AN exceptionally rare 19th century French travel poster advertising a train and ferry service from France to the Channel Islands is due to be auctioned this week.
The poster, which is valued at between £6,000 and £8,000, was published in Paris in 1889 and designed to encourage French tourists to take a trip to Jersey and Guernsey via the new line to Carteret.
The large-sized printed lithograph will be offered by Martel Maides Auctions, which will be holding the sale at their premises in Guernsey on Thursday afternoon.
Titled Chemins de Fer de L’Ouest, it features colour illustrations of Mont Orgueil and vignettes of St Helier, Corbière and Devil’s Hole (Gorges de Plémont).
A map shows the train connections between Paris, Jersey and Guernsey to numerous ports and stations across France, from Rouen in the east to Dinard in the west and to Angers and Nantes to the south.
Also included are comprehensive timetables and fares for first-, second- and third-class travellers.
“Much has been written about the development in the 19th century of the service by rail and steam packet between the ports on the south coast of England and the Channel Islands, but little attention has been given to the service between the islands and France,” said Jonathan Voak, paintings specialist at Martel Maides.
“This poster from 1889 shows that the islands benefited from a convenient, comprehensive and affordable service linking them directly to the Continent.
“Travel posters are a highly collectable area of the antiques market thanks to their visual appeal and historical interest. The earliest posters were produced from the 1880s using stone lithography, such as this example, and are the most desirable.
“A large poster such as this (46 x 31in (116.8 x 78.7cm) combined with its rarity, exceptional condition and historical subject matter, is undoubtedly one of the most important Channel Islands travel posters to have appeared on the market,” said Mr Voak.
“The poster is in exceptional condition with no tears or folds and includes the printer’s trim marks, suggesting that the poster was never displayed.
“It is remarkable that it has survived at all, considering that travel posters are usually thrown away,” he said.