Work by Bury St Edmunds pub sign artist George Taylor up for auction today

Artist and pub sign designer George Taylor.

Artist and pub sign designer George Taylor. - Credit: Contributed

A piece of west Suffolk pub history is up for grabs at an auction in the town today.

Pub sign designs by George Taylor, including of west Suffolk pubs, are being auctioned at Lacy Scott

Pub sign designs by George Taylor, including of west Suffolk pubs, are being auctioned at Lacy Scott & Knight in Bury St Edmunds on December 10. - Credit: Contributed

Artist George Taylor, who passed away 20 years ago, designed hundreds of pub signs for Bury St Edmunds-based brewer and pub giant Greene King, including for the Dog and Partridge, the Falcon and the Grapes.

Some of his pub sign designs, as well as original paintings and sketches, are being auctioned in the ‘fine art & antiques’ sale at Lacy Scott & Knight from 10am.

A spokeswoman for Lacy Scott & Knight said: “This auction is a real opportunity to own a unique piece of art, with a fascinating history that is rapidly vanishing from our streets. The works will comprise lots 1431-1439 in our December 10 Fine Art & Antiques auction.”

Mr Taylor trained and initially worked as a signwriter in Birmingham, where his commissions also included designing film posters for the Rank Organisation in the 1930s.

The Dog and Partridge in Bury.

The Dog and Partridge in Bury.

During World War Two he was in Cairo working as a camouflage artist. On his return to Britain after the war he ran his own silk-screen printing company in Surrey until 1976.

After his official retirement he started painting pub signs, which he continued after moving to Bury St Edmunds in 1984. Most of his work in the town was on behalf of local brewers Greene King, for which he created more than 250 signs.

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Greene King’s controversial rebranding exercise in 2014 saw a massive backlash when it came to light they planned to replace about 200 traditional pub signs, including many by Mr Taylor.

He died in January 1996, but many of his works were displayed in the Greene King brewery at Bury St Edmunds until recently.

The collection has been consigned by Mr Taylor’s widow, Sylvia.

The pub sign designs up for auction include of the former Rising Sun in Bury, and many of west Suffolk village pubs.

Ed Crichton, fine art manager at Lacy Scott & Knight, said there is no guide price as they have not sold anything like this before.

He said: “I think it’s very much local pub history and folklore. People love pub signs.”

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