This rust-tinged enamelled sheet iron sign was sold for £31,500 at Summers Place Auctions’ latest sale in Billingshurst, West Sussex.
It was estimated at £1000-1500.
Downing Street was the 'ace'
address among a cache of hundreds of signs that were being sold on
behalf of Westminster City Council, who are upgrading all
signposting as part of the Legible
London campaign designed to help pedestrians walk around
That includes many of the familiar 31 x 17in
(43 x 80cm) City of Westminster signs designed in 1967 by the
Russian-born architect Sir Misha Black (1910-77) plus some of the
more recent cast iron and aluminium black and gilt 'finger post'
signs - each sold with a certificate verifying its origin (despite
copyright law they have been much reproduced).
The Downing Street sign
was bought by David Soskin, who was former special advisor to John
Major in the No. 10 Policy Unit - who lives locally to the
At the sale on October 22, he had to compete
against several UK and international telephone bidders.
Remarkably when the first tranche of signs
was sold by Summers Place in May another Downing Street sign took a
'mere' £7800. Proof of the unpredictable nature of the auction
process was that this one took over four times that sum.
The buyer's premium was 25%.