May 13, 2021 - Sale 2568

Sale 2568 - Lot 301

Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500

CLIFFORD ELLIS (1907-1985) & ROSEMARY ELLIS (1910-1998)


19 1/2x24 1/4 inches, 49 1/2x61 1/2 cm.
Condition A / A-: minor creases at edges. Paper. Matted and framed.

Clifford and Rosemary Ellis married in 1931 and worked together for the rest of their careers. It is hard to describe their unique style, which has the colorful and fanciful qualities of children's illustration, yet is also compelling, eye-catching and charmingly composed. Their aesthetic certainly appealed to a large swath of the general public, as the duo was commissioned to design posters for the London Underground, Shell, the General Post Office (GPO) and the Empire Marketing Board. This poster was commissioned by the GPO Film Unit to advertise "Cable Ship," a 12 minute documentary on the repair of an International Telephone Exchange submarine cable that had been damaged. The 1933 film was grouped with 4 other short films, all centering on Post Office activities and repair work, and released in 1935 to considerable cinematic success. After the war, the artists primarily focused on book cover design.