Enamel sign advertising Webb’s Seeds of Stourbridge – £12,700 at GW Railwayana.

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Even the smaller signs comprising the company logo and a single bouquet of flowers or veg can bring four-figure sums.

The much larger ‘strip’ signs measuring just shy of 6ft (1.8m) tall are something of a collecting holy grail: typically they were made in pairs, one depicting a cauliflower, radishes, potatoes and carrots, the other images of a lettuce, tomatoes, a melon and pea pods.

Seldom do they come to market and the example offered by Evesham, Worcestershire firm GW Railwayana (18% buyer’s premium) on July 23 would be hard to beat. It was in excellent condition with only minor face chips and no restoration to the enamel.

In the run-up to the sale it had received bids over £5000 and cometh the hour it was competed by top-end collectors to £12,700.

It is among the highest prices paid for a British enamel sign and perhaps the highest for a subject that was not transport-related.

Many of the top sums for signs are captured by those with automotive subjects including the famous BP The Winner sign, an example of which took a record £28,000 at Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2005.