Vintage poster up for auction

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 June 2011

Image from © Bloomsbury Auctions

Image from © Bloomsbury Auctions

© Bloomsbury Auctions

AN UNUSUAL and historical picture advertising Weston as a top beach resort is expected to be sold for £2,000 at auction today (Wed).

A bold coloured lithograph, depicting a mother and toddler splashing in the sea and featuring the words ‘Weston-super-Mare, Somerset’s Family Paradise’, was created by Bristol-born artist Tom Purvis in the early 1950s.

The picture, which is in ‘mint condition’, was displayed at British railway stations about 60 years ago to promote the resort as a prime holiday destination.

A biannual vintage poster auction was held yesterday afternoon, as the Mercury went to press, at Bloomsbury Auctions in London and the 40-inch artwork was expected to fetch up to £2,000.

International vintage poster consultant, Richard Barclay, from Bloomsbury Auctions, said: “This poster of Weston is a typical Purvis and is a good example of his work.

“It’s very rare to find his posters, particularly one like this which is in mint condition.

“The power of the poster is important as it had to jump out at you back then – and this is what this poster does as it is very bold and striking.”

Mr Purvis, who was born in about 1888 and died in 1959, was employed by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) to produce exclusive and alluring posters of various holiday resorts.

As not many people had cars back then and travelling abroad was costly, many relied on taking holidays on trains.

When the LNER and three other rail companies were nationalised in 1948, and British Railways was formed, Mr Purvis carried on working on his eye-catching posters and this Weston image proved one of his most memorable.

Mr Barclay added: “We have had a steady stream of interest in this poster, but as the auction date was getting closer we heard from more and more people.”

The auction house acquired the striking lithograph after its owner, a poster collector, died, and the guide price of between £1,600-£2,000 is reflective of its excellent condition and rarity.

LOG onto tomorrow to see how much it was sold for.

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