The Continent, W Smithson Broadhead, 1936, £17,000 at AntikBar.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Vintage poster specialist AntikBar is rounding out the year with two major exhibitions: one on Art Deco and another on Japanese travel posters.

Though the gallery is on King Street, Chelsea, both shows take place outside the premises. Art Deco - Age of Style and Glamour runs until January 31 at 45 Park Lane hotel, while Wanderlust: Travel Japan through Vintage posters takes place nearby at the Embassy of Japan until an unspecified date in January.

World of sophistication

For the Art Deco show, the gallery has brought together posters for well-known brands such as Air France, Campari, and the New York World’s Fair of 1939.

It shows the 1920-30s as a sleek, sophisticated world which emphasised travel and leisure.

Among the highlights is a 1936 poster The Continent from Great Western Railway, London Midland & Scottish Railway, London & North Eastern Railway and Southern Railway to promote their joint train and ferry services to mainland Europe.

The artwork is by Scottish-born artist W Smithson Broadhead (1888- 1960), who worked in London for 14 years after being invalided out of the army during the First World War. He specialised in equestrian portraits but also worked for various magazines, and split his time between the UK and the US, exhibiting in both places.

The poster, printed by Haycock Press, shows fashionably dressed men and women lounging at an outdoor café.

Like the rest of the selection, it hangs in the lobby of the hotel. The show is free to visit, though for a more specialised experience, curator tours can be arranged on request.


Winter ski Austria, Atelier Binder, 1930s, £11,000.

National pride

Just a few minutes’ walk away, around the corner from the hotel, is the embassy of Japan which is also free to visit with online booking and a photo ID.

The exhibition there comprises posters from the late 1930s-60 (though very few from the 1940s), most highlighting a different region or site such as Naruto National Park, Kyoto Imperial Palace or Rishiri Island.


Autumn at Nagoya Castle, Sugimoto, 1930s, £1750.

Many are aimed at the Japanese market, though some of the later ones - notably two 1970s posters for the Winter Olympics - are in English.

Among the stand-out designs is a red, stylised 1930s poster in Japanese characters advertising Nagoya Castle. Located in Meijo Park, the 17th century Edo period structure is built on a post station on the Minoji Road, a once popular trade route.


Autumn in Nikko, 1930s, £950.

Events run alongside the shows including a talk presented by AntikBar’s Kirill Kalinin at the Embassy of Japan on December 5, and a morning talk on the Art Deco collection at 45 Park Lane on December 8.