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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 Herbert Bert Graham|
*Signature Value : £35
|Bert Graham joined the RAF in 1941 and was immediately posted to a pilot training station in Torquay, Devon. After passing his final exams he then went on to fly Tiger Moths, before being posted to RAF Brize Norton flying Oxfords. In 1942 Bert transferred to start flying with 143 Squadron on Blenheims, but quickly moved on to Beaufighters with the North Coates Strike Wing. For his second tour Bert was posted to Scotland flying Mosquitos, where, before the end of hostilities, he completed many port and shipping strikes over Norway and occupied Europe.|
Flying Officer Harold Corbin CGM
*Signature Value : £30
|Harold Corbin joined the RAF in November 1940 and was sent to the United States to train as a pilot. On completion he returned to England as a Sergeant and after several positions was posted to 235 Squadron at RAF Portreath flying operations on Beaufighters. He completed many missions attacking various ports and enemy shipping on the French coast and in the Bay of Biscay. In 1944 he converted onto Mosquitos and joined 248 Squadron at RAF Banff, part of the Banff Strike Wing. The Banff Wing was to become immortalised for undertaking some of the most dangerous and concentrated attacks on German surface vessels and U-boats in the North Sea and on the Norwegian coastline. He was awarded the CGM in August 1944, and was given a full commission in December 1944. He had flown as co-pilot / observer with Maurice Webb from 1943 until the end of the war.|
|Warrant Officer Les Doughty DFM|
*Signature Value : £20
|Joining the RAF in 1939 as a driver, Les Doughty was posted overseas to serve in Iraq. In 1941 he applied for, and was accepted, to be a pilot and went on to train in Rhodesia. In 1943 his first operational posting was to 248 Squadron flying Beaufighters from RAF Predannack, providing fighter escorts and coastal patrols, with combat strikes mostly against enemy shipping. He moved with 248 Squadron to RAF Portreath and converted to Mosquitos. In early 1944 whilst out on a strike mission, he attacked submarine U-155 whilst under heavy fire as it was entering the French harbour of Lorient. The submarine was put out of action for the duration of the war, and Les was awarded an immediate DFM.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Beaufighter||BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER The Bristol Beaufighter was a Torpedo Bomber and had a crew of two. with a maximum speed of 330mph and a ceiling of 29,000 feet. maximum normal range of 1500 miles but could be extended to 1750 miles. The Bristol Beaufighter carried four 20mm cannon in the belly of the aircraft and upto six .303in browning machine guns in the wings. it could also carry eight 3 -inch rockets, 1605 lb torpedo or a bomb load of 1,000 lb. The Bristol Beaufighter first flew in July 1939 and with some modifications entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1940. In the winter of 1940 - 1941 the Beaufighter was used as a night fighter. and in March 1941 the aircraft was used at Coastal Command as a long range strike aircraft. and in 1941, the Beaufighter arrived in North Africa and used as a forward ground attack aircraft. The Bristol Beaufighter was used also in India, Burma and Australia. A total of 5,564 Beaufighters were built until production in Britain finished in 1945, but a further 364 were built in Australia for the Australian Air Force|
|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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