Lot 29: ELLIS SILAS (1885-1972). P & O CRUISES / MEDITERRANEAN / NORWAY. Circa 1928. 60x39 inches, 153x101 cm. Philip Reid, London.
October 27, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
ELLIS SILAS (1885-1972) P & O CRUISES / MEDITERRANEAN / NORWAY. Circa 1928.
60 1/4x39 3/4 inches, 153x101 cm. Philip Reid, London.
Condition B+: repaired tears, creases, abrasions and restoration in margins and along vertical and horizontal folds.
The S.S. Ranchi began yearly cruises to Norway shortly after her launch in 1925. In 1928, this same image appeared as a magazine ad (albeit colored differently) in Punch, or the London Charivari, which helps us date the poster. Silas is best remembered as a painter. He fought at Gallipoli in the First World War during which time he did a lot of sketching, which he subsequently turned into paintings. He also designed posters for British railway companies and several shipping lines. Here, on the first class sports deck behind the second funnel, well dressed cruisers are watching a game of "Deck Tennis," a hybrid of volleyball and tennis, played with a rubber ring. The S.S. Ranchi crossed over into popular culture thanks to a cameo appearance in one of the highly regarded Tintin adventures, The Blue Lotus (although she was depicted with three funnels instead of the two she had in reality).