The Lawrence Gatehouse Collection

The Lawrence Gatehouse Collection

Lawrie Gatehouse (1943 - 2020) was an avid collector of Art Deco and posters, drawn to the printed medium through his primary love of the golden age of steam and travel.  The main pieces of the collection now comes to sale in our auction of Design on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 October, other works from his collection will be sold in our Homes and Interiors sale on 21 September.

10 September 2021

In his professional life, Lawrie was a mechanical engineer who founded Process Systems International, a successful engineering firm in Northampton in 1992. Another of his lifelong passions was drag racing, after getting hooked at the Blackbushe DragFest in 1964. He consequently spent over 50 years committed to the sport.



His wife, Judith remembers trips to auctions and fairs and the passion he had for all works Art Deco. Ahead of his collection being offered to the next generation of avid collector, Judith shares with us her memories of a fascinating life with her late husband...

I first met Lawrie in February 1998 and he told me that he had the ‘collecting bug’ for antiques from the Art Deco period.  He called it a hobby but I soon realised that for him it was an absolute passion and it became his life’s work.

Lawrie introduced me to a world I hadn’t experienced before.  We would visit Art Deco fairs all over the country.  Lawrie enjoyed meeting the stallholders and fellow collectors where he learned and shared knowledge about the artefacts on sale. He recognised the hard work and commitment that went into the setting up a stall and he only collected pieces that he felt were absolutely true and authentic to the Art Deco period.


A LNER travel poster 'The Coronation Crossing the Royal Border Bridge Berwick-upon-Tweed'
designed by Tom Purvis (1888-1959), colour lithograph, printed by Jarrold & Sons Ltd., Norwich and London,
100.5cm x 126cm, framed



He loved the innovative streamlined style, the bright colours and the flamboyance of the age.  But, above all, he admired the skill and exquisite craftsmanship - the like of which he felt would not be seen again.

Lawrie’s collection of 1920’s posters showed his engineering background and his enjoyment of travel.  He had an extensive knowledge of cars, boats and planes but I believe his love for anything with an engine came second to his love of Art Deco.

Lawrie was an avid reader and he studied countless books about the leading designers of that time.


An LNER travel poster 'Clacton-on-Sea’,
designed by Tom Purvis (1888-1959), colour lithograph,
100.5cm x 126cm



Many hours were spent talking about the hand painted porcelain Lawrie painstakingly collected and he was thrilled if he could find some new pieces thus enabling him to complete a set. 

I feel privileged to have shared a very happy life with Lawrie and to have met some lovely people along the way from the world of Art Deco.   I hope those of you who procure even a small part of his collection, will enjoy it as much as he did.


Judith Gatehouse



For more information about the collection, please contact John Black | 01279 817778

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