Artist and caricaturist Fougasse is best known for his iconic ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives‘ posters, produced during World War Two to caution the public against gossiping and accidentally spreading information that may be of use to German spies during the War. Fougasse was the pseudonym of Cyril Kenneth Bird (1887-1965), a qualified civil engineer, who turned to drawing while convalescing after suffering serious wounds at Gallipoli during World War One. He chose the name as it was the bread-derived nickname of a French landmine, the effectiveness of which was “not always reliable, and its aim uncertain“. Adopting a quirky, almost sparse, style laden with quintessentially British humour, he was successful and became one of the best known cartoonists of the day. As well as illustrating various books, he contributed to Punch, The Graphic and Tatler, and was editor of Punch from 1937-49. During World War Two, he worked for free producing poster designs for the Ministry of Information, including the ‘Careless Talk Cost Lives‘ series, where each design contains a ‘hidden’ Hitler and/or Goering, listening in to potentially …

Read More
Mark Hill signing his new book on modern Czech Glass

On February 26th 2017, I launched my latest book, Sklo: Czech Glass Design From The 1950s-70s. It is a revised and considerably enlarged version of my bestseller Hi Sklo Lo Sklo: Postwar Czech Glass Design from Masterpiece to Mass-Produced, which I published in 2008 and which sold out two years later. I was delighted to be asked to launch it at the Cambridge Glass Fair, the premier fair for vintage, antique and contemporary glass in the UK. As ever, the fair didn’t disappoint, with hundreds of visitors queuing at my stand across the day to buy a copy of what had apparently become a much-anticipated release. The fair also didn’t disappoint in terms of the truly vast selection of glass available for sale. It really is “three hundred years of collectable glass in one day”, as the organisers state – there’s something for everyone. I managed to buy a few superb pieces for stock and a few little treats for myself, despite shelf space being so very limited! The day was made even more special as my …

Read More