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Lot #229
WWII: Keep Calm and Carry On Original Poster (c. 1939)

Iconic original 1939 "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster—the epitome of British resilience in World War II

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Estimate: $8000+
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Description

Iconic original 1939 "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster—the epitome of British resilience in World War II

Iconic and extremely rare original 19.75 x 29.5 poster published in 1939 by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Information, boasting the crown and "Keep Calm and Carry On" in white against a bright red full-bleed background. In fine condition, with two soft horizontal folds and a subtle crease to upper left.

The epitome of British stoicism in the face of danger, this poster was conceived as a means to raise the morale of the British public as it was threatened by air attacks at the outset of World War II. Although 2.45 million copies were originally printed in eleven different sizes, it was not immediately sanctioned for public display. The posters were put into 'cold storage' and intended to be displayed after devastating air strikes on major cities. While the German air raids would come with the Blitz in September 1940, it was a year after the 'Keep Calm' poster was produced. In the meantime, the massive back stock of 'Keep Calm' posters was pulped and recycled for the war effort in April 1940 as part of the wider Paper Salvage campaign. Original examples are thus exceedingly rare today.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023