American & Modern Art

February 2227, 2020
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 24

Lot 24

John Willard Banks (1912-1988)

John Willard Banks (1912-1988)
Lot 24 Details
John Willard Banks (1912-1988), American


Watercolour, coloured pencil and crayon on Crescent Quality board; signed bottom centre. Unframed.
Image/Board 15 x 24.9 in — 38.1 x 63.3 cm; 18 x 28 in — 45.7 x 71.1 cm

Estimate $600-$800

Realised: $480
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
John Willard Banks (1912-1988)
  • John Willard Banks (1912-1988)
  • John Willard Banks (1912-1988)

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has examples in its collection by this African American Folk Artist.

Introduced in 1889, by the Nathaniel Kellogg Fairbank Soap Company, N.Y., Gold Dust washing powder was the first to pioneer the use of vegetable oils in its processing. It achieved national prominence when it was distributed by Lever Bros., who bought it in the 1930's, depicting the twins, 'Goldie' and 'Dustie', one of the earliest brand driven trademarks in American advertising ('The Gold Dust Twins Radio Show' was first broadcast in 1929). In the 1940's, and 1950's with the changing view of the mascots, coupled with competition with products like Tide, the company eventually folded.

The Gulf 'Visible' gas pump depicted using a calibrated glass cylinder was introduced around 1925, and replaced in 1929 by the 'Electric' gas pump that eliminated the glass cylinder. Gulf Oil was a major company from 1901 to 1985 when it merged with Standard Oil, which in turn became eventually Chevron. Gulf introduced the first drive in gas station in 1913. The encroachment of civilization through the fossil fuel industry is coupled with the denigrating exploitation of African Americans through advertising.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 24

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.