Sold for £19,000
Beddoes (Ivor, 1909-1981). A rare group of 21 watercolour and pencil drawings on paper of scenes mostly from the London Blitz, many taken from life, 1940-41, including 14 drawings in watercolour and pencil on paper of the blitz from a series marked 'ARP', all 38 x 56 cm, together with a related charcoal drawing of the same size and 3 smaller watercolours of blitz scenes, plus 3 further watercolours from a series made by Beddoes in North Wales in February 1941, the majority of drawings in mounts with window apertures, and with pencil titles, notes and dates to margins, mounts and sheet versos, some signed or initialled by Beddoes in pencil
1) Stretcher party - collecting bodies, Hampstead, depot 1 30 October 1940, ARP no. 2; 2) Rescue party cutting through to trapped people, Hampstead depot 1, memory drawing, 30 October 1940, ARP no. 3; 3) Incendiary bomb in the street, Westbere Road, NW2, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 4; 4) Stretcher bearers waiting for the mortuary van, Hampstead, Nov. 1940. ARP no. 6; 5) Scene sketched in Tube - Midnight, during London Blitz, Oct. 1940. ARP no. 7; 6) Memory drawing after the bomb, Nov. 1940. ARP no. 8; 7) Rescue party calling for the living, memory drawing, London, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 9; 8) Fordwich Road incident - taking body on stretcher over garden wall, Nov. 1940. ARP no. 10; 9) WVS Canteen giving tea, from notes made on the spot near Swiss Cottage station, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 11; 10) Recreational depot no. 1. SPs playing snooker, from notes made on the spot, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 12; 11) Another body, composite picture from rough notes taken when no one was looking, hospital in Haverstock Hill, Hampstead, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 13; 12) Depot lecture on incendiary bombs, memory drawing, Nov. 1940, ARP no. 18; 13) Drawing from rough notes made on the spot. RE removing DA bomb (Belsize Avenue - 11.40), Nov. 1940. ARP no. 19, 38 x 56 cm; 14) SP at work, Nov. 29 1940. ARP no. 20, all watercolour and pencil, 38 x 56 cm; 15) Smoke from fires, after raid, as seen from roof - Piccadilly Circus. Drawing started during actual raid, approx. 6 o'clock, 7 September 1940, charcoal drawing, 38 x 56 cm; 16) In the first two weeks after the declaration of the war 1939 ARP shelters were built with borough labour & civilian help, Finchley, North London, watercolour, 28 x 39 cm; 17 & 18) Two untitled drawings of sand bagging, green wash and pencil, 20 x 27 and 20 x 18 cm; 19) AC post observation, Prestatyn, 20 February 1941, 2nd STC series no. 1, watercolour and india ink, 23 x 25 cm; 20) Sand dunes and barbed wire looking towards Great Orme Head from Prestatyn, 2nd STC series no. 2, 23 February 1941, watercolour, 30 x 41 cm; 21) Rhyd Farm, North Wales, 2nd STC series no. 18, watercolour, 35 x 51 cm.
Ivor William Gilmour Beddoes (1909-1981) was a British painter, sketch and storyboard artist, costume and set designer, dancer, composer and poet. He is best known for his film work, spanning more than thirty years, from Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes to Star Wars and Superman.
Prior to his being called up at the end of 1940, and then serving with the Royal Signal Corps, Beddoes had been working at the Windmill Theatre in London's West End. In an autobiographical made some written shortly before his death, Beddoes wrote: 'one night in 1940 I walked off the stage to become a stretcher-bearer in the blitz on London. Then I went into the army. I never went back into the profession.' In a letter to the Artist's Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Information, (dated 10 October 1940), Beddoes explains how he came to make these remarkable drawings: '… [I] submit to you the accompanying sketches in the hope that they might be of use as documentary evidence or, in any other way that you might think useful. I am a scenic designer, and happened to be watching the raid last Saturday afternoon from the roof of a building in Piccadilly Circus. I was able to make a quick sketch of the effects of fires caused by the bombs dropped on South London, and again, later in the evening I made two sketches with colour notes of the fire, and added the colour afterwards. Should the sketches be of any use to you, I should be pleased if you would accept them and perhaps any future sketches I may make when I join the army in the very near future.'
In 1999 Maggs Bros., London, issued Catalogue 1271, in which they offered the Ivor Beddoes El Alamein archive of 108 works on paper and noted, in reference to Beddoes' blitz drawings, that 'sadly, the sketches of that raid were not accepted and their whereabouts are unknown'. A copy of this catalogue is included with the lot, with Bob Wyatt's added manuscript footnote indicating that he now has these blitz drawings in his collection.
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Auction: Military & Aviation History, Medals & Militaria; The Library of Lt Col R J Wyatt MBE TD Part I, Thu, 7th Nov 2019
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Tuesday 5 November 2019 from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Wednesday 6 November 2019 from 9.00am to 6.00pm and on the morning of the sale from 9.00am onwards.
Dominic Winter (Auctioneers) Ltd
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Royalty For the portion of the Hammer Price (in Euro)
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