Shell's Iconic Campaign Series

Shell's Iconic Campaign Series

'Everywhere you Go, You can be Sure of Shell'

From the 1920s to the 1950s, Shell commissioned some powerful advertising campaigns. 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. Beddington’s ability to give young contemporary artists a platform to produce original advertisements made the campaigns of his era a great success.

The ‘Everywhere you Go, You can be Sure of Shell’ series featured fine landmarks, historical sights and inspiring landscapes, all firmly located in the countryside. It was an idealized view of a rural order much sought after by the middle classes, particularly those from large towns. ‘By celebrating and making accessible such rural delights, Shell won the plaudits of powerful pressure groups who sought to protect the countryside from urban expansion and the destruction of rural amenities by advertising hoardings’.

Shell's ‘To Visit Britain’s Landmarks, You Can be Sure of Shell’ series comprised a selection of follies and sometimes unusual attractions, encouraging the public to explore the British countryside.

Here, we take a closer look at a few of the highlights from these campaign series that featured in the Design on the Move: Posters from the Shell Heritage Art Collection auction...


 

PAUL NASH (1889–1946) | KIMMERIDGE FOLLY, DORSET

LOT 13 | PAUL NASH (1889–1946) | KIMMERIDGE FOLLY, DORSET lithographic poster, 1937, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 85. | £1,500 - £2,000 + fees
LOT 13 | PAUL NASH (1889–1946) | KIMMERIDGE FOLLY, DORSET
lithographic poster, 1937, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 85. | Sold for £3,500 incl premium

 

View Lot 13 ⇒

 

Paul Nash studied at Chelsea Polytechnic and the Slade. He fought in World War I, but after being wounded at Ypres he became an official war artist. He gained early recognition as a landscape artist and became a member of several influential groups. In the 1930s he was drawn to Surrealism and founded the group Unit One in 1933, exhibiting at the International Surrealist Exhibitions in 1936 and 1938. He also designed textiles, book jackets, theatre sets and ceramics and wrote The Shell Guide to Dorset in 1936. He produced landscapes influenced by burial mounds and stones in fields and became very interested in photography.

Kimmeridge Folly, more formally known as Clavell Tower, is situated on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. The tower, built in 1830 by the Reverend John Richard Clavell, is made from local with stone with 12 elegant columns and a pierced parapet. It is now a Landmark Trust property and in August 2006 was carefully moved 25 metres back from the crumbling cliff edge.

 


 

DUNCAN GRANT (1885-1978) | ST. IVES - HUNTINGDON

LOT 20 | DUNCAN GRANT (1885-1978) | ST. IVES - HUNTINGDON lithographic poster, 1932, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 50. | £600 - £800 + feesLOT 20 | DUNCAN GRANT (1885-1978) | ST. IVES - HUNTINGDON
lithographic poster, 1932, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 50. | Sold for £688 incl premium

 

View Lot 50 ⇒

 

Duncan Grant studied at Westminster School of Art and at the Slade. He was one of the first English artists to be influenced by Fauvism, particularly by Cezanne, and he exhibited at the second Post-Impressionist exhibition in 1912. He joined Roger Fry in 1913 as director of the Omega Workshops. He was part of the Bloomsbury Group and lived with the painter Vanessa Bell with whom he collaborated on projects, including designs for textiles, pottery, stage sets and costumes and a series of designs for the Queen Mary in 1935 which Cunard rejected.

In his typical style, Grant here portrays the 15th Century bridge in the picturesque market town of St.Ives, in Cambridgeshire, 12 miles north-west of Cambridge.

 


 

RICHARD GUYATT (1914-2007) | RALPH ALLEN'S SHAM CASTLE

RICHARD GUYATT (1914-2007) | RALPH ALLEN'S SHAM CASTLELOT 15 | RICHARD GUYATT (1914-2007) | RALPH ALLEN'S SHAM CASTLE
lithographic poster, 1936, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 73. | Sold for £812 incl premium

 

View Lot 15 ⇒

 

Professor Richard Guyatt was a British designer and academic who was an influential figure in the world of graphic design. He was the youngest ever professor at the Royal College of Art on appointment in 1948, and was Rector of the Royal College of Art from 1978–1981.

Ralph Allen of Bath is well-known for his elegant Prior Park house and gardens and for the magnificent gothic sham castle, one of Britain’s finest follies, which he had erected on the skyline above the city in 1762. Guyatt’s poster perfectly captivates the view of Sham Castle standing on a high ridge overlooking the Georgian city of Bath.

