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Wartime poster showcasing Northern Ireland could fetch £1,000 at auction

By Dick Barton

Published 24/10/2016

The area of Northern Ireland depicted in the rare 72-year-old railway poster is not knownvaluable
The area of Northern Ireland depicted in the rare 72-year-old railway poster is not knownvaluable

A rare railway poster advertising Northern Ireland as a holiday destination during the Second World War is expected to sell for at least £1,000 at an auction this week.

The framed print, measuring 37 inches by 44 inches, was designed by London-born artist Eric Hesketh Hubbard for the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1944.

Now it is set to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500 in the Rare and Important Travel Posters sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on Thursday.

The part of Northern Ireland featured in the poster is not known, but the peace and tranquillity conveyed by the image must have been enticing for anyone wanting to escape the horrors of war.

In the early and mid-20th century, when few people owned cars, British railway companies commissioned artists to produce colourful, eye-catching posters of seaside resorts, beauty spots and places of historical interest in a bid to boost rail travel.

In recent years these posters, which once adorned and brightened railway station platforms and waiting rooms, have become increasingly sought-after and valuable mementoes of the gentler, sadly vanished steam era.

Eric Hesketh Hubbard, who designed the poster, was born in Clapham, London, on November 16, 1892. He died in April 1957.

In 2008, another railway poster advertising a dramatic painting of Dunluce Castle went under the hammer at Christie's. The poster sold for £2,000 - double what it had been expected to fetch.

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