Olympic & Jubilee Memorabilia

I’m pulling together my ‘top picks’ of vintage and contemporary Olympics memorabilia for my regular column for the Daily Mail, just as I did for the Jubilee. Despite taking a fair while to research and compile, I love writing these columns as they always open my eyes to the full range of memorabilia out there.
is always great for handmade items, and I always visit the event’s official shop too, even though you have to fight past the mountains of mass-produced tat to find something even slightly worthwhile.
One particular object stands out to me as a great buy right now – and it works for both events, and indeed the whole of 2012 that sees London and Great Britain unite and celebrate. It’s this lithograph-printed tin ‘I Love London’ poster by Peter Blake, from a limited edition of 5,000 examples. Produced as part of a great new series by Urban Remade, it’s also available at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
I’ve been a huge fan of Blake’s work for ages, and have been lucky enough to meet him briefly twice. In case you don’t know who he is – remember the cover of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ album? That’s perhaps Blake’s most famous work. Truly the ‘godfather of British Pop Art’, he’s been creating fantastic, vibrantly coloured, and relevant artworks for decades, has had two retrospectives at the Tate, and was knighted in 2002. Enough said – he’s as famous and respected as he is talented, and his work is highly sought-after.
This particular piece does everything for me in terms of the colours, design, motifs, choice of font, and subject. Although it doesn’t mention either event specifically, it’ll be clear to future generations when and why Blake produced it. Or will it?
Blake’s star began to rise in the 1960s, and this has a great retro vibe reminiscent of the golden age of ‘Swinging London’ and Carnaby Street too – thereby fitting in with another hot trend. This particular piece also reminds me of his now iconic Babe Rainbow poster, printed on tin using a similar process in an edition of 10,000 pieces by Dodo Designs in 1968, which can fetch over £700 today. A representative, yet timeless design that will also stand the test of time.
I know that the Jubilee, the Olympics, and indeed 2012 are about more than just London – it’s a countrywide affair after all. But we should be proud of our capital city that is rightly considered one of the best in the world for so many reasons, and it follows a long line of similar celebratory posters.
I’m not saying that this will fetch as much as Babe Rainbow in the future, particularly as it’s quite small in size, but with a shockingly reasonable price tag of £50, it’s surely got to rise. And you’ll enjoy having it on your walls until it does.
I know I will, so I’m off to buy one now. Find out more, and perhaps do the same, by clicking here or here.

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