Friday, 26 March 2010

High on High Street

The latest online Goldmark catalogue is out now, and Lord Carrot is very pleased to see in it a selection of original Eric Ravilious lithographs from the inestimable High Street. Widely recognised as being amongst the finest illustrations of their kind in the 20th century, the walls of Carrot Hall would have the lot up there. The stories they tell of High Streets gone by is one thing, but of equal interest are the idiosyncratic choices of shops, chosen as much, one suspects, for their extreme drawability and, well, fun. As much as I like Edward Bawden, Eric's best friend and companion-in-arts, he could be a bit of a curmudgeon (to say the least) but Ravilious appeared to never take himself that seriously. Often photographed with a fag on (I wish someone could tell me what brand- I imagine untipped Gold Flake) he seemed to really enjoy his life before sadly losing it so prematurely in cold Icelandic waters during the Second World War. The family butcher and hardware shops are here, but also a plumassier, firework seller (Ravilious loved fireworks) and the inevitable undertakers. Does Lord Carrot have a favourite? That's very hard, but I keep going back to those scrumptious hams.


  1. I really like the hams, but also the ones that show the actual shop front - lovely architectural details and letter forms.

    Was the odd selection of shops partly because there was an abortive plan to make the series an alphabetical treatment of the High Street?

  2. I'd never thought about that Philip. I shall look into it with my Raviliouscope.

  3. So hard to choose a favourite. I'm dithering between the submarine engineers and the clerical outfitters. Ravilious is my favourite artist. I was lucky enough to spend many childhood hours in the house of his daughter (a close friend of my mother's). Her house was full of wonderful art and ceramics not only by Ravilious but by his contemporaries.