The Victorian auction bill posters of Jonas Paxton,
each of the advertisements printed on paper, advertising the location and prime lots at an upcoming auction,
LASSCO has just acquired a number of these bill posters, centering around the sphere of Oxfordshire in which Jonas Paxton operated throughout the Victorian era. Paxton seems to have been prolific in the disposal of property, land, stock-in-trade and livestock. Some sales featured in this collection of posters are house clearances - the entire personal possessions of a deceased. Others are farm sales or entire businesses. As such these posters, often forced sales, and often listing all lots are poignant historical documents of the time.
Jonas Paxton (d.1886) was born in Potsgrove, Bedfordshire, and began working as an auctioneer in Bicester in 1838 - his first sale appearing in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 17 November that year. He later went into partnership with other auctioneers including his son, Thomas. The firm was known as Messrs. Jonas Paxton, Son, and Castle, and then Messrs. Paxton, Son, and Holiday. He retired in 1883. A supporter of the Bicester Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and of the Oxfordshire Agricultural Association, Paxton was prominent in securing a railway line between Bletchley, Bicester, and Oxford.
Auctions were invariably held at the premises and any printed catalogues were made available via chosen Inns of the locality. LASSCO's own premises The Three Pigeons at Milton Common was one of the Inns that Paxton used for promoting his sales.
The printer Thomas William Pankhurst was originally from London. He moved to Bicester, Oxfordshire in around 1870 to join the printers E. Smith and Co. By 1886 the company was named Smith and Pankhurst, with Pankhurst living above the premises. The company was responsible for the re-launch of the Bicester Advertiser in 1879, and the publishing of the Bicester Almanac and Directory. All of the posters are printed by Pankhurst/Smith print works.