Notice of an exceptional special auction on Tuesday 13th December- a private collection of railway related artwork coming up for sale at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Newbury. Many of the original paintings for posters in the sale had been stored behind a wardrobe by an elderly lady in London for decades!
Amongst the highlights in the collection are a number of original artworks produced for the LMS in the 1920-30s, an era (rightly or wrongly) known as the Golden Age of the railway poster, depending on your taste. One of the highlights is Venetian Nights, Southport, by accomplished Italian artist, Fortunino Matania, set on the Marine Lake, Southport in 1937. This large canvas, by the artist responsible for several classic LMS poster views of Blackpool and Southport, is something of a mystery as the poster has never yet been seen, despite an accompanying letter between the LMS and the printers showing a print run of 5000.
Other highlights include Norman Wilkinson’s superb and iconic, LMS artwork of Iona, Scotland; Verney Danver’s Southern Railway poster artwork of Bexhill, (the art deco De Le Warr Pavillion) (also never seen before); the original LNER poster artwork of Teesdale by Ernest Haslehust and Algernon Talmage’s view of Bournemouth for the LMS. Wartime poster artworks, including a train crash in France by the White Star Line artist, Montague Birrell Black and other artwork by Rowland Hilder also appear in the auction.
Railway Poster original artworks include:-
Iona Cathedral, Scotland by Norman Wilkinson CBE, PRI, ROI, RSMA, HRWS [LMS, 1920s]
Venetian Nights, Southport by Fortunio Matania RI [LMS, 1937]
Edinburgh (Scott Monument) by Claude Buckle RI [British Rail 1950s]
Castle Rushen, Isle of Man by Reginald Grange Brundritt RA, ROI [LMS 1920s]
Morecambe [Bathing Beauty] by Benjamin Ostrick [British Rail 1953]
New Brighton by Verney L Danvers [British Rail 1952]
Bexhill [ Art Deco, De La Warr Pavillion] by Verney L Danvers. [Southern Railway, 1930s]
Teesdale, Co Durham by Ernest Haslehust RI [LNER 1930s]
Bournemouth by Algernon Talmage RA [LMS 1920s]
Llandudno- John Yeend King, ROI, RI, RBA, [LMS, 1920s]
Llandudno – Warren Williams ARCA [LMS, 1920s]
Castle Douglas, Isle of Man by Anthony Brandt [LMS 1930s?]
Southport by Peter Collins [British Rail 1950s]
Fine Paintings Auction date: Wednesday 7th December 2016
Auction location: Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Preview at Donnington Priory:
Sunday 25th September, 10am – 2pm
Monday 26th September, 9am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 27th September, 9am – 4.30pm
Wednesday 28th September, 9am – 4.30pm
I have been fortunate to be able to obtain nine more original carriage print artworks recently, including two of my all-time favourites: Whitby, Yorkshire by Rowland Hilder and Sible Hedingham by Leonard Squirrell. I’ve often wondered where some of the artwork got to after going to the printers many moons ago and the paintings do surface from time to time, especially in batches. Most have been stashed away, unframed, and have never seen the light of day for decades.
A two day trip to the NRM recently, to go through their carriage panel archives with that most helpful of curators, John Clarke, was something of a challenge, but thoroughly enjoyable and, hopefully, beneficial to the museum and myself in exchanging useful information on the collections. The most interesting by-product of going through the NRM collection to add to the catalogue information was how important the measurements of the adverts, photographs, notices are in ascertaining the frame size and therefore the company likely to be responsible for the panel, particularly if there is no other information to go on. Some pre-grouping companies panels survived in large amounts, whilst it is exceedingly rare to find anything from other large concerns.
Talking of going through collections – a heartfelt thanks to the Kilvington family from Walsall who visited here and were a great help in the long-overdue task of sorting my own collection of adverts, maps & notices recently. Most items hadn’t been looked at since purchasing! The next task is to catalogue the lot!
Several years ago I finally got to the bottom of what the grouping and BR companies had actually issued as carriage prints and the complete and definitive list is on my website with dates, artists, series and a separate list of any discovered carriage print artwork produced by the artists, but never issued as prints by the railways.