Lot 1674: Vintage Martin Hardie - Air Raid Precautions Artwork
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Dated Christmas 1939 AD. An original watercolour on canvas with backing board by Martin Hardie in the form of a fictional coat of arms for the head Air Raid Warden, Denis Furley, quartered with dividing lines bearing alternating crosses and gravestones and the A(ir) R(aid) P(recautions) monogram at centre, depicting a Wellington boot, a rattle, a torch and a Warden's helmet, surmounted by a crest of a gas mask with the White Horse (Invicta) of Kent as supporters, garlanded with Kentish hops and apples; a scroll with whistle at each end bearing the Latin motto 'NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT' (no-one provokes me with impunity) with ribbon below inscribed 'No 1 POST: CEMETERY LODGE'; the reverse bearing an inked label 'To / Denys Furley / Head Warden: Sector 5, Tonbridge / With good wishes from / Martin Hardie / TONBRIDGE / KENT / Christmas, 1939' in eight lines and a printed label of H W Mace, Picture and Art Dealer of Tonbridge. 250 grams, 38 x 28cm (15 x 11"). Property of a Kent, UK collector; acquired UK market, 1970-2000; from Martin Hardie (1875-1952) was the nephew of the artist John Pettie; a resident of Tonbridge from the 1930s, the local road Martin Hardie Way is named in his honour; he was a Keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London from 1914, producing catalogues of the museum's art collections until his retirement in 1935; a recognised authority on English watercolours and etchings, he was a noted artist himself, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1908 and was member of the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Engraver's Society; he was awarded the CBE for his contributions to British Art; this piece was produced during the early days of the Battle of Britain when German air raids were starting with the Air Raid Wardens being appointed to police the blackout, to watch for bombs falling and to help direct rescue and fire-fighting operations. [No Reserve]
Condition Report: Fine condition; surface slightly browned.