Westminster Council to put over 400 iconic London railway and street signs up for auction

By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter

Londoners could bring the Tube into their bedrooms thanks to a new auction of iconic signs.

Over 400 railway and street signs are being put up for auction including the final part of Westminster City Council’s collection of signs.

But be careful as the signs may not come cheap. While some items start at £60 an Abbey Road NW8 sign sold for a whopping £37,200 in March this year at a previous auction.

A two-week auction will begin at Catherine Southon Auctioneers and Valuers on Friday (September 10).

A rare 1930s Highgate Station sign and an Oxford Circus enamel bullseye sign are among the items on sale.

While both the Tube signs are expected to go for up to £1,500 some items are expected to cost eye-watering amounts.

The auction house sold 275 signs in a previous sale making £143,517 and included bids from all over the world.

Many of the items on sale are from a private collection collected by one man over a lifetime.

Westminster Council to put over 400 iconic London railway and street signs up for auction
An iconic Drury Lane sign is also up for sale. Credit Catherine Southon Auctioneers

There are 200 items on offer from his collection including a large Bushey Heath tube platform sign for an extension to the Northern line which never took place.

Other items on offer include signs for the toilets, coach stations and tube-related directions.

A further 200 London street signs have been put on sale on behalf of Westminster City Council after they upgraded their road furniture.

The signs, created by Sir Misha Black in 1967, include iconic addresses such as the Strand, Chinatown, Duke Street and Parliament Street. The items are predicted to fetch between £60 and £500.

Auctioneer Catherine Southon said: “We are privileged to be selling another collection of iconic London Street signs on behalf of Westminster City Council.

“With many internationally recognisable signs being offered in this second tranche, we are sure that this sale will do very well. Each of the signs offered for auction will be sold with a signed Certificate of Authenticity.”

Councillor James Spencer, cabinet member for city management, said: “Westminster is home to a number of iconic landmarks and I am thrilled that Westminster City Council is selling another collection of genuine street signs from some of the city’s most recognisable locations.

“This is a rare opportunity for members of the public to own a part of the capital’s history.

“This collection of 200 signs displays the richness and diversity of Westminster’s cultural heritage.

“It includes Whitehall and Parliament Street, the home of UK Government and the civil service; Shaftesbury Avenue and Drury Lane, representing the West End theatre district; and Lisle Street and Gerrard Place, at the heart of London’s Chinatown.”

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