1897 - 1971
Speedster, Shell Oil

Gouache, signed lower right
Image size: 30 x 44 inches (76 x 112 cm)
Hand made art deco frame

Please scroll down for more information and a framed image.

This is an original art work for an advertisement for Shell Oil in 1930. Specifically the poster was to advertise Shell’s ‘anti-knock’ technology and was shown with the text ‘SHELL, FOR ANTI-KNOCK’.

Knocking is an unwanted problem that can occur during combustion. After part of the petrol-air mixture has burnt smoothly, the rest suddenly explodes causing a knocking noise. This annoying sound can cause severe damage to an engine. The superior anti-knock properties of Shell’s petrol were promoted through Shell’s Lorry Bills of the 1920s and 1930s.

The Artist

John Yunge Bateman was born in Folkstone, Kent in 1897.

In 1910 JYB was admitted as a cadet at the Royal Naval College at Osborne, on the Isle of Wight. At the outbreak of the First World War, JYB was a Midshipman, and by the end of it was a Lieutenant. He retired as a Lieutenant–Commander in 1926, having achieved distinction early in the War at the Battle of Jutland, when his ship was torpedoed, and again later, having served as a Commander in the destroyer service at the end of the War.

Bateman was appointed to a Professorship at the Heatherley School of Art on his retirement from the Active List.

During the Second World War JYB combined art with naval practicalities by becoming the head of a British naval camouflage section at Leamington Spa. In this role, in 1943, he did an oil painting, “The Outside Viewing Tank: Directorate of Camouflage, Naval Section”, currently in the collection of the Imperial War Museum. This viewing tank was actually set up for conducting experiments on sea–going camouflage.

JYB died in Hastings on 16 September 1971.