 


 

JOHN ARMSTRONG (1893-1973) | NEWLANDS CORNER

JOHN ARMSTRONG (1893-1973) | NEWLANDS CORNERLOT 9 | JOHN ARMSTRONG (1893-1973) | NEWLANDS CORNER
lithographic poster, 1932, condition A-; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 48. | Sold for £875 incl premium

 

View Lot 9 ⇒

 

John Rutherford Armstrong was a British artist and muralist who also designed for film and theatre productions. He is most notable for the Surrealist paintings he produced evident here in his portrayal of Newlands Corner. At the heart of the Surrey hills this chalk downland and peaceful woodland is considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 


 

GRAHAM SUTHERLAND (1903–1980) | BRIMHAM ROCK, YORKSHIRE

GRAHAM SUTHERLAND (1903–1980) | BRIMHAM ROCK, YORKSHIRELOT 19 | GRAHAM SUTHERLAND (1903–1980) | BRIMHAM ROCK, YORKSHIRE
lithographic poster, 1937, condition A; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 86. | Sold for £2,750 incl premium

 

View Lot 19 ⇒

 

Graham Sutherland studied at Goldsmiths School of Art and then worked as a printmaker. He produced his first professional commission for Shell. Landscapes and natural forms provided the inspiration for much of his painting, firstly the bleak emptiness of West Wales and later the South of France. He was an official war artist painting scenes of bomb devastated buildings. One of his most famous works is the magnificent Christ in Glory tapestry in Coventry Cathedral. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1960.

Brimham Rocks, once known as Brimham Crags, is a 183.9-hectare (454-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Geological Conservation Review (GCR) site, north west of Harrogate, North Yorkshire on Brimham Moor in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is known for its water and weather eroded rocks, which were formed over 325 million years ago and have assumed fantastic shapes.

 


 

CATHLEEN SABINE MANN (1896–1959) | WEST WYCOMBE

CATHLEEN SABINE MANN (1896–1959) | WEST WYCOMBE

LOT 10 | CATHLEEN SABINE MANN (1896–1959) | WEST WYCOMBE
lithographic poster, 1933, condition A; not backed | 76cm x 114 cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 53. | Sold for £875 incl premium

 

View Lot 10 ⇒

 

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1896 Cathleen Mann followed in the footsteps of both her parents and became a painter of portraits and landscapes. Her father was Scottish portrait painter Harrington Mann and her mother portraitist Florence Sabine Pasley.

West Wycombe was developed as an important 18th Century staging post along the old coaching route from London to Oxford. The village features many buildings of architectural value which were built between the 16th and 18th Centuries. Mann has chosen to feature the unmistakable 14th Century church, located high on West Wycombe Hill. The poster features the famous ‘Golden Ball’, a copy of the Custom House in Venice.

 


 

EDWIN CALLIGAN | GENERAL WADE'S BRIDGE

EDWIN CALLIGAN | GENERAL WADE'S BRIDGELOT 24 | EDWIN CALLIGAN | GENERAL WADE'S BRIDGE
lithographic poster, 1933, condition B+; not backed, framed | 76cm x 114cm (30in x 45in) | Literature: Hewitt, The Shell Poster Book, 54. | Sold for £750 incl premium

 

View Lot 24 ⇒

 

Aberfeldy's Tay Bridge is also often known as "General Wade's Bridge", and was one of around 40 important bridges built by General George Wade as part of a network of 250 miles of new roads constructed across the Scottish Highlands in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite uprising. The bridge over the Tay is carried over the river by five segmented arches beautifully portrayed by the British artist Edwin Calligan.

Edwin Calligan was a successful Industrial Designer and Commercial artist born in 1911. After some years at Dundee School of Art he Studied design in Germany intending to work for the stage. After working at Covent Garden and Sadlers Wells he returned to commerce and exhibited in the British Pavilion of the New York’s World Fair in 1939. His service in the Tank Corps in World War Two seems to have ended his career.

 


 

Auction Information

 

MODERN MADE | DESIGN ON THE MOVE:

Posters from the Shell Heritage Art Collection

29th April 2021 | London

 

View the auction results ⇒

 


 

Vintage Posters

 

Vintage posters remain hugely popular amongst collectors particularly those depicting travel and sports and entertainment from a bygone age. In partnership with Vintage Poster specialists Tomkinson Churcher, Lyon & Turnbull holds specialist auctions of vintage travel and advertising posters throughout the year as part of our Contemporary and Design auctions.  With over 30 years combined experience, Nicolette Tomkinson and Sophie Churcher are international experts in the field of Vintage Posters.  

 

Learn more ⇒ 

 

 

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