antiques shop on Merseyside, the star lots are three rare posters by the anglicised American artist Edward McKnight Kauffer the best one depicts a Japanese styled bridge on the river Colne at Watford and is expected to sell for more than £1500. A customer in Dundee was fortunate to have hung onto a valuable poster which he had forgotten he had rolled up in a draw, the poster is none other than the A M Cassandre’s classic and highly sought-after poster for the ocean liner “Normandie” of the Cie. Gle. Transatlantique, the poster is in untouched original condition and is estimated to sell for over £6000. Terence Cuneo’s posters have appeared at auction regularly over the years, but not the wonderfully technical Forth Bridge design we are delighted to be offering in the auction, the artist had to harnessed to the bridge when he did the preparatory sketches for the painting, it is the most sought after of all his posters and is estimated to sell for £5000-7000.
Over the years Onslows have gained a reputation for achieving extraordinary prices for rarely seen posters. A good example was the £27500 paid in 2014 for the iconic WW1 poster by Alfred Leete “Britons Lord Kitchener Wants You” Until now we have never seen or heard of the existence the poster that spawned the most famous poster in history, the illusive missing link is the 1914 London Opinion News Stand poster which was the first time the Leete image of Lord Kitchener had been used to advertise the weekly magazine, it was quickly commandeered by the Government Recruiting committee to be used as an official recruitment advertisement. We are now very excited to announce that this rarity has at last turned up amongst a superb private collection of WW1 posters. We are being cautious about how to value such a unique item of true ephemera so pitching the estimate at £2000-4000 will give collectors and museum’s a sporting chance of securing it, to maybe place it next to the famous one, that is if you are lucky enough to have it. We think the news stand version is even rarer than the handful of know examples of the icon poster.