Robert Taylor Catalogue

THIS SCEPTRED ISLE
by Robert Taylor

This Sceptred Isle by Robert Taylor

 

THE WORLDS LEADING AVIATION ARTIST COMMEMORATES THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle...this happy breed of men, this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea, which serves it in the office of a wall or as a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands…this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

William Shakespeare 'King Richard II’

For nearly a thousand years the white cliffs of southern England had taunted many a foreign army. These fortress walls of chalk, however, were defended by the moat-like waters of the Channel and together they had shielded the British from her enemies. Alongside Drake they had defied the armies of Spain and her great Armada and, in 1805, had halted the march of Napoleon’s Grande Armée. No enemy force since that of William the Conqueror in 1066 had successfully managed to cross the Channel in anger but, in May 1940, one of the most powerful armies the world had ever seen arrived at Calais. An invasion by Hitler’s all-conquering Wehrmacht was imminent – or so it seemed.

To cross the Channel and breach the English defences, the Luftwaffe simply had to gain control of the skies, and with massively superior numbers the outcome seemed inevitable. The fate of Britain lay in the hands of less than 3,000 young airmen from Fighter Command – Churchill’s ‘Few’.

By July the most famous air battle in history was underway and, over the next three months, under tranquil summer skies, the ‘Few’ battled to defend their Sceptred Isle. Impossibly outnumbered and flying daily to the point of exhaustion, by October these courageous young men had snatched victory and from the jaws of defeat, emerging defiantly victorious. The threat of invasion might be over but a terrible price had been paid – during that long battle for the survival of Britain 544 had been killed and 422 wounded; and of those who survived a further 814 would be killed before the end of the war.

It is to the valiant ‘Few’ that Robert Taylor once again pays tribute in this masterful painting portraying a fleeting moment of calm for the pilots of 74 (Tiger) Squadron during the height of the Battle of Britain. With his commanding officer Sailor Malan (ZP-A) to his right, Acting Flight Lieutenant John Freeborn (ZP-C) takes time to reflect on another day of intense combat while passing over the white cliffs and the familiar lighthouse at Beachy Head, as the squadron cross the English coast to head for home.

Overall print size: 24 ¾”wide x 18 ½” high
Image size: 19 ¼” wide x 13“high

We are extremely honoured that this edition carries the signatures of veterans that fought during the Battle of Britain, including John Freeborn who is featured in the piece. It is a poignant reminder that a number of these iconic men have sadly passed away since signing, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to add a piece of great historic significance to their collections.

THE LIMITED EDITION
Joining artist Robert Taylor, every print has been personally autographed by two highly regarded RAF veterans who flew in combat during the Battle of Britain:

Wg Cdr TIM ELKINGTON
Pilot on Hurricanes with 1 Sqn / 2 victories

Flt Lt TERRY CLARK DFM AE
WOp/AG on Blenheims with 219 Sqn / 6 victories


THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION

Each print in these memorable FIVE signature editions is additionally signed by three prominent veterans who fought in the Battle of Britain:

Flt Lt ARCHIE McINNES
Pilot on Hurricanes with 610 & 238 Sqn

Flt Lt WILLIAM ‘BOB’ HUGHES DFC AFC
WOp/AG on Blenheims with 23 Sqn

C.A.F. JOE RODDIS
Ground Crew on Spitfires with 234 Sqn


THE VETERANS EDITION & REMARQUES

These historic TEN signature editions are additionally signed by a further FIVE highly distinguished Battle of Britain fighter pilots, including four legendary Aces:

Gp Capt TOM DALTON-MORGAN DSO DFC* OBE
Pilot on Hurricanes with 43 Sqn / 17 victories

Wg Cdr JOHN FREEBORN DFC*
Pilot on Spitfires with 74 Sqn / 17 victories

Sqn Ldr KEN ‘HAWKEYE’ LEE DFC
Pilot on Hurricanes with 501 Sqn / 7 victories

Wg Cdr WILFRED ‘WILF’ SIZER DFC*
Pilot on Hurricanes with 213 Sqn / 10 victories

Sqn Ldr MICHAEL WAINWRIGHT AFC
Pilot on Spitfires with 64 Sqn / 2 victories

Sample of remarque


THE TRIBUTE EDITION

WITH AN ORIGINAL PENCIL DRAWING AND FIFTEEN SIGNATURES
This Sceptreuted Isle Trib

With all the signatories of the Veterans Edition, each print is issued with an exquisite pencil drawing specially created for the occasion by the world’s greatest aviation artist Robert Taylor. Individually signed by three Battle of Britain fighter pilots, each drawing is conservation matted to include the signatures of two legendary RAF Aces:

Plt Off NORMAN BROWN
Pilot on Spitfires with 610 Sqn

Wg Cdr CHRISTOPHER CURRANT DSO DFC CdeG
Pilot on Hurricanes with 605 Sqn / 12 victories

Wg Cdr TOM NEIL DFC* AFC
Pilot on Hurricanes with 249 Sqn / 14 victories

THE MATTED SIGNATURES

Wg Cdr GEOFFREY PAGE DSO DFC OBE
Pilot on Hurricanes with 56 Sqn / 12 victories

Gp Capt PETER TOWNSEND CVO DSO DFC
Pilot on Hurricanes with 43 Sqn / 10 victories

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