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A Guide To Collecting Posters Part 2 - Wartime

The Great War

Before conscription was introduced in 1916 the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee issued around 160 different posters the first of these were purely letterpress with such slogans as "Why Aren't You In Khaki?", "Rally Round The Flag" and "A Call To Arms".  Pictorial posters soon appeared with patriotism in mind showing for example, a recruiting sergeant, John Bull, a bugler sounding fall-in, troops on parade and marching off to war.  The National War Savings Committee produced a fair number including designs by Bert Thomas, famed for his "Arf a Mo Kaiser" image and Frank Brangwyn.  Appeals were made through posters to raise funds for schemes providing comforts for the troops, help for the wounded, funds for war hospitals, ambulances and canteens.  There were also those calling women to make munitions or join up in the WAAC, Wrens or Women's Land Service Corps.  Letterpress posters would start at around £100 whilst a great many pictorial examples are in the region of £150 to £200.  Examples of the more famous "Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?" by Saville Lumley, E.V. Kealy's "Women of Britain Say Go" and Lucy Kemp-Welch's "Forward" are in the £400 to £1500 price range.

In 2014 we sold the iconic 1914 poster "Britons (Lord Kitchener) Wants You" for £27,000 a record for a WW1 poster. 

The Second World War

Propaganda posters from this period and including the Spanish Civil War have become hugely popular in recent years.  They cover many aspects of the war on the home front including the evacuation of children, air raid precautions, public health, salvage, fuel conservation, Dig For Victory, Civil Defence, the production of munitions, tanks, guns, ships and aircraft to those showing the allied forces in action from Back Them up series as well as the famous Fougasse Careless Talk campaign and the technically brilliant designs of Abram Games.  A great many can be obtained fro between £100 to £300, with higher prices for particular posters such as Games's ATS poster nicknamed the "Blonde Bombshell", we have sold this rarity for in excess of £3000.

In 2014 we sold the poster with the now famous slogan "Keep Calm and Carry On" for £18,240 a record for a WW2 poster.

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