Bond Street station sign – £2800 at Catherine Southon.

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The Surrey auction offered a private collection of about 250 lots relating to London Transport and 200 lots of street signs consigned by Westminster Council.

Favourites were 17 Underground station signs – the iconic bronze-framed enamelled bull’s eye roundels.

Top prices, as usual in the capital, were found in the West End.

One for Bond Street, 20in high x 2ft wide (50.5 x 61.5cm), had some wear to the enamel, spotting to the frame and minor chips to the backboard but was in generally good condition and more than tripled the estimate, going to a collector at £2800. A similar sign for Oxford Circus in slightly better condition doubled mid-expectations at £2400.

The earliest sign was a pre-war example from about five miles up the Northern Line at Highgate.

Slightly smaller than the later standard size, the 18in (45cm) wide sign had a little touching up to the letters but went comfortably above estimate at £2200.


A c.1910 enamelled London Underground map – £2200 at Catherine Southon.

Earliest of a host of Underground maps was a rare c.1910, 3ft 2in high x 4ft 2in wide (96.5cm x 1.27m) enamelled version. Predating Harry Beck’s familiar schematic map by a couple of decades, the meandering map for the London Underground and Metropolitan Railway went above expectations at £2200.

The timed online sale in Chislehurst ended on September 24, with all bar two of the 490 lots getting away.

Streets ahead


Drury Lane street sign – £850 at Catherine Southon.

The second tranche of street signs consigned by Westminster proved just as popular as the first offered in March (ATG No 4187). None was expected to approach the £30,000 Beatles-fuelled bid for Abbey Road sold earlier, but a number went way beyond hopes.

All examples of the black and red signs created by Sir Misha Black in 1967, they were led by one for Brewer Street W1 in Soho which was estimated at £60-100 and sold to a collector at £900.

Theatreland street signs augmented with classical Comedy/ Tragedy masks were popular and one for Drury Lane WC2 doubled the estimate in selling at £850.