Rare British comic tinplate signs included in larger Cornish auction

Several vintage comic advertising tinplate signs are currently up for sale as part of a larger Enamel Signs & Advertising Memorabilia to be hosted by Martyn Rowe Truro Auction Centre early next month.

The auction house, which also hosts regular collectors auctions, details the promotional tinplate signs as part of a local estate single collection of over 300 enamel signs, advertising memorabilia, pump globes, vehicle mascots and collectables.

A Radio Fun advertising sign is being offered alongside promotions for Chicks’ Own (published between1920 and 1957 and Illustrated Chips (the original comic, not to be confused with the later Whizzer and Chips, published between July 1890 and 1953, ending its 63-year run just three issues shy of 3000 editions).

More than one Radio Fun metal sign was produced to promote the popular comic, published between 1938 and 1961. The long-running characters “Weary Willie and Tired Tim“, two tramps created by Tom Browne, based on Don Quixote and Sancho Panza feature on the Illustrated Chips sign. The strip was later drawn by Percy Cocking.

This lot of three signs has an opening bid of £25, with an auction estimate £40-£70, and the signs measure 9″ x 19½”.

Also in the auction is separate lot offering signs promoting Girls Crystal, published between 1935 to 1963, and the long-running The Rainbow, published between 1914 and 1956, measuring 29½” x 19½”.

The Rainbow is perhaps known for featuring “The Bruin Boys“, featured on the sign, characters originally created in the 1890s, first appearing in a colour supplement to The World and His Wife, then leading Tiger Tim’s Weekly, which merged with The Rainbow in 1940.

Originally created by Julius Stafford Baker, the strip was later drawn by variously by Herbert S. Foxwell, and Charlie Pease, who drew Tim after Foxwell’s death, then Baker’s son, Julius Stafford-Baker junior.

Contributors to Girls’ Crystal included a young John Armstrong, better known, perhaps, for his work on strips such as “Bella at the Bar”, for Tammy, and “Moonchild”, for Misty.

• Enamel Signs & Advertising Memorabilia, 10.00am Thursday 6th July 2023 Truro Auction Centre, Triplet Business Park, Poldice Valley, Nr St. Day, Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 5PZ | Online live bidding via thesaleroom.com (Register to bid)

Viewing of lots: Tuesday 4th July 10.00am – 1.00pm | Wednesday 5th July 10.00am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm


Farewell to CHIPS comic: A ride back to 1953!
By Lew Stringer

With thanks to Peter Hansen and Richard Sheaf

Categories: Auctions, British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Merchandise, Other Worlds

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