The series features Old Bill, a character created by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, an officer with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Born out of his admiration for his comrades’ humour and courage at the front, the caricatures he drew pay tribute to how the men in the trenches coped with conditions and danger.
Shown here, for example, is a c.1915, 9in (23cm) wall plaque showing an infantryman who watches another trying to defuse a large bomb. The caption reads Give it a good ‘ard ‘un Bert. You can generally hear them fizzing a bit first if they are going to explode. It is offered for £125.
The cartoons were reproduced by Grimwades of Stoke-on-Trent and became an enduring commercial success.
“Old Bill commemoratives are widely collected but quite hard to find,” says Bac to Basic’s Brian Carruthers. “As they were produced as utility ware for the home, most pieces were eventually broken or lost and it is difficult to find pieces that are still in good condition.”
He brings 60 examples from three collections which will be shown in section 2.
Prices range from £58-350. Contact Carruthers on 01543 414451 or at firstname.lastname@example.org