Railway Posters began to appear in the earliest days of the
railways. These were of the letterpress variety giving mainly
timetable notices and later provided details of excursion trains.
By the start of the 20th Century Posters had moved on and generally
involved some graphic design. The Company in the lead in this aspect
was the LNWR who employed the artist Norman Wilkinson to produce
original paintings for their Posters but the other Companies,
particularly the MR and GWR, saw the benefit of this type of advert.
The various Companies continued in their own individual way until
the formation of the Big 4 Companies in 1923
Click on the pictures above to view more of
that companies posters
This was the period of great growth in the railways with most
families taking their Summer Holidays by rail to the seaside and
Posters were an excellent way to offer the attractions that their
part of the Country had to offer.
Poster were produced in two main sizes so as to fit the Poster
boards that were hung on station walls. These were Quad Royal 50'' x
40'' and the more common Double Royal that are 25'' x 40''. These
sizes were standard as they related to printing press sizes from the
In 1948 the Railways were nationalised becoming six regions. Posters
continued to be a popular advertising medium with many incorporating
the BR "Totem" image. To show that it was a National Network the
totem colours often didn't correspond to a destination in that
Click on any of the pictures to view more BR Posters
There were some excellent Posters made from paintings by Terence
Cuneo and these proved very popular.
By the 1970's the railways as a means of going on holiday were in decline and so were the posters
as more and more people went by car with the Railways being left for
more mundane travel. Although a few
good modern posters were produced they are few and far between.
excellent guide has been produced by the Totem Exchange team which
lists most of the Posters produced last Century plus gives details
of Auction prices and it is well worth buying if you have an
interest in Posters.
Click here for details
posters have been mounted on linen in order to protect them from
tears but this does tend to reduce their value as the major
collectors prefer them in original condition. Prices vary a great
deal but you should be able to get a very attractive DR Poster for
£200 - £400. Quad Royals are generally a little cheaper as they are
more difficult to display.
If you are
going to buy always buy one in good condition and with an attractive
image - at the end of the day the image is everything if you are
going to display it.
To finish a couple of superb posters that have
gone through our Auctions.
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