Six billboards found

allen and co billboards3Taking a few minutes to finally unfold this small pile of paper led to a happy Friday afternoon discovery. The Graphic Arts Collection has six billboard size lithographs, probably meant for the outside marquee of a London theater. We have prints for The Pirates of Penzance; Rudigore; Trial by Jury; Patience; The Mikado; and H.M.S. Pinafore.

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Once unfolded, four sections merge to form a poster approximately 96 x 80 inches, printed in bright, unmodulated colors. Each one has the logo of S. C. Allen and Company Limited, a printing firm that was active in the 1920s-1930s, in London and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their main office is listed as 4 Lisle Street, London WC2 7BG. Note: on the one above, their company logo is placed over another company’s logo, meaning the poster was reused.
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Each one is designed by the famous British poster artist Stewart Browne, active at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. There is a good interview with the artist in this journal : Frank Millward, “A Chat with Stewart Browne,” Poster 2, no. 10 (April 1899): 146–47. Graphic Arts Off-Site Storage RCPXG-6990572, also available online.
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