First World War recruitment posters: ‘Come and Do Your Bit’, Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. Sold for £350 ($ 560) inc.premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams
ART AUCTION: Recruitment posters on sale at Bonhams First World War Centenary auction celebrates the convergence of art and war
LONDON-Bonhams auction house continues to be at the forefront of presenting unique art to art collectors across the globe. Just recently, the art auctioneers presented a set of over 30 unused First World War recruitment posters in mint condition for sale at its Bonhams First World War Centenary Sale in London.
Offered in eleven lots, the war posters had a combined estimate of £5,000-7,000. Many of the posters combine art, photography, design and insightful slogans to exert pressure, cajole and shame young men who were reluctant to join the army to “sign up.” The eye catching posters explore images of women and soldiers already at the front to urge them to ‘come’ or “go” and join the fight . With slogans like ‘Go! It’s your Duty Lad. Join today’, ‘Boys. Come over here, you’re wanted’, ‘To The Women of Britain’ and “Think! Are you content for him to fight for YOU? Won’t you do your bit? We shall win but YOU must help. JOIN TO-DAY
The posters which dates to the 1915 were supposed to have been used by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee to the High Court Judge, Sir Frank Mellor to help him organize a recruitment drive in Kensington, London. Interestingly, the posters were never distributed and they remain in their original envelopes in excellent condition.
Speaking about the posters, Bonhams Head of Books, Matthew Haley notes: “Most people are familiar with the famous Lord Kitchener recruitment poster ‘Your Country Needs You’ but, as this selection of material demonstrates, the Government and Army exerted all kinds of moral pressures to encourage men to volunteer. They are also worth considering as pieces of graphic design in their own right and how – as often happens in war time – necessity stimulated invention.” Here are some of the posters put on sale the Bonhams auctioneers.