An auction of vintage Post Office posters will provide funds for a new museum highlighting five centuries of social, communication and design history behind the postal service.
selection of vintage General Post Office posters are to be put up for sale as part of an online auction to raise money for The Postal Museum and Mail Rail.
Created by some of the most prominent artists and designers of their time, the original posters are duplicates from the collections in the British Postal Museum and Archive and will be put up for auction by Onslows Auction House in Dorset on July 9.
The images, made between the 1930s and 1960s, focus on a range of subjects, from airmail to pleas for the careful packing of parcels.
Adrian Steel, the director of the museum and archive, praised the creativity of the designers and highlighted the importance of the posters. “Along with a number of other trendsetting organisations, the GPO broke the mould with its marketing in the 1930s,” he suggested.
“Auctioning this striking series of posters prior to moving to The Postal Museum gives the public a rare opportunity to own a piece of iconic design.”
a photo of a poster featuring a women holding roses that have been unpacked from a parcel. Next to her reads the text ‘Properly packed parcels please’.
Poster advising correct packaging of parcels by Harry Stevens, June 1962
© Royal Mail Group courtesy of The British Postal Museum & Archive
Some of the most prominent artists and designers of the time were commissioned to create these images. The posters going on sale include works by Edward McKnight Kauffer, Stan Krol, Jan Le Witt and George Him.
Many of the artists went on to make iconic designs for places such as London Transport and the Ministry of Information with posters made to support the war effort during the Second World War.
“The funds raised will support our ambitious plans for a new, national museum and unique subterranean experience on the Mail Rail,” added Steel.
The Postal Museum will have permanent exhibition galleries and a temporary exhibition space bringing social, communication and design history from the past five centuries to London.
There are also plans to open up a section of the old Post Office Underground Railway, Mail Rail, allowing the public to take a ride through some of the original tunnels beneath the capital. Visit postalmuseum.org for more.
A selection of the posters will be available to view at the Chalke Valley History Festival until June 28. Onslows can also be contacted for a private viewing on 01258 488838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.