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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
|Flight Lieutenant Jack Biggs|
*Signature Value : £25
|Serving with 17 Sqn on Hurricanes he then transferred to Spitfires flying on the Burma front from March 1944 until the end of September 1945 as air cover for the planned invasion on Malaya which, as a result of the Nuclear attacks on the Japanese Empire, never happened.|
|Flying Officer John Byrne|
*Signature Value : £40
|With the RAF since 1938, Byrne flew Hurricanes, Spitfires, P-47s, Tempests and Typhoons during WWII. Upon joining 197 Sqn in March 1944 he flew Typhoons during one the squadrons most hectic periods in the run up to D-Day and throughout the subsequent Allied invasion, mostly on low-level bombing missions. In total Byrne completed over 150 combat operations and finally left the RAF in 1946.|
|Flying Officer Ken Cockram|
*Signature Value : £25
|After training in Rhodesia and a spell with 73 OTU in Egypt, Ken Cockram flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in late 1944 and early 1945 with 26 AA Cooperation Unit based in Egypt. He also flew Curtiss Kittyhawks with 112 Squadron on anti-shipping and fighter patrols, once crashing his aircraft on take-off during a dust storm. He completed a total of 198 operations.|
Flying Officer Kurt Taussig
*Signature Value : £40
|Czech Kurt was sent, age 15, by his parents on the Kindertrnsport to England from Czechoslovakia in June 1939 to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Determined to fight the Germans he joined the RAF at eighteen in late 1942, and after training was posted to the Middle East to join 225 Squadron flying Spitfires on photo-reconnaissance duties in Tunisia, the Sicily landings, and in Italy.|
|Lt Stanislaw Nawarski DFC KM|
*Signature Value : £30
|Polish pilot Stanislaw Nawwarski flew with the French Air Force, but escaped to England after the fall of France in 1940 and joined the RAF. Just prior to the Battle of Britain he was injured after being shot down whilst ferrying an unarmed Hurricane. In 1941, back in action, he was posted to 302 Polish Squadron flying Spitfires. He flew Spitfires om D-Day and throughout the subsequent Allied advance through Normandy, scoring four victories, all Me109s.|
|Pilot Officer Stefan Ryll|
*Signature Value : £35
|Stefan Ryll went into operations with 306 Squadron flying both Hurricanes and Spitfires, and took part in the last raid of the war flying a P-51 Mustang on escort for the bombers flying to Berchtesgaden.|
Sqn Ldr Hugh Parry
*Signature Value : £45
|Hugh Parry joined the RAF from Northern Rhodesia in December 1939, and after training in England was posted in February 1941 to join 260 Squadron flying Hurricanes. In April he transferred to 266 Squadron flying first Spitfires and then Typhoons. In March 1943 he went to Malta with 601 Squadron on the USS Wasp, flying the Spitfire Vc, where he remained until July. After a spell as a test pilot, he returned to combat with 41 Squadron flying Spitfire MkXIIs. On 24th September 1943 he was shot down near Beauvais and managed to evade capture for the next five months until he was eventually captured by the Gestapo in Paris. After a month in prison he was sent to Stalag Luft III until the end of the war.|
Sqn Ldr Jurek Mencel DFC, KM*** AFM***
*Signature Value : £40
|Flying with the French Air Force he fought in the Battle of France but was hospitalised after breaking his back in a crash in mid-1940. Returning to operations with 317 Polish Sqn, his first mission was on Spitfires escorting the RAF Bombers taking part in the engagement that lead to the German ‘Channel Dash’. He flew Spitfires throughout the Normandy Invasion also flying Hurricanes and Mustangs with 308 and 309 Sqn’s scoring victories against Me109's and Me108's and on the 9th April 1945 he shot down an Me262 Jet over Hamburg.|
|Squadron Leader Frank Joyce MBE|
*Signature Value : £25
|Originally flying Hurricanes with 87 Squadron, he was shot down in May 1940 during the Battle of France, was badly injured bailing out and lost his leg. After having a false leg fitted, he returned to active service duties with 286 Squadron, flying Defiants on coastal patrols.|
Warrant Officer Eric Carter
*Signature Value : £25
|Initially posted to 615 Squadron flying Hurricanes, Eric was then posted to 81 Squadron, again on Hurricanes. In the autumn of 1941 he accompanied the squadron on HMS Argus to Russia as part of Force Benedict, a clandestine operation to defend the strategically important Russian port of Murmansk. As well as operational patrols the squadron escorted Russian bomber missions.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Hurricane||Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.|
|Artist Details : Robert Taylor|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor|
The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.
More about Robert Taylor
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