Gibbs SR Toothpaste advert storyboard
The storyboard for the first British TV advert which featured Gibbs SR Toothpaste and was broadcast on September 22, 1955. It is estimated at £600-900 at C&T Auctioneers sale on November 2.

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Fisher is a veteran in this field, having previously held almost 40 auctions in this category as specialist at Christie’s South Kensington and Bonhams. “If it walks, if it talks, if it shows you a picture, I’ll deal with it,” he says.

First British TV Advert

A key TV lot on offer at the inaugural auction is the storyboard for the first British TV advert. The 12-part period gestetnograph is thought to be the only surviving shooting copy for the advert for Gibbs SR Toothpaste, broadcast at 8.10pm on September 22, 1955.

It features captions for the voiceover, shooting notes and details of the schedule at Pathé Studios Wardour Street and, interestingly, has slight variations on what was actually transmitted, such as two different endings.

It comes in the original postal tube addressed to a Miss MR Mills, postmarked 1955.

As the original storyboard is presumed lost, it seems that Miss Mills has unintentionally preserved a moment in TV history by asking for a copy in the year of transmission. The estimate is £600-900.

Another highlight at the 141-lot auction at the Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, is a rare HMV mirror-lid TV and wireless receiver dating from that 1936 era, estimated at £6500-8500.

The auction catalogue can be viewed on thesaleroom.com