A Colourful Protest Against a Cashless Society

A Colourful Protest Against a Cashless Society

By Rosei Frost


Anyone who uses cash will have inevitably noticed the challenges this can bring following Covid-19. Many places simply refuse to take it and we are losing banks from our high streets at a high rate, over 350 across the UK in the earlier half of this year, (https://hansard.parliament.uk). Auction houses tend to buck this trend, we understand that cash forms an integral part of how we, and our customers do business. Knowing this allows us to embrace both the technological advantages of today by offering card transactions and BACS payments, but also honouring our long-term commitment to customers who prefer cash or receiving their funds by cheque.

The question is, how can we encourage the next generation to hang on to the physical joys of money and learn to support its use, so it doesn’t disappear? One such way is to hark back to the days when children were given money boxes. The joy of filling these up and saving for future purchases is something that may have been lost in recent years. Twenty first century children struggle with patience and delayed gratification. They have access to whole tv programmes at the drop of a hat and much of what they need and want is easily accessible. Reviving an age-old tradition of using money boxes means they could be the next champions of cash and ensure coins and notes don’t disappear altogether. Thanks to our upcoming Modern Design sale you can not only take a stand against a cashless society, but also encourage budding young collectors into the world of art and antiques in a fun and colourful way.


The money boxes being auctioned on the 9th November depict a joy and vibrancy that we all need on these dull November days. They were designed by Vivienne Brennan in the 1970’s, and were produced in a variety of fun shapes, all decorated in bright eye-catching colours in iconically retro patterns. You can choose from cats, horses, owls or for the more transport obsessed there is a London Transport bus or a train. An example of the bus has even achieved museum recognition and is featured in the London Transport Museum’s collection. Luckily with estimates as low as £25-50 on some examples, they offer a real opportunity for people to invigorate the trend of saving physical money. In a world that is aware of the environmental issues we face, the fact that these money boxes have all been produced fifty years ago and enjoyed by a different generation make them an environmentally friendly investment to boot.


For the more serious collector the 70’s also saw a burgeoning of artists, among those were the Post-War group of sculptors known as the Geometry of Fear which included Elisabeth Frink who grew up an hour away from our auction rooms in Great Thurlow, Suffolk. From an early age she had a natural interest in drawing men and birds, many injured, possibly from her early experiences of WWII planes flying over and tales people brought home from the war. The ‘Eagle Owl’ print in the upcoming sale will certainly appeal to those wanting to invest in an affordable piece of her art that reflects these early beginnings of her career and the East Anglian landscape she grew up in. The warm orange glow of the owls gaze certainly roots you to the spot, the opposing forces of the quiet and gentle against the violent and intense power that these majestic birds have is strikingly depicted. Estimated at £1800-2500 it reflects a more accessible price than her sculptures which fetch tens of thousands of pounds.

No Modern Design sale would be complete without an artist representing controversy and challenging the concepts of society and art. We will finish with a stellar example in the form of Tracey Emin. Famous for her controversial ‘unmade bed’ installation she has centred her career on her autobiographical style of art. Her intimate depictions of herself have a faithful following and her prints again provide a more affordable entry level for those wishing to start or grow their art collection. ‘The Beginning of Me’ is printed blue on cotton, limited edition 76/175 and pencil signed guided at £1200-1800.

Catalogue available on www.twgaze.co.uk