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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.|
|Group Captain Brian Kingcome DSO DFC (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £65
|Brian Fabris Kingcome was born in Calcutta on May 31st 1917. Brian Kingcome was educated at Bedford and in 1936 entered the RAF College, Cranwell. Soon after he began his pilot course he was seriously injured in a car accident and was told by the RAF medical board that he would never fly again as he was expected to suffer permanent double vision. But after months in hospital and with Brians strength of character he proved the board wrong. In 1938 he was posted to No 65, a biplane Gladiator fighter squadron based at Hornchurch. Brian Kingcome took part in the Battles of France and Dunkirk but transferred to 92 Squadron as a flight commander and flying Spitfires in May 1940 scoring his first victories in June 1940. Brian Kingcome became acting commanding officer during the latter stages of the Battle of Britain. During this time he and his pilots achieved the highest success rate of any squadron in the entire Battle of Britain. After being shot down by Me109s and wounded, he returned to active operations. In February 1942 he was posted to command 72 Squadron, followed by promotion to Wing Leader at Kenley. In May 1943 he was posted to lead 244 Wing in the Mediterranean during the invasion of Sicily. An Ace, Brian Kingcome flew Spitfires in combat continually until the end of 1944, his tally finishing at 8 and 3 shared destroyed, plus a score of probables and damaged. One of the prewar Cranwell elite, Brian Kingcome was to become one ofthe Second World Wars great fighter leaders, alongside such immortals as Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. At the outbreak of war he was serving in 65 Squadron, but in May 1940 was posted to 92 Squadron as flight commander. On 25 May he shared a Do 17 and on 2 June destroyed two He l l Is and damaged a third. He shared a Ju 88 with two others on I0 July, and again on the 24th. On 9 September he probably destroyed a Bf 110 and two days later shot down a He 111. On the 14th he damaged another. He shot down a Bf 109 on the 23rd and next day probably destroyed another and damaged a Ju 88. Three days later he shared a Ju 88 again, damaged two others, probably destroyed a Do 17, and damaged one of these also. Around this time he was awarded a DFC for six victories, and on 11 October got a Bf 109 He claimed another next day, and also damaged one. In 1941 he became commanding officer, having frequently led the squadron. It will be noted that he claimed many probables and damaged during the Battle of Britain, and this was due to his view that it was more important to hit as many as possible than to try and confirm victories. On 16 June 1941 lie probably destroyed a Bf 109, and on 24 July shot one down. He was then rested until late in the year, when he was posted to command 72 Squadron, and in February 1942 gave escort cover to the Fleet Air Arm pilot Eugene Esmonde, who won the VC trying to attack German capital ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and and the cruiser ‘Prinz Eugen’ with Swordfish during the Channel Dash. In atrocious weather Kingcome caught a fleeting glimpse of tbe Scharnhorst - Oh what a beautiful battleboat! he exclaimed, just as a shell made a hole the size of a dustbin lid in his port wing. During 1941 he received a Bar to his DFC, having brought his score to 10. He was promoted to lead the Kenley wing, and on 15 April 1942 damaged a Fw 190. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 on 28 May, and during the year was awarded a DSO, having added another victory to his score. In 1943 he was posted to North Africa to lead 244 Wing, and lead this for 18 months, becoming a Gp. Capt. after the invasion of Italy. By the end of his stay with the wing he had brought his score to 18, and was then posted as SASO of a Liberator group, and flew an operation as a waist gunner over northern Yugoslavia after taking up this appointment. Sadly Group Captain Brian Kingcome passed away aged 76 in 1994.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.|
|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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