While watching the Antiques Roadshow earlier this evening, I caught the moment when the daughter-in-law of an anonymous commercial artist Edward Seymore (unsure if spelling is correct) was showing three of the artists paintings. One was dated 1973 and was a satirical comment on Britain joining the Common Market. The expert was unaware of Seymore (I assume because he was a commercial artist and not a fine artist), and the relative commented that Seymore’s only claim-to-fame was designing the ‘Little Lion’ marque in 1957 (a quality device introduced by the British Egg Marketing Board).
I’m not a regular viewer of the Antiques Roadshow, however, tonights episode was notable on two counts, first that commercial art (now termed graphic design) is still considered by art historians as a poor relation to fine art, which I contest. Second, that stories surrounding everyday design are to be found in the most unlikely moments and situations. While I was aware of the Lion marque being re-introduced in the late 1990s (see below), I hadn’t stopped to consider the heritage of the Lion mark. This evening I am now thinking about all the other possible logos, symbols and designs that have become part of our everyday experience, where we know little or nothing of their provenance.
Apart from the Lion marque, the paintings and his death in 1982, I know no more about Edward Seymore, however, I think a research project may be on the cards …watch this space!
The BBC has some interesting facts about eggs.