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Lot 227: R.M.S. TITANIC: Montague Birrel Black,1884-1940. Extremely rare l
Titanic & Travel Memorabilia
22 October 2016
Devizes, United Kingdom
Description: R.M.S. TITANIC: Montague Birrel Black,1884-1940. Extremely rare lithographic pre-maiden voyage poster. It features Olympic in the foreground followed by Titanic in the background, ironically sailing into a sunset, but each underway at sea. The colours are clean and the overall condition of the paper and image is good for its age, possibly owing to the way the poster had been stored for the past 105 years. All other known official White Star Line posters of Titanic feature both Olympic and Titanic as a single vessel but here they are each featured individually for the first and only time. The only known official poster to feature Titanic herself. The artist's signature appears at the lower right. The poster was lithographed by White Star Line's regular printers, Liverpool Printing & Stationery Company. Montague Black was a painter, illustrator and poster artist. Without doubt, together with Charles Dixon, he was considered one of the finest marine painters of his generation. He was commissioned by the White Star Line to produce images of their vessels, such as this one, mostly prior to World War I but also into the 1920s. He also produced posters and decorative works for various railway companies. Several of his originals are held by the National Archives at Kew. This is one of only a handful to have survived and features some of the finest artwork the White Star Line had to offer, as well as the only known official image of Titanic herself, apart from the rare freight forwarders' handbill in Black's unique and recognisable style. This is one of the very few, if only, examples of this rarest of posters that remains in its frame that bears the White Star name and insignia, 46ins. × 36ins.