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    Sale 2484 | Lot 108
    Price Realized: $12,500With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2484 Lot 108

      DESIGNER UNKNOWN KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. 1939.
      29 1/2x19 1/2 inches, 75x49 1/2 cm.
      Condition A / A-: minor abrasions at edges; horizontal creases in image. Paper.
      With Britain formally declaring war on Germany on September 3, 1939, the newly re-formed British Ministry of Information immediately began working on a giant poster publicity campaign to prepare the British populace for what the ministry feared would be an "appalling series of shocks, resulting in shattered nerves, a lack of confidence in ultimate success, and therefore a lack of will to work for victory" (Three Posters). Instead of a photograph or an illustration, each poster bore a depiction of the crown of King George VI at the top as an indication that the messages came from the King himself. The third, and now most famous, of these slogans was kept back in anticipation of a truly horrific incident, such as the invasion of Britain by German forces or a severe air raid. Since the expected German attack never materialized, and because the first two posters had been met with such derision, "Keep Calm and Carry On," was never posted and was kept in storage for years. After the war, the remainders were scrapped for their pulp. Contemporary reports cite that almost two and half million copies of the poster were printed. An HMSO (His Majesty's Stationery Office) printing slip order form for the job breaks down that number, showing that the poster was printed in 12 different sizes, and that in this 30x20 inch format, only 496,500 were printed (ibid.).

      Estimate $12,000 - 18,000


      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $12,500

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