Bury St Edmunds: London Underground poster by Sybil Andrews goes under the hammer

AN EYE-CATCHING poster by a Bury St Edmunds artist nearly 80 years ago is set to fetch between �6,000 and �8,000 at an auction.

The 39 inches by 24 inches poster produced for the London Underground by Bury-born Sybil Andrews is among around 330 posters put up for sale by the London Transport Museum and which are now expected to sell for around �650,000 at Christie’s South Kensington in London on October 4.

Miss Andrews’s 1933 Wimbledon poster is one of the most valuable in the auction, but its �6000 to �8000 valuation could turn out to be cautious pre-sale estimate.

When an identical Wimbledon poster by Miss Andrews came up for sale at Swann Galleries in New York on November 15, 2010, it was expected to sell for between $4,000 and $6,000, but in the end it fetched $24,000,or around �15,000.

Miss Andrews, daughter of ironmonger Charles Andrews, was born in Bury St Edmunds in 1898, the year after Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

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In 1901, she and her family were living at Middle Green, Higham, but some time between 1901 and 1911 the Andrews family moved to 117 Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, where, in 1911, they employed a 17-year old live-in servant named Edith Beales.

From her beloved Bury, Miss Andrews went on to become an innovative and successful artist and collaborated – under the pseudonym ‘Andrew Power’, the name which appears on the Wimbledon poster – with fellow artist Cyril Power.

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According to auctioneers Christie’s: “Sybil Andrews was a founding member of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art and mastered lino-cutting under Claude Flight.

“Andrews and her contemporaries regarded sport as an ideal way to exercise their ideas of speed and movement, so presenting the human body as a rhythmic and dynamic machine. Between 1929 and 1937 she worked under the pseudonym ‘Andrew Power’.”

During the Second World War – when she was in her early 40s – the artist worked at a shipyard at Hythe, Southampton, where she met and fell in love with Walter Morgan. They married in 1947 and emigrated to Canada.

In 1975, in her late 70s, she completed one of her major works.

The Banner of St Edmund, which is hand embroidered in silks on linen and which now hangs at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, close to her former home in Bury.

Miss Andrews was 94 when she died on December 21, 1992.

Her friend, former art dealer Michael Parkin, said: “She made generous gifts of her work to Canada, Australia and the British Museum.

“She retained her enthusiasm to the end and was still teaching her art class in Campbell River, British Columbia, in November 1992, when she was 94.”

Mrs Andrews was not the first member of her family to became famous. Her ancestor, Sir Walter Tyrrell, accidentally killed William the Conqueror’s son, King William Rufus, with a stray arrow while hunting in the New Forest in August 1100.

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