Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 15:22 UK

Theatreland signs sell for 18K

Old Theatreland street sign
The signs up for auction were designed by Sir Misha Black in 1967

Classic street signs from Theatreland in London have been sold on internet auction site eBay for £18,000.

More than 500 people, including bidders from Australia and the US, participated in the auction for 30 signs.

Two Leicester Square signs were among the most popular signs on auction and were sold for £1,260 and £1,125.

Westminster City Council plans to put a total of 90 street signs up for auction. The classic signs were designed by Sir Misha Black in 1967.

The next lot of 50 street signs, including Covent Garden and Drury Lane, will be auctioned on the site in September.

'Great demand'

Each bearing the classic black strap reading Theatreland with pictures of two traditional Pierrot-type clowns, will be sold in three instalments.

Councillor Alan Bradley, lead member for Theatreland, said: "It's wonderful to see these iconic signs in such great demand.

"My congratulations go to the winners who will no doubt treasure these unique items of Theatreland history."

Replacing these signs, which have been in place for more than 10 years, will cost the council £30,000.

In 2007 the council bought the copyright to the classic signs, which feature black and red letters in a font unique to the borough - a sans serif typeface.

The new signs have a red strap, replacing the black, with the words Theatreland and an image of a comedy tragedy mask - a classic symbol of the stage.

Money from the sales will be used in refurbishment projects for the area which is being revamped in time for the Olympics.



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