Lot 639: WWII Artwork 73 Field Company Royal Engineers, circa 1945, The highly skilled drawings, in a style reminiscent of Edward Bawden and other British modernists



2015-11-04 16:25:25

Lot 639: WWII Artwork. 73 Field Company Royal Engineers, circa 1945, an album of 20 leaves, manuscript title with pen and ink and watercolour crest, verso blank, the following 9 leaves with 18 exquisite pen and ink and watercolour drawings, each 11.5 x 12.5 cm, pasted two to a page on rectos only, each with title scroll cartouche giving location, each within double rule and date span beneath, remaining 10 leaves blank, interleaved with tissue-guards, corners a little creased and curled, stapled as issued with plain brown wrapper, detached, slightly soiled and frayed at edges, folio (36 x 27cm). The highly skilled drawings, in a style reminiscent of Edward Bawden and other British modernists, are believed to be by Major Leslie Ernest Wyatt, 73rd Field Company, Royal Engineers, MC. Wyatt was born in Portsmouth and worked in his father's radio/gramophone shop. He joined the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war, was commissioned, and trained in a Beach Clearance Unit. His duties included clearing obstacles, including mines and bombs, putting down wire mesh tracks on the beaches, etc. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry on D-Day. After D-Day his unit became used for forward bridge building. Later Wyatt wrote 'A Short History of the 73rd Field Company, Royal Engineers in the North-West European Campaign'. In 2007 Major Wyatt's medals were sold at auction. Later, this album of watercolours was acquired by the current owner from Wyatt's son who said that his father produced it for his own amusement. There is no information about any art training that Wyatt made making his skill as an unknown artist all the more extraordinary. The 18 watercolours chronicle the training, duties and locations of the Company from October 1940 to June 1944. The titles are Barton Stacey, Worthy Down, Winterbourne, Ilfracombe, Tonbridge, Kirkby Stephen, Chatham, Ightam Plaxtol, Betchworth & Mynthurst, Lynton, St Leonard's-on-Sea, Margate, Herne Bay, Wateringbury, Pangbourne, Goole, Potterspury and Southampton. (1) Dominic Winter's Automobilia & Motoring Literature Vintage Bicycles Maritime & Railways, Toys & Models Thursday, 12th November 2015 Estimate: £500-800
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