Paolozzi’s Tube mosaic designs to be sold at auction

"Tottenham Court Road Central line mosaic" by Eduardo Paolozzi. Picture: Contributed
"Tottenham Court Road Central line mosaic" by Eduardo Paolozzi. Picture: Contributed
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An iconic design by a popular Scots pop artist which features on the London Underground is to be sold at auction.

The colourful mosaic on the Northern and Central line platforms at Tottenham Court Road tube station by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi is expected to fetch up to £30,000.

The definitive design for the Northern and Central Line Platforms at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station by influential 'pop' artist Eduardo Paolozzi. Picture: SWNS

The definitive design for the Northern and Central Line Platforms at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station by influential 'pop' artist Eduardo Paolozzi. Picture: SWNS

It was torn down as part of a £400m Crossrail redevelopment at the site which led to an online petition with more than 8,000 signatures protesting the controversial move.

The piece was commissioned by London Transport in 1979 and was designed to link interconnecting spaces of the station.

The glass mosaic covered 950 square metres.

It was painstakingly restored in 2015 to be put in the collection at the Edinburgh College of Art where Paolozzi had studied in the 1940s.

He had studied in the Tottenham Court Road area of London and had put his local knowledge into the work.

It was a hub for musicians as varied Britten and Bechet to Pink Floyd which lead to saxophones and musical notes on the left of the piece.

• READ MORE: Eduardo Paolozzi: A Scottish artist with a love of colour

Cameras and electrical circuits mirror the technical stores of the road and stylized Egyptian and Assyrian motifs reference the nearby British Museum.

He also referred to his previous work by using tribal masks, spacecraft and robots in the mosaic.

Charlotte Riordan, picture specialist at auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull, said the Scottish artist had a thorough understanding of the local area.

She said: “In his designs for the mosaics, a key example of which, the definitive flat design for the Central Line platform, is now offered for sale, Paolozzi draws on his knowledge and understanding of popular culture and iconic symbolism.

“The concept united his abiding interest in the culture of mechanisation and his empathy with the station’s historic context and its geographical location.

“Having taught at the nearby Central School of Art in the Fifties, Paolozzi had retained a broad, deep-rooted and affectionate understanding of the local area and its diverse communities.”

It is set to go on sale in Edinburgh on August 17.