International auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull, in partnership with poster specialist Tomkinson Churcher, will present Design on the Move: Selected Posters from the Shell Heritage Art Collection at the Mall Galleries in London, as part of their Modern Made sale. The specialist auction will consist of 49 lots of original posters from the 1930s and 1950s.
Kimmeridge Folly, Dorset, 1937 by Paul Nash (1889–1946)
The Shell Heritage Art Collection Manager, Nicky Balfour Penney said: ‘We are pleased to be offering these iconic Shell posters for auction to raise vital funds for the National Motor Museum Trust to support its world class collections and displays in the National Motor Museum. Featuring some of our most popular works in excellent condition, this is a rare opportunity not to be missed.’
Director of Collections & Engagement at the Museum, Andrea Bishop, said: ‘The National Motor Museum has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Shell and an association with the wonderful Shell Heritage Art Collection. We are hugely appreciative of this generous contribution to our fund-raising, especially during these difficult times. Releasing a limited number of these beautiful posters for auction is an exciting opportunity for buyers to acquire them and a real boost for the work of the National Motor Museum Trust.’
Motorists Prefer Shell, 1935 by John Stewart Anderson
The posters offered for sale are all Lorry Bills which were attached to the sides and backs of Shell lorries, delivering oil and petrol to customers all over the country. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Shell commissioned some powerful advertising campaigns. The company realised early on that its advertisements promoted not only petrol and oil but also motoring, and motoring meant special pleasures – exhilaration, freedom and the joys of the countryside.
Commissioned by Jack Beddington, who had a keen eye for young talent, the list of artists reads like a Who’s Who of the British art establishment of the period – Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash. Beddington’s ability to give young contemporary artists a platform to produce original advertisements made the campaigns of his era a great success.
Journalists use Shell, 1938 by Hans Schleger (Zero) (1898-1976)
This wonderful collection tells the history of British art from the period and gives us many examples of different styles and influences, from Vorticism to Surrealism. It also illustrates the story of how motoring transformed the lives of Britons, opening up the countryside to middle class urban dwellers.
Design on the Move: Selected Posters from the Shell Heritage Art Collection is part of Lyon & Turnbull’s DESIGN series, celebrating 150 years of design across four UK auctions. The works from the Shell Heritage Art Collection will be on view at www.lyonandturnbull.com throughout April, and in The Mall Galleries in London from 27 April before the live online auction on 29 April